Postgraduate study

Global Health Policy PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Global Health Policy

This programme aims to provide rigorous postgraduate training to those interested in pursuing interdisciplinary research across public health and the social sciences. It offers a structured training towards research either for a PhD or as a stand-alone degree, the basis for a research career.

The Global Public Health Unit (GPHU) was established to carry out and disseminate research in health policy and provide exceptional postgraduate teaching.

Focusing on the principles of equity, access and universality, we have gained an international reputation for the quality and social relevance of our research.

Our research is organised around the following four intersecting themes, each of which is central to contemporary policy debates:

  • Commercial sector and public health
  • Health systems and global governance
  • Social determinants of health and public policy
  • Science, advocacy and health policy

GPHU staff have a history of conducting outstanding research and of playing a leading role in debates around the impact of current policies on public health and social inequalities. We contribute to the world’s leading peer-reviewed journals and to professional journals, as well as the wider media.

We offer PhD students a supportive research environment in which you’ll find senior academics and research fellows working together on team-based projects. Students studying for the PhD are encouraged to contribute to GPHU’s ongoing projects.

All postgraduates researching public health policy are encouraged to take part in seminars and to take advantage of training courses run at School, College, and University level.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, and a UK masters degree with an overall mark of 65% 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
PhDGlobal Health Policy3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDGlobal Health Policy6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

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.

You must submit two references with your application.

We encourage PhD applicants in particular to contact potential supervisors before applying to discuss their research proposal so we can ensure there is adequate supervision.

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