About page banner

About us

Welcome from the Head of Department

The Department of Health Policy brings together research and teaching that crosses disciplinary boundaries.

Welcome to the Department of Health Policy at LSE

We are devoted to excellence in multidisciplinary teaching, with an emphasis on health policy, health economics and management applied to the health sector. We have the largest global student body devoted to the study of health policy and health economics, and are intent on becoming one of the largest and most highly regarded health policy and health economics groups in the UK and Europe.

Our vision is to influence and improve how health policy is designed, implemented and evaluated, and help to strengthen health policy governance around the world by applying LSE’s tradition of rigorous social science research to emerging national and global health challenges. Our mission is to advance, transmit and sustain knowledge and understanding through the conduct of teaching, research and scholarship and policy engagement and action at the highest international quality standards, for the benefit of the international and national health policy community.

We are facing a massively changing landscape in terms of health policy and economics: many developed countries are spending more than 10% of GDP on healthcare compared to 7% in the 1990s. With the inclusion of good health, and socio-economic determinants of health as key to the Sustainable Development Goals, we have also seen an increase in health expenditure in low-income countries from 1-2% of GDP in the 1980s to 5-7%, funded both by donor agencies and governments. Almost all countries now have health as a key policy priority, and the health care sector employs more than 10% of the overall workforce in most countries.

This landscape is becoming more complex because of ageing populations, growing health inequalities, increases in non-communicable disease, significant therapeutic advances, accelerating technological change and the digitisation agenda. Key stakeholders are also becoming more global and there is a rebalancing of power driven by the rapid rise of emerging economies. Recent global health emergencies, including Ebola and Zika, have garnered levels of media and public interest not seen since the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, or other pandemic concerns such as SARS or new flu outbreaks. As such the governance of the global health response – including political and economic aspects – has been a major area of our academic attention.

Success in such a complex environment depends on developing a solid grounding in fundamental health policy and economics skills, the knowledge and expertise to negotiate global health policy challenges and craft policy-relevant solutions. We combine rigorous education with a forward-looking and flexible approach that empowers our students and staff to stay at the leading edge of global developments in our field.

The interdisciplinary nature of health policy means that when you graduate you will be equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that can be applied in many different settings. Many health policy and health economics alumni apply their academic training directly, working as policy specialists in the government, international agencies and organisations, NGO and private sectors. Furthermore, the high-level analytical and research skills developed by our degree programmes are highly valued by employers as diverse as the media, management consultancy, teaching and the development sectors.

Our world-class faculty bring a diversity of international perspectives and policy experience and theoretical and methodological approaches to their work. As teachers, they are dedicated to training tomorrow's health policy leaders. As researchers, their policy-relevant, inter-disciplinary research has a real and positive impact on the world.

We are committed to ensuring that our students have an outstanding experience both in and outside the classroom. This means providing the best possible support and advice on career and professional development, building life-long links with our alumni, and creating opportunities for interaction with policy-makers from national and international organisations, programs and agencies.

The Department currently has approximately 300 post-graduate students, selected from a pool of top applicants from across the globe: over 80% of our students are international, with over 35 countries represented. This lends a diversity of perspectives and a richness to our discussions and means that our students develop an international network of contacts outside academia during their time here. We also offer a PhD program for students interested in health policy and health economics. The mission of the PhD program is to prepare students for research and teaching careers in health policy, health economics and health services research and public service in governmental, and public policy settings.

You will find LSE to be a vibrant and exciting place. There is much to enjoy - particularly the university's wide-ranging events calendar with lectures, seminars, and debates, delivered by distinguished experts. In the heart of London, studying at LSE offers immersion in the academic curriculum, but also - culture, diversity, and a truly global student experience.

We welcome your interest, and hope you will find your time here stimulating and rewarding.

- Elias Mossialos, Professor of Health Policy
Head, Department of Health Policy