Postgraduate study

Global Health Policy MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Global Health Policy

This programme explores the issues that shape population health and build the knowledge and skills necessary to address them.

Over the course of the last decade global health has received dramatically increased attention, both as an emergent academic discipline and in terms of heightened policy salience.

Global health concerns have become a central component of foreign and security policy and of development and human rights agendas, and have reshaped debates regarding the social impacts of global economic and environmental change.

Finding answers to the key questions confronting global health policy and practice is vital. Through this programme you will explore the issues that shape population health and build the knowledge and skills necessary to address them.

From the impact of globalisation and the recent development of influential global health partnerships to the complex relationships between health objectives and the trade policies of leading states, you’ll learn to understand, critically appraise and apply key concepts and theories within policy studies, international political economy and public health science.

Situated within the Global Public Health Unit, this programme offers innovative research-led teaching that draws on academic expertise from disciplines including public health, political science, social policy, economics, medicine, epidemiology, geography and anthropology.

Our location within the Graduate School of Social and Political Science gives students access to an academically challenging but friendly and supportive environment and to diverse postgraduate courses offered in one of Europe’s leading centres of social science research.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

You will complete one compulsory course and a number of option courses.

Following the taught courses, you will work towards an independently researched dissertation.

We have structured the programme to enable you to undertake a placement during your dissertation.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScGlobal Health Policy1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScGlobal Health Policy2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

On completion of this programme you will be able to understand, critically appraise and apply key concepts and theories within policy studies, international political economy and public health science with specific reference to social and economic determinants of population health status; public health policy norms; concepts of epidemiology and research methods; and processes and institutions of public policy-making.

You will also develop the skills to:

  • apply social science perspectives to public health questions
  • assess the changing context of public health policy formulation
  • analyse diverse source materials and apply to public health questions
  • articulate your own conception of core challenges confronting public health
  • engage in public health advocacy
  • work across disciplinary boundaries

This highly regarded qualification will improve your chances of securing rewarding roles. Recent graduates have taken up employment and research positions with NGOs, health agencies, government departments and international organisations.

We have structured the programme to enable you to undertake a placement during your dissertation, ensuring you graduate with valuable experience and contacts.

The transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and research will give you an edge in the employment market, whatever your eventual career.

A number of our students, particularly from social science backgrounds, use this programme to prepare for applications to medical school or a PhD programme.

Our programmes are also recognised for training purposes by the UK Faculty of Public Health, and a number of practising doctors undertake study with us.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScGlobal Health Policy1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScGlobal Health Policy2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2019 11 July 2019

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

References are not usually required for applications to this programme.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD