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MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing

About the MSc programme

This programme is based in the Department of Social Policy and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and offers students 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.

The MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing is one of the oldest graduate-level programmes in health policy worldwide, having been offered continuously since 1986. The programme aims to develop competence and expertise in the field of health policy, planning and finance. You will develop:

  • an understanding of the process of policy-making
  • knowledge of key options in the policy, planning and financing of health services
  • an ability to use disciplines required in formulating, implementing and evaluating health policies and plans
  • an understanding of the diversity of international health policies

Programme details

You must take courses to the value of five units overall, one of which includes a 10,000 word dissertation.

Students will be supervised by staff in the Department during the course of the academic year and particular guidance will be provided in the selection of their dissertation topic.

For each course, students will need to undertake private study, seminar preparation, assessed essay writing and teamwork where applicable. Students are also expected to see their academic advisers at least a couple of times per term and discuss their dissertation topics and progress on it in individual meetings during the Lent term and the Summer term. 

Compulsory courses

(* half unit)  

  • Financing Health Care* (LSE) aims to give students 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.
  • Either Health Services* (LSHTM), which 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 or Health Policy Process and Power (LSHTM), which 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 on any topic in the field of health policy, planning and/or financing.

Students will be expected to choose courses to the value of three units from a range of options.

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing 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, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. 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 circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. 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.

Graduate destinations

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.


Application code: You should apply through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. If you also wish to apply for an LSE-only programme, you should submit a separate application to LSE

Start date: Late September 2016 at LSHTM

Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Further information, email: mschppf@lshtm.ac.uk