Boy with balloon - MSc Global Health Policy



MSc Global Health Policy

About the Programme

The GHPU taught Master’s programme in Global Health Policy is a one-year MSc programme that explores the issues that shape population health around the world. From the impact of globalisation and the recent development of influential global health partnerships, to the complex relationships between health objectives and the trade policies of leading states, the MSc in Global Health Policy is designed to develop students’ capacity to understand and critically appraise key population health issues and to apply concepts and theories within policy studies, international political economy and public health science.

Click here for the Degree Programme Timetable

Programme Aims and Objectives

Over the course of the last decade, global health has received dramatically increased attention, both as an emergent academic discipline and in terms of heightened policy salience. Global health concerns have become a central component of foreign and security policy and of development and human rights agendas. Global health perspectives are reshaping debates around the social impacts of global economic and environmental change.

  • Through the MSc in Global Health Policy, you will explore the issues that shape population health and build the knowledge and skills necessary to address them

This programme is designed to develop students’ capacity to understand, critically appraise and respond to a range of key global health issues, from universal health coverage, to the emergence of infectious disease outbreaks, to the challenge of regulating multinational corporations as part of efforts to combat non-communicable diseases.

On completion of this programme, you will be able to understand and apply key concepts and theories relating to social and economic determinants of population health status, public health policy norms, epidemiology and research methods, and processes and institutions of public policymaking.

More specifically, you will develop the skills to:

  • apply social science perspectives to public health questions
  • assess the changing context of public health policy formulation
  • analyse diverse source materials and apply these to public health questions
  • articulate your own conception of core challenges confronting public health
  • engage in public health advocacy
  • work across disciplinary boundaries


The MSc Global Health Policy programme has two components, a taught component and a dissertation component. The taught component involves lectures and coursework, with the latter assessed through a range of practical and scholarly activities, from policy briefs and blogs, to essays and presentations. For the dissertation component, students carry out a piece of independent research, either in conjunction with GHPU staff (a standard dissertation), or in conjunction with GHPU staff and an external organisation as part of a work-based placement (a work-based project dissertation). The dissertation is a unique and exciting opportunity to undertake an extended piece of scholarship in an area of specific interest to you.

Studying with GHPU

The MSc Global Health Policy programme is situated within the Global Health Policy Unit, which is located in University’s School of Social and Political Science. This reflects the programme’s reach across traditional boundaries, linking policy analysis, public health, social policy, economics, sociology, medicine and epidemiology. Unlike many traditional global health programmes, this programme offers the benefit of a more interdisciplinary orientation and a greater emphasis on policy than would, for example, a master’s of public health (MPH) programme. Moreover, the MSc Global Health Policy programme offers innovative research-led teaching that draws on academic expertise from a variety of disciplines, while also benefitting from close links with the Centre for Population Health Sciences in the University's medical college.

Future Careers

The MSc Global Health Policy is designed for individuals interested in a wide range of global health-related careers, including roles in national, regional or global health organisations, research institutions, non-governmental organisations and private sector consultancies.

Our students come from a wide variety of countries at all levels of economic development and from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, with many using the MSc as an investment to develop their careers or to move into a more policy-focused role. While the programme has a strong policy emphasis, it also includes an academic orientation, and is therefore good preparation for further research at the PhD level.

Contact Us

If you would like to apply to the MSc in Global Health Policy, or you are interested in finding out more, we invite you to get in touch with us.

  • For queries relating to entry requirements, programme fees and funding, or the application process, please contact the SPS Postgraduate Admissions Office:

Postgraduate Admissions Team

Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3064/5074


  • For queries relating to the aims and objectives of the programme, specific courses available, and other programme content-related questions, please contact the Programme Director:

Dr Emily Adrion


How to Apply

Apply to this Programme through the Degree Finder, following this link.

Fees and Scholarships

  • Full fees information, including part time fees, is available here.
  • Information on how to pay is available here.
  • Information on funding and scholarships is here.

Bologna Compatibility

Like all University of Edinburgh Master’s programmes, this degree is fully Bologna compatible, and is recognised across Europe and beyond under the principles of the Bologna framework. The programme comprises 180 Edinburgh credits, which are equivalent to 90 ECTS credits.


Edinburgh4Learning offers an intuitive and easy to use funding information tool which allows students to search using a series of handy drop-down lists. Students can access the Edinburgh4Learning portal direct from the Scholarships and Student Funding Services website. Registration requires a valid university of Edinburgh e-mail address and in a matter of moments students can access numerous funding opportunities to help them during their studies.

Chevening Scholarships for International Students

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK. The programme provides full or part funding for full-time courses at postgraduate level, normally a one-year Master’s degree, in any subject and at any UK university.