MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Health Policy
  • Application code Apply through the LSHTM
  • Starting 2018
  • UK/EU full-time: Contact LSHTM
  • UK/EU part-time: Contact LSHTM
  • Overseas full-time: Contact LSHTM
  • Overseas part-time: Contact LSHTM
  • Location: London

This is a joint programme in health policy, offered by LSE and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

You will have the opportunity to have close contacts with leading research centres in the field of health policy, such as LSE Health and Social Care, based in the Department of Social Policy. 

This programme aims to develop critical analysis of issues within the areas of health policy, planning and financing, and enable you to devise appropriate health policy responses. The programme is taken by students from a wide range of backgrounds including: social science or medical training; health service managers or health care providers and those who have worked in national health care systems, international agencies or NGOs. This programme provides training relevant to countries at all levels of development, although participants are able to specialise in issues of common concern to countries with similar health systems and problems.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing
Start date Late September 2017 at LSHTM
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Availability See LSHTM website
Tuition fee See LSHTM website
Minimum entry requirement See LSHTM website
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements See LSHTM website
Location  Houghton Street, London (LSE), and Keppel Street, London (LSHTM)

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

You will take the LSE course Financing Health Care, and will complete a 6,000-word dissertation on any topic in the field. At LSHTM, you will choose between two courses. In addition, you will choose courses from a range of options at both LSE and LSHTM. 

(* denotes a half unit) 

Financing Health Care* (LSE)
Aims to give you a thorough grounding in health financing policy. It focuses on the health financing functions of collecting revenue, pooling funds and purchasing services, as well as on policy choices concerning coverage, resource allocation and market structure.

Health Services* (LSHTM)
Provides students with a range of ways of thinking about health services and health systems. Drawing on epidemiology, history, medicine, economics and sociology, the module will help students understand how services function, the reasons services have developed in the way they have, the basis of some universal, persistent problems, and possible solutions to such difficulties.
Health Policy Process and Power (LSHTM)
Equips students to study or work in the health policy arena at international, national and local levels, including: reviewing different basic theoretical approaches and concepts used in policy analysis; analysing the political system within which policies are made and the contextual factors that influence policy change; identifying the different arenas involved in health policy, the actors within these arenas, and the key features of processes of policy identification, formulation, and implementation; and planning how to use in research and/or decision-making the policy analysis framework introduced during the course. 

Dissertation in Health Policy (LSE)*
An independent research project of 6,000 words on any topic in the field of health policy, planning and/or financing. 

Courses to the value of two and a half units from a range of options at LSE and LSHTM

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research. 

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide


All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course.All full-unit courses are assessed by three hour unseen examinations in the summer term. Half-units are assessed by two hour unseen examinations. Some of the half-unit optional courses also have group/individual project work as part of the assessment. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic adviser who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.


Career destinations after graduation are wide and varied, reflecting the diverse international mix and multi-disciplinary nature of the Health Policy, Planning and Financing class. Graduates from the programme are typically employed by national governments, international organisations, research/management consultancy, industry and the voluntary sector.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Angel Vicario Merino

MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing, 2012
Head of Delegation for Algeria/Sahara, Spanish Red Cross


I have been a humanitarian aid worker for the past 10 years as a health delegate on a wide variety of missions helping vulnerable people across the world. While working I have taken a few breaks where I have studied new international protocols and continued my education and studies, including my MSc at LSE. The mix of fieldwork and studying has really helped me develop my professional skills and I have been able to apply these in my missions for the Red Cross.

The degree content at LSE was exactly what I was looking for, providing me with the perfect mix of economics and health policy which has given me great support in my professional development. The professors on my course were excellent, not just in their teaching but also in their one to one interaction where I was able to learn about their experiences and gain invaluable advice. Attracting the brightest minds in the world LSE gave me the opportunity to make great friendships and contacts with people who share similar passions and interests as me. My only regret is that the experience was all too short and I wish I could have stayed longer, but I am extremely happy with everything my time at LSE has provided me.

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Claire Chaumont

MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing, 2011
Research manager, National Institute of Public health (Mexico)


My master's in London helped me tremendously in my career, maybe not so much for what I’ve learned, but for helping me understand my field, and get a sense of the different topics/ activities/actors it was composed of. This means I was able to go out by myself after my studies and look for the information in the right place. Also, the students were really diverse (more than 20 nationalities) and almost all had extensive work experience prior to the master's. I made really good friends and we all still stay in touch. It’s nice to have friends in your field with who you can bounce ideas. 

LSE offers a lot of conferences, extra-curriculum activities, etc. so I would recommend students to not only go to class, but also to attend these events. Also, read all the lectures! Of course, you can get by, by doing the minimum, but the teaching is so interesting, you should really take advantage of it. And finally, download all the articles and keep all the material given to you for after the Master. You never know when you might need it again (probably sooner than you think). I would definitely recommend the MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Dinancing to anyone interested in health policy and health financing. You get training from two amazing schools, the classes are really good quality and the students are awesome! I had a great time in London.

Assessing your application

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing

You must satisfy the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine general entrance requirements and the additional programme-specific entrance requirements, to be considered for admission.

See LSHTM entrance requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees and funding opportunities 2017/18 for MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing

See fee and funding information on LSHTM website


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