MSc Health and International Development

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of International Development
  • Application code L4UP
  • Starting 2020
  • UK/EU full-time: Closed
  • UK/EU part-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Overseas part-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

PLAY_LSE Health&InternationalDevelopment

The MSc Health and International Development programme explores the key issues and inter-relationships that exist between public health, global politics, and international development. Coronavirus [COVID-19] lays bare these interconnections and dependencies. Many of the challenges faced by international development policy makers are related to public health issues, and this programme will provide you with the skills needed to address and overcome these challenges.

The MSc Health and International Development will help you to understand the complex relationships between health and poverty/inequality in and across low and middle income countries. You will also evaluate multi-disciplinary evidence on a range of global health issues and interventions and apply this evidence to policy analysis. Our teachers routinely update the content of their courses to reflect contemporary and emerging health and development issues such as COVID-19 and the movement to decolonise global health. The experience you gain from this programme will enable you to understand how health, poverty and inequality interact. A compulsory Research Design course will equip you with the practical and theoretical principles of research design.

The MSc Health and International Development programme is flexible and enables you to shape your studies to your own needs and interests. For MSc Health and International Development students who want to gain experience of consulting work, there is a guaranteed option of doing an optional course in Consultancy in International Development for an external client. Other optional courses include: Poverty; Evaluation in Health, Development and Public Policy; African Development; Migration; Economic Development; Sexual and Reproductive Health; Gender and Social Change in the Global South; Complex Emergencies; Managing Humanitarianism; Information Communication Technologies and Socioeconomic Development; and, Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots Activism.

Additional extra-curricular optional activities on the MSc Health and International Development may include a trip to Geneva to meet with international organisations working in the field of health, and a UK-based weekend residential programme focused on health and humanitarianism.

The MSc Health and International Development programme welcomes full- and part-time students – including those that want to combine work with study – from a wide range of backgrounds. The programme also welcomes applications from intercalating medical students from all countries.

Students may also apply for the Wellcome Award MSc in Health and International Development scholarship, which is a full scholarship awarded to one student each year.  For students who plan to do the MSc Health and International Development with a Population Studies specialism, nominations may be made to the Population Investigation Committee (PIC) Masters Studentship Scheme in Population Studies.

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

MSc Health and International Development
Start date 28 September 2020
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24-28 months part-time
Applications 2018 158
Intake 2018 32
Tuition fee UK/EU: £14,640
Overseas: £22,608
Financial support Graduate support scheme (deadline 27 April 2020)
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'Assessing your application')
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 MSc Health and International Development

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the 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 from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

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

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however 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. 

Please note: The policy on intercalating onto the MSc Health and International Development programme is:

- Students on a US medical degree are always qualified to apply

- Students who will have completed no more than two years of a UK medical degree on beginning a prospective MSc at LSE are not typically qualified to apply 

- Students who will have completed at least three years of a UK medical degree on beginning a prospective MSc at LSE are qualified to apply

- Students on non-UK/US medical degrees should contact Graduate Admissions in the first instance

Programme structure and courses

You will take the compulsory courses Key Issues in Development Studies and Key Issues in Global Health and Development, and will choose two courses focusing on health and development. You will also choose further optional courses from a wide range, either within International Development or from other departments and institutes within the School such as Geography and Environment, Health Policy, Social Policy and Psychological and Behavioural Science.

In addition, you will complete an unassessed course on the research process, in preparation for the dissertation, an independent research project on an approved international development topic of your choice.

(* denotes half unit)  

Key Issues in Development Studies*
Provides an overview of the key issues and debates in international development, featuring lectures from leading LSE experts on subjects such as climate change, conflict, poverty, the financial crisis, demography and democratisation, among other topics.

Key Issues in Global Health and Development*
Provides an up-to-date and comprehensive account of demographic change and population trends in lower income countries by looking at recent changes in fertility, mortality and migration.

Research Design and Dissertation in International Development
Combines a dissertation (an independent research project of 10,000 words on an approved topic of your choice within health and development studies) with supporting lectures on research methods and the use of research in development practice.

Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking and Practice (unassessed)
This non-assessed course introduces students to the practical world of development which will facilitate their career paths and prepare them for the consultancy project, and introduce students to the interface between policy practice and development academia.

Fundamentals of Research Design for International Development (unassessed)
Introduces MSc students in the Department of International Development to theoretical and practical foundations of social science research design.

Courses to the value of one unit from a range of options

Two from:
Population and Development: An Analytic Approach*
Examines different analytic approaches to the main interrelationships between population change and socio-economic development.
Population, Health and Development: Evidence and Projections*
Overviews key methods used for planning in population and development.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Programmes: Design, Implementation and Evaluation*
Deals with the effectiveness of sexual and reproductive health programmes, especially those that deliver services.
Global Health Challenges: Epidemics, Disease, and Public Health Response*
Looks at the relationship of population change and global health, and follows a multidisciplinary approach by integrating demography, public health and epidemiology.
Critical Perspectives on Global Health and Development*
Concerned with inter-relationships between challenges to human health and health systems in the developing world and their socio-economic, cultural, historic and political context.

International Development Consultancy Project

To find 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.


Students who choose to concentrate their electives and dissertation in a certain topic area may elect to have a specialism in "African Development”, “Population Studies” or "Applied Development Economics" attached to their degree certificate and transcript. To obtain the specialism indication, students must meet the criteria below.

African Development: students must take African Development (DV418) and African Political Economy (DV435). Further to this, their dissertation topic must be approved as being appropriate for this specialism.

Population Studies: students must take the following two courses: Population and Development: Global Health and Population Change (DV444); and Population, Health and Development: Evidence and Projections (DV456). Further to this, their dissertation topic must be approved as being appropriate for this specialism.

Applied Development Economics: students must take at least two of the following three courses: Economic Development Policy I (DV490), Economic Development Policy II (DV491) and Economic Development Policy III (DV492). Further to this, their dissertation topic must be approved as being appropriate for this specialism.

If no such election is made, the degree certificate will state “Health and International Development” without further specification.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total. This includes sessions such as lectures, classes, seminars or workshops. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as assistant professors, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

The programme is taught through a combination of lectures and seminar discussions.


This programme is assessed using a combination of coursework, written examinations and a dissertation. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic mentor who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

Through the Language Centre, you can access English language support both before you start at LSE and during your studies. Our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme focuses on the skills required to perform in an English speaking academic environment across the core subject areas you will encounter during your time at LSE.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Preliminary reading

Extensive background reading is not essential, but the following are some introductory texts that you may wish to look at before commencing the programme.

  • P Farmer, J Y Kim, A Kleinman and M Basilico Reimagining global health: an introduction (Univ of California Press 2013).
  • T Dyson Population and Development: the demographic transition (Zed, 2010)
  • M Merson, R E Black and A Mills Global health: diseases, programs, systems and policies (Jones & Bartlett Learning 2012)
  • Deaton, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality (Princeton University Press, 2013).
  • A Sen, Development as Freedom (Anchor, 1999).


Students in the Department come from a wide range of international and professional backgrounds. Graduates from the Department of International Development go on to work for a wide range of employers including NGOs, INGOs, government, the private sector and research institutions.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Annie Headshot LinkedIn

Annie Bliss
MSc Health and International Development (2018)

"I completed my MSc in Health and International Development in 2018. Two days later, I started my current role at Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) as Communications and Policy Officer. It's been both very interesting and validating to see the skills and knowledge I gained during the course being put into practical application – particularly those relating to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), demography and global disparities and barriers in access to health care. For example, when drafting reports, position and policy papers and participating in High-level UN meetings, I see my work directly contributing to the formulation of the policy I was studying just months before! The varied nature of the course allowed me to discover which areas I am most interested and help balance a heavy and varied workload in my current role. I can definitely say that the course helped me get this job and has informed my success within the role."


 Sophie Rawe- Headshot

Sophie Rawe
MSc Health and International Development (2018)

"Since finishing my masters in Health and International Development at LSE I have taken up the position of Programme Officer for the Great Lakes region (DRC and Burundi) . Our programming focuses on improving education access and quality  for the most marginalised children in the most hard to reach places using a community based approach. My masters was key in helping me get to grips with the complexities of working within the humanitarian and development sector."

Student stories

Sameer Bhutani

MSc Health and International Development

I graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor's in Biology and minors in Chemistry, Heath Studies, and Neuroscience. I am taking the MSc Health and International Development programme to expand my understanding of health. As someone who wants to become a physician, a majority of my education has been focused on science and the technical side of health. The programme allows me to get outside of that box and learn about health on a more holistic level. What I enjoy most about this programme are the diverse lecture and class options in various disciplines and access to the Humanitarian Consultancy Project. As a new student, this programme has allowed me to quickly get hands on experiences in areas that interest me professionally and academically.

Kirsty Fuller

MSc Health and International Development

I am a mature student with a background in modern languages. I co-founded a consumer and cultural insight agency which I co-led for the best part of 20 years. My experience to date has been primarily in business, working with large multinational clients and co- leading an agency team of over 300 people. I decided to take a break from business and chose to undertake an MSc in Health and International Development for two reasons.

The first is the desire to study and develop a better understanding of the challenges of the developing world. The second is related to my role as a trustee of a recently formed charity working with adolescent girls. I wanted to become better informed about health and development issues in order to provide a higher level of strategic support.

I am enjoying the exposure to fresh perspectives on economic and human development and to the multi-faceted  dimensions of health. I like to be challenged and intellectually stimulated and this is an environment which offers both. There is also a wealth of opportunities to attend lectures by eminent external speakers and to be inspired to develop personal interests and lines of enquiry which will culminate in a dissertation. There is considerable flexibility in course choices which allows for a master's tailored to you.  I have been exploring everything from the legacy of colonialism, to the significance of the demographic transition to the future of the WHO and much more besides. It is going to be an enriching year.

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee 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 MSc Health and International Development

UK/EU students: £14,640
Overseas students: £22,608

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.

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Scholarships and other funding

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

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships

Students may also apply for the Wellcome Award MSc in Health and International Development scholarship. This scholarship, awarded to one student each year, covers the full fees for the programme and provides the recipient with a stipend to put towards living costs. This scholarship is awarded on the basis of both financial need and academic merit.

For students who plan to do the MSc Health and International Development with a Population Studies specialism, nominations may be made to the Population Investigation Committee (PIC) Masters Studentship Scheme in Population Studies

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 
Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 27 April 2020.

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.

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

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