Health and Social Care Policy

This information is for the 2022/23 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, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Social Policy and Sociology and BSc in Social Policy with Government. 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 follow the Teaching Model outlined on the following page: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy


All teaching will be in accordance with the LSE Academic Code (https://info.lse.ac.uk/current-students/lse-academic-code) which specifies a "minimum of two hours taught contact time per week when the course is running in the Michaelmas and/or Lent terms". Social Policy courses are predominantly taught through a combination of in-person Lectures and In person classes/seminars. Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.


This course is taught in both MT and LT.

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 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.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 15.5
2:1 69
2:2 14.1
Third 1.4
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2021/22: 29

Average class size 2021/22: 7

Capped 2021/22: Yes (30)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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