The University of Edinburgh’s Social Policy subject area, where the Global Health Policy Unit is based, ranks in the top 10 of UK Universities in the Research Excellence Framework (2014). With our international focus, and wide reaching networks of collaboration, the Global Health Policy Unit is uniquely placed to be a leader in cutting-edge research and global debates.


COVID-19: policy response and societal impacts

GHPU staff have been at the forefront of research into the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking to understand its impact upon diverse health systems, social groups and policies, and to advise governments and other actors involved in responding.

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Social distancing, health and wellbeing


Unhealthy commodity industries and COVID-19

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Migration, stigma and COVID-19 in Japan

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Vulnerable communities in Tamil Nadu, India

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WHO Advisory Group: Private sector and COVID-19

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COVID-19 and the Social Determinants of Health


The unequal impact of COVID-19

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COVID-19 and the European Union

Universal Health Coverage

Ensuring they everyone has access to needed healthcare is crucial for improving and maintaining human health. At the same time, people need to be protected from being pushed into poverty because of the cost of accessing the care they need. Universal Health Coverage is defined as ensuring that all people have access to high-quality health services that ensures the use of these services does not expose the user the financial hardship. GHPU is at the forefront of research to support policy action in pursuit of these objectives.

Commercial Determinants of Health

The involvement of unhealthy commodity industries (alcohol, tobacco, and ultra-processes food and rinks) in public health policy is an important and contested topic in policy and research. GHPU researchers are at the forefront of these debates.

Global Governance of Health

Our research on global health governance seeks to understand how the process and content of global health policy are being transformed by the powers and policy instruments of international and supranational institutions. At GHPU, we examine contemporary challenges in global health governance and their implications for policy, equity, and opportunities for positive, innovative change.

Knowledge, Evidence and Policy

At GHPU we are deeply committed to understanding how knowledge, research, and expertise may inform, influence, and impact health policy and practice. Our research critically examine these relationships, to gain comprehensive, policy-relevant understandings on a wide variety of health policy topics.