Health and Social Care Policy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Tania Burchardt 32L 3.30


This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics and BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

Course content

The course equips students with the concepts, tools and knowledge to understand the challenges of health and social care policy in the 21st century, in the differing contexts of the UK and other rich countries, and in low- and middle-income countries. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, this feels more important than ever.

In the first term, we consider the fundamental aims of health and social care policy, including for example health and well-being, health inequalities by ethnicity and social class, public health and health promotion, and health as a human right. We then examine policy approaches and healthcare regimes across different country contexts, including the strengths and weaknesses of different models of healthcare financing, public and private. 

In the second term, we move on to think about how to bring about change - both change in people's behaviour through regulation, 'nudge' and incentives, and change in health and social care systems, including an examination of the role played by global pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, and the potential for reform. We investigate the role that  evaluations of health and social care play in shaping policy change. Finally, we turn to specific groups and needs, including for example the challenges of mental health policy, child protection, and healthcare needs of sexual minorities.


 Courses in Social Policy will follow the Teaching Model which has been adopted by the Department of Social Policy during the period of the pandemic. This is outlined HERE:  https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy

This course will be taught through a combination of either a recorded lecture plus a follow-up Q and A session or a ‘live’ on-line lecture; and classes/seminars of 1-1.5 hours (with size and length of classes/seminars depending on social distancing requirements).

Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT and 1 essay in the LT.

One essay following a class task or presentation. This is compulsory.

One essay and two essay plans using the same format as the summative assessment. This is encouraged, but optional.

Indicative reading

There is no course textbook. A list of selected texts and readings will be included in the reading lists for each week.

Yaya S, Yeboah H, Charles CH, et al (2020), Ethnic and racial disparities in COVID-19-related deaths: counting the trees, hiding the forest, BMJ Global Health; 5:e002913

Wouters O, Shadlen K, Salcher-Konrad, M et al (2021), Challenges in ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines: production, affordability, allocation, and deployment, The Lancet, Volume 397, Issue 10278, Pages 1023-1034

World Health Organization (2017) Tracking universal health coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report

Valéry Ridde, Ludovic Queuille & Marame Ndour (2014) Nine misconceptions about free healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, Development Studies Research, 1:1, 54-63



Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

Students will be asked to write three essays from a selection of questions addressing a range of topics covered in the course. This will be a take-home, open-book, online assessment.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2020/21: 32

Average class size 2020/21: 8

Capped 2020/21: Yes (29)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills