MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Health Policy
  • Application code Apply through the LSHTM
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Contact LSHTM
  • Home part-time: Contact LSHTM
  • Overseas full-time: Contact LSHTM
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing teaches you to critically analyse issues in health policy, planning and financing. The programme enables students to devise appropriate health policy responses, and make valuable contributions to local, national, or international health services and system.

This is a joint programme co-designed and co-delivered with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), where students will benefit from the expertise, resources, and networks available at both institutions.

What you will learn:

  • Critically understand a diverse range of international and national health policies, including current and emerging trends
  • Gain knowledge of selected topics related to the study of health policy, planning and financing, such as epidemiology, health economics, and social sciences
  • Develop skills in applying conceptual and theoretical knowledge using a multidisciplinary approach to formulate, design, implement, evaluate and appraise health policies and plans
  • Know how to assess and communicate empirical evidence, including critically appraising debates relevant to issues of health policy
  • Grow your research and presentation skills, including the ability to plan and carry out a literature search to evaluate research findings

For more details on programme structure, please visit LSHTM website.

Who is it for?

The programme is ideal for anyone interested in understanding policy making for health services from a nuanced position, to make effective decisions in the delivery of health services in low-, middle- and high-income settings.

Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds – most students have experience working in health policy or public health services, with at least one year’s experience a requirement for admission. This means you’ll be working alongside students who have an enormous wealth of expertise in clinical, policy, or research-related settings with relevance to health.

The LSE Department of Health Policy offers a wide range of programmes in health policy and health economics. Visit our website to find out which programme is best for you.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing
Start date 30 September 2024
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However, please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Availability See LSHTM website
Minimum entry requirement See LSHTM website
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements See LSHTM website
Location  Houghton Street, London (LSE), and Keppel Street, London (LSHTM)

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 Policy, Planning and Financing

You must satisfy the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine general entrance requirements and the additional programme-specific entrance requirements, to be considered for admission.

See LSHTM entrance requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees and funding opportunities 2024/25 for MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing

See fee and funding information on LSHTM website


Programme structure and courses

You will take the LSE course Financing Health Care, and one compulsory choice between two options at LSHTM. In addition, you will choose courses from a range of possible combinations at both LSE and LSHTM. In addition, you will complete a 10,000-word dissertation on any topic in the field. Visit our website to view all course overview videos on YouTube.

HP400 Financing Health Care (0.5 units)  LSE
This course aims to give students a thorough grounding in health financing policy. It focuses on the health financing functions of collecting revenue, pooling funds and purchasing services, as well as on policy choices concerning coverage, resource allocation and market structure. The course mainly draws on examples from health financing policy in European countries, but the general principles studied apply internationally.
Watch course overview video.

1107 Health Services (0.5 units)  LSHTM
Provides students with a range of ways of thinking about health services and health systems. Drawing on epidemiology, history, medicine, economics and sociology, the module will help students understand how services function, the reasons services have developed in the way they have, the basis of some universal, persistent problems, and possible solutions to such difficulties.
Watch course overview video.
1117 Health Policy Process and Power (0.5 units)  LSHTM
Equips students to study or work in the health policy arena at international, national and local levels, including: reviewing different basic theoretical approaches and concepts used in policy analysis; analysing the political system within which policies are made and the contextual factors that influence policy change; identifying the different arenas involved in health policy, the actors within these arenas, and the key features of processes of policy identification, formulation, and implementation; and planning how to use in research and/or decision-making the policy analysis framework introduced during the course. 
Watch course overview video.

HP409 Dissertation for MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing (1 unit)  LSE
The dissertation is an independent research project of 10,000 words on any topic in the field of health policy, planning and/or financing. The main body of the dissertation should include the background to the research, method of investigation, results of the analysis, discussion and policy implications and recommendations.

Courses to the value of three units from a range of options at LSE and LSHTM. 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 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.

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 lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching 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


All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course.All full-unit courses are assessed by three hour unseen examinations in the Spring Term. Half-units are assessed by two hour unseen examinations. Some of the half-unit optional courses also have group/individual project work as part of the assessment. 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.

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.

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. 

IT help – support is available 24 hours a day to assist with all your technology queries.  

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.

Student life

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. 

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from. 

The campus 

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

Life in London 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

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

Student stories

Visit our website to meet our alumni



Camille, France



Francis, Nigeria



Nuha, United Kingdom
“I would definitely recommend this programme to people who are passionate about health and eager to learn and grow under amazing guidance and mentorship. There are a host of opportunities available to you at the LSE, from career support to research opportunities, and the availability of many events in different fields means you can always continue learning and growing. The teaching support has been excellent, since the professors and seminar leaders are interested in your thoughts and development. From the day I started this MSc, I knew I wanted to savor each one, however stressful it may have been, and I am grateful to have been able to enjoy it as much as I could have done this year! My year at the LSE will always be fondly remembered as the place I grew the most and connected with people from around the world, and this experience has taught me so much about making the most of whatever opportunities come my way.“



Jasmine, Canada
Internal Medicine Resident Physician

“As a front line healthcare worker, I entered the Health Policy, Planning and Financing programme with the skills to care for my individual patients. The programme has provided me with the knowledge and skills to advocate for ALL my patients  at the policy level. The value of this programme is in its networking and work opportunities that supplement the in-class learning. By the end of the MSc, I was applying my degree to make substantial transformations to a real national health system. It was these experiences offered by the programme that exceeded my expectations.“  



Mayank, India
Medical Officer/Physician

“The experience of studying this programme at LSE has been truly incredible. I strongly feel I have gathered the much-needed skillset which I was missing as a physician and would now steer my new career path in health policy. The most attractive feature about this programme was the range of students from varied professional backgrounds and work experience. I learned a lot from the many discussions with my peers inside and outside the lecture rooms. Also, getting exposure of two world class institutions (LSE & LSHTM) was highly significant for me to choose this programme. And to top it all, the excellent faculty at LSE made the entire journey very comforting and enriching. Students looking forward to applying for this programme should be prepared for a year of insightful academics along with career events, socials and outstation trips with friends. Reflecting on my time at LSE just feels that it ended too soon!“



Angel, Spain
Head of Delegation for Algeria/Sahara, Spanish Red Cross

“I have been a humanitarian aid worker for the past 10 years as a health delegate on a wide variety of missions helping vulnerable people across the world. While working I have taken a few breaks where I have studied new international protocols and continued my education and studies, including my MSc at LSE. The mix of fieldwork and studying has really helped me develop my professional skills and I have been able to apply these in my missions for the Red Cross.

The degree content at LSE was exactly what I was looking for, providing me with the perfect mix of economics and health policy which has given me great support in my professional development. The professors on my course were excellent, not just in their teaching but also in their one to one interaction where I was able to learn about their experiences and gain invaluable advice. Attracting the brightest minds in the world LSE gave me the opportunity to make great friendships and contacts with people who share similar passions and interests as me. My only regret is that the experience was all too short and I wish I could have stayed longer, but I am extremely happy with everything my time at LSE has provided me.“


Meet the students of the LSE Department of Health Policy




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.

Career destinations after graduation are wide and varied, reflecting the diverse international mix and multi-disciplinary nature of the Health Policy, Planning and Financing class. Graduates from the programme are typically employed by national governments, international organisations, research/management consultancy, industry and the voluntary sector.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Mentorship Programme

As a student in the LSE Department of Health Policy, you will be able to apply to take part in our Mentorship Programme. The programme connects current students with one of our alumni, active in a wide range of fields, to provide career mentoring as students graduate from the MSc courses. The programme gives students greater insight into career prospects after graduation and will help students build connections with current health policy leaders and experts to build their network. Learn more about the programme and our mentors on our website.

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.

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