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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 in the health sector. Our mission is to influence and improve health policy design, implementation and evaluation, and to strengthen health policy governance around the world by applying rigorous social science research to existing and emerging national and global health challenges. 

 The international landscape of health policy is changing rapidly: many developed countries now spend more than 10% of GDP on health care compared to 7% in the 1990s. With the inclusion of good health and the socioeconomic determinants of health in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have also witnessed an increase in health expenditure in low-income countries from 1–2% of GDP in the 1980s to 5–7%. Health now ranks among the top policy priorities of most countries worldwide, and the health care sector accounts for more than 10% of overall employment in most countries. 

The COVID-19 pandemic further highlights the importance of continued investment in global health and care. Like every other arm of higher education, the crisis has required us to transform our teaching methods and adapt our research practices overnight. Further still, we have stepped confidently on to the global stage of the pandemic and established ourselves as a leading source of evidenced commentary on the impact of the virus and comparative responses to it. 

Our world-class faculty bring unparalleled policy experience and theoretical and methodological approaches to their work. Spanning health policy, health economics, global health, health technology assessment, and pharmaceutical policy, our research is rated among the best in the world. Through close collaborations with governments, international health organisations, academic institutions and industry partners, our research has created and continues to create lasting changes in health planning and delivery around the globe.  

With a solid grounding in fundamental policy and economic skills, and the knowledge and expertise to apprehend global health challenges, we combine rigorous education with a forward-looking, interdisciplinary and flexible approach. As teachers, our faculty are dedicated to training tomorrow's health policy leaders. Many of our alumni go on to apply their academic training directly, working as policy specialists in governments, NGOs and the private sector. The analytical and research skills they develop are also highly valued by employers in the media, management consultancy, teaching and development sectors, and beyond.

While the history of health studies may be viewed as one hitherto dominated by the leadership of men, the department’s profile is now a very mixed one, and its future is sure to look rather different. With around 400 postgraduate students and 200 staff members from 40 countries, the Department is committed to diversity of perspectives in its research and discussions. This culture, diversity and globalness makes the Department a very exciting place to be.  

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.

- Alistair McGuire, Professor of Health Economics
Head, Department of Health Policy