Postgraduate study

Global Health Policy MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

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.

This has become particularly emphasised in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

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, through this programme you’ll learn to understand, critically appraise and apply key concepts and theories within policy studies, public health, and the wider social sciences.

Why Edinburgh?

Situated within the Global Health Policy 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
  • anthropology

Our location within the 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
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

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
  • 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 the option to undertake a placement during your dissertation, which can provide valuable professional experience and contacts.

The transferable skills you gain from the programme in areas such as communication, critical thinking 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, law school and PhD programmes.

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.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

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

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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 Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 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
  • your tuition fee 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
12 September 2022 4 July 2022

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

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