MPhil/PhD Health Policy and Health Economics

  • Graduate research
  • Department of Health Policy
  • Application code L4ZC
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Closed
  • Overseas full-time: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The MPhil/PhD Health Policy and Health Economics at LSE covers 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 are expected to take training and transferable skills courses, including the core course in Advanced Health Policy and Health Economics. You can choose other taught courses tailored to your existing academic foundations and research interests, and streamed around health policy or health economics subject areas.

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. The long-established and highly regarded research centres affiliated with the Department are: LSE HealthCare Policy and Evaluation Centre at LSE (CPEC), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School of Social Care Research (SSCR), the African Health Observatory, 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.

Programme details

Key facts

MPhil/PhD Health Policy and Health Economics
Start date 30 September 2024
Application deadline 23 May 2024. However, please note the funding deadlines
Duration Four years full-time. Please note that LSE allows part-time PhD study only under limited circumstances. Please see for more information. If you wish to study part-time, you should mention this (and the reasons for it) in your statement of academic purpose, and discuss it at interview if you are shortlisted.
Financial support LSE PhD Studentships, ESRC funding (see 'Fees and funding')
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 23 May 2024, 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.

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 2024/25 for MPhil/PhD Health Policy and Health Economics

Home students: £4,829 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas students: £22,632 for the first year

The fee is likely to rise over subsequent years of the programme. The School charges 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).

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

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 or overseas student - otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

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 generous scholarships each year to home and overseas students.

This programme is currently eligible for LSE PhD Studentships, and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding. 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 the first round of LSE PhD Studentships and ESRC funding: 15 January 2024
Funding deadline for the second round of LSE PhD Studentships: 25 April 2024

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. Find out more about financial support.

Office of Health Economics (OHE) Studentship  

This programme is also currently eligible for a studentship funded by the Office of Health Economics (OHE). For further details, please see here.

Funding deadline for OHE studentship: 25 April 2024

Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) Studentship 

The Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) affiliated to the Department of Health Policy is currently recruiting for two full-time MPhil/PhD studentships, with a start date of October 2024.  

The Centre hosts the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Adult Social Care (ASCRU) and is a partner in the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Economics of Social and Health Care (ESHCRU). New 5-year programmes of work will start in both Units from January 2024.   

For further details, please see here.  

Funding deadline for CPEC studentship: 28 February 2024 

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

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do.  

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page). 

2) Go to the International Students section of our website. 

3) Select your country. 

4) Select ‘Graduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

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

Fourth 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 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 Supervisory Team, consisting of a primary and one or two secondary Supervisors. It is a requirement that at least one of the Supervisory Team is a member of the Department’s teaching faculty.

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 Spring 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.

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small, there are a range of people you can speak to who will be happy to help.  

Department librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies. 

Accommodation service – they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to specific courses. 

Disability and Wellbeing Service – they are experts in long-term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme and arranging exam adjustments. They run groups and workshops. 

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LSE Faith Centre – this is home to LSE's diverse religious activities and transformational interfaith leadership programmes, as well as a space for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a main space for worship. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and is open to all students and staff from all faiths and none.  

Language Centre – the Centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern language courses in nine languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication; and language learning community activities.

LSE Careers ­– with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights. 

LSE Library  founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and is a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide. 

LSE LIFE – this is where you should go to develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom; offers one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision; and provides drop-in sessions for academic and personal support. (See ‘Teaching and assessment’). 

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding. 

PhD Academy – this is available for PhD students, wherever they are, to take part in interdisciplinary events and other professional development activities and access all the services related to their registration. 

Sardinia House Dental Practice – this offers discounted private dental services to LSE students. 

St Philips Medical Centre – based in Pethwick-Lawrence House, the Centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.  

Student advisers – we have a Deputy Head of Student Services (Advice and Policy) and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

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As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

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Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget


Quick Careers Facts for the Department of Health Policy

Median salary of our PG students 15 months after graduating: £38,000          

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

  • Health and Social Care  
  • Education, Teaching and Research            
  • FMCG, Manufacturing and Retail              
  • Government, Public Sector and Policy   
  • Consultancy

The data was collected as part of the Graduate Outcomes survey, which is administered by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Graduates from 2020-21 were the fourth group to be asked to respond to Graduate Outcomes. Median salaries are calculated for respondents who are paid in UK pounds sterling and who were working in full-time employment.

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.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

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. 

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