MPhil/PhD Health Policy and Health Economics

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Health Policy
  • Application code L4ZC
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Health Policy and Health Economics at LSE cover the choice, design, analysis, and evaluation of health and social care policies, institutions and practice in Low-, Middle-, and High-Income settings. This is an interdisciplinary programme, drawing on disciplines relevant to the research topic, and the health-specific and social care-specific application of an array of social sciences.

The programme trains students to undertake research that employs the tools of policy and economic analysis and qualitative and quantitative empirical techniques in order to understand, critically appraise, and evaluate the complexities of health and social care policy and practice in a global context. You will be exposed to a range of different theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches, and will be expected to learn technical and conceptual skills, so that you will become autonomous in carrying out research in line with your progression, and will demonstrate deep and synoptic understanding of your field of study.

You will become a member of a vibrant and exciting research community, with access to the Department of Health Policy's affiliated research centres and supervision by expert faculty. You are expected to take a range of training and transferable skills courses, including the core course in Advanced Health Policy and Health Economics. Other taught courses provided are tailored to your existing academic foundations and research interests, and streamed around health policy or health economics subject areas.

The long-established and highly regarded research centres affiliated with the Department are: LSE Health, Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at LSE (CPEC), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School of Social Care Research (SSCR), the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), with a total of over 70 academic staff based across these centres.

Teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2020 
Information on how LSE will deliver teaching and learning in Michaelmas term can be found here.

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD Health Policy and Health Economics
Start date 28 September 2020
Application deadline 19 June 2020 - however please note the funding deadlines
Duration Four years full-time
Tuition fee UK/EU: £4,435 (for the first year) - provisional
Overseas: £19,368 (for the first year)
Financial support

ESRC DTC Studentship (deadline: 10 January 2020)
LSE PhD Studentships (deadline: 27 April 2020)
CPEC PhD Studentships (deadline: 27 May 2020)

Minimum entry requirement Merit (60+) in a relevant master's or equivalent. Special circumstances based on relevant experience will be evaluated as exceptional
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Research - please see the 'Assessing your application' section below
Location  Houghton Street, London

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

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MPhil/PhD Health Policy and Health Economics

The minimum entry requirement for this programme is a merit (60 per cent and above, or equivalent) in a relevant master's degree.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet our minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission. 

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications for research programmes that complement the academic interests of members of staff in the Department. Details about the supervisory interests of staff members can be found on the Department of Health Policy’s website. If you share research interests, you are welcome to apply.

Please note that admission to the doctoral programme will not be made by prospective supervisors, but by the Department's PhD Programme Directors: Professor Andrew Street, Dr Mylene Lagarde, Dr Justin Parkhurst and Dr Huseyin Naci. Admission is subject to there being appropriate supervisory expertise and support available in the Department.

What we take into consideration

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including:

  • academic achievement (including existing and pending qualifications with certified transcripts)
  • statement of academic purpose
  • references
  • CV
  • research proposal of maximum 2,500 words
  • writing sample of between 2,500 and 7,000 words. It must be typed in English. If not in English originally, you should translate the piece yourself. If an article, preference is for single-authored; if an essay, preference is for one from your most recent programme of study. The piece of written work is ideally related to your proposed topic of research or more broadly, to the discipline or area for which you are applying.

The above listed guidance is set by the Department of Health Policy and is specific to your application to the MPhil/PhD programme in Health Policy and Health Economics.

You may wish to review the School's central guidance on supporting documents here. The main steps of your application are outlined by the School. You can familiarise yourself with a range of likely interview questions ahead of writing your application as well. You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE, but we recommend that you do. See our English language requirements for further information. LSE's International Students Visa Advice Team will be able to competently advise on any visa queries you may have.

When to apply

The application deadline for this programme is 19 June 2020, but it is advantageous to apply well before the deadline. To be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Programme structure and courses

The programme is based around a set of taught courses which provide you with the skill set necessary to undertake your research in your chosen thesis area. In the first year, you will register initially for the MPhil programme, and undertake specific training in research methods as required. In subsequent years, you will continue your research under the guidance of your supervisors, participate in seminars and present your work.

Throughout the programme, you also have the option of taking relevant courses provided by the PhD Academy, and offered by other academic departments, after discussion with your supervisor/s. The preference is for students to select from the courses offered by the Department of Health Policy or the Department of Methodology. However, courses from other departments may be taken, subject to the approval of the supervisor/s and that of the hosting departments. 

First year

Advanced Health Policy and Health Economics
The PhD programme will be centred around this core course. Alongside a set of traditional and bespoke lectures, the course includes a series of seminars given by faculty in the Department of Health Policy and external speakers, thereby guaranteeing exposure to different materials, research areas, and theoretical and analytical techniques. The course will provide you with insights into the breadth of work in the areas of health and social care policy and health economics, and will act as a supportive critical forum for discussion of each PhD student's work-in-progress. The course features a journal club where key articles are critically appraised. In the second and third years of enrolment, full-time students will be required to participate in work-in-progress seminars where students present work relating to their theses and contribute fully to discussions on their colleagues' work, and will be encouraged to attend external conferences.

Optional courses to the value of one unit

Second year

Advanced Health Policy and Health Economics
See above

Third year

Advanced Health Policy and Health Economics
See above

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

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.

Supervision and progression


You will have a First (or Primary) and a Second (or Secondary) Supervisor. The primary supervisor will be based in the Department of Health Policy, encompassing the affiliated research centres and units: LSE Health, the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU at LSE), the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR) and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

The role of primary supervisor is to help define the area of research, advise on sources, choice of materials and methods, and advise on attendance at courses and seminars. Later on, the primary supervisor will discuss the preparation and writing of the student's thesis. This supervisor will also attend to administrative matters, including the annual progress reviews, appointment of examiners, and arrangements for examinations.

The secondary supervisor is likely to be based in the Department of Health Policy, or may be based in another department at LSE. The secondary supervisor's role involves keeping in touch with the student's work, providing additional specialist inputs from time to time, contributing second opinion in the face of difficult choices, and stepping in for the primary supervisor in case of absence or illness.

Progression and assessment

You are required to undertake Major Review (also known as the Upgrade) in the summer term of your first year. Following Major Review, a decision is taken whether to upgrade you from MPhil to the PhD programme. In order to earn the upgrade, you need to meet a number of criteria, including achieving a certain grade in taught courses, submitting a 5,000-word thesis document detailing your thesis proposal.

For students who successfully upgrade to PhD enrolment, there will be another review in second and third year of full-time study. Students will need to meet specific criteria to progress to each following year.


Recent doctoral graduates who were supervised by staff in the Department of Health Policy went on to be employed in international organisations such as the WHO, IMF, World Bank, European Union, OECD, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the United Nations. Some joined national and regional Ministries of Health, the English NHS - and others went on to work with consultancy firms, pharmaceutical companies, and think tanks such as The King's Fund and the Health Foundation.

Support for your career

Alongside leading organisations' career presentations and events, LSE Careers also offers resources and bespoke advice to assist PhD students with their career progression within or outside of academia. 

Fees and funding

Every research student is charged a fee in line with the fee structure for their programme. The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2020/21 for MPhil/PhD Health Policy and Health Economics

UK/EU students: £4,435 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students: £19,368 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges UK/EU research students in line with the level of fee that Research Councils recommend. The fees for overseas students are likely to rise in line with the assumed percentage increase in pay costs (ie, 4 per cent per annum).

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay and any financial support you are eligible for will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student - otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Scholarships, studentships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and therefore provide over £13 million in scholarships each year to graduate students from the UK, from the EU, and from outside the EU.

This programme is currently eligible for an ESRC DTC StudentshipLSE PhD Studentships and CPEC PhD Studentships. Selection for the Studentships is based on receipt of an application for a place - including all ancillary document, before the relevant funding deadline. Students that hold LSE PhD Studentships will be expected to contribute to the teaching in the Department of Health Policy.

Funding deadline for ESRC DTP Studentship: 10 January 2020.
Funding deadline for LSE PhD Studentships: 27 April 2020.
Funding deadline for CPEC PhD Studentships: 27 May 2020 (deadline extended).

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

External funding 

There may be other funding opportunities available through other organisations or governments and we recommend you investigate these options as well. For example:

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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