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Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA aims to equip students with the skills necessary to play an informed role in debates concerning distributive justice and health. It explores the central ethical, economic and political problems facing health policy in the UK and globally, especially in relation to social justice.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: 3-5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£9,835 (FT) N/A (PT)
£20,540 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard; however, relevant employment/volunteering will be taken into consideration.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

The programme covers relevant areas of moral and political theory, comparative policy analysis, and health economics, to allow students to come to a wide understanding of background issues, history and constraints, in order to be able to make a positive contribution to current debates in this field.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), five optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma of 120 credits is available, consisting of three core modules (45 credits), and five optional modules (75 credits).

Core modules

  • Philosophy Politics and Economics of Health
  • Health Policy and Reform
  • Key Principles of Health Economics

Optional modules

  • Bioethics Governance
  • Comparative Human Rights Law
  • Law and Governance of Global Health
  • Global Justice and Health
  • Illness
  • Madness
  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health
  • Ethics and Regulation of Research
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • Normative Ethics
  • Public Ethics
  • Health Inequalities over the Life-course
  • From Imperial Medicine to Global Health, 1860s to Present
  • Death, Dying and Consequences
  • Disability and Development
  • Introduction to Deafhood
  • Global Health and Development
  • Anthropology and Psychiatry
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Modules from other UCL Master's-level programmes, subject to approval from the Course Director and timetabling constraints.

Or any other suitable module from other UCL Master's-level programmes, subject to approval from the course Director and timetabling constraints


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through examinations, presentations and coursework (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA


Applicants for this programme may be eligible for a number of funding opportunities including UCL graduate scholarships.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Wellcome Trust Scholarship

UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Graduates have gone on to funded research in bioethics and in health policy, and to jobs in the health service, law, journalism, as well as medical education.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Journal development manager, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Doctorate of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Health Policy Adviser, Doctors of the World UK
  • PhD Critical Theory, University of Brighton
  • Policy Officer, WHO (World Health Organization) and studying Medicine, The University of Western Australia


The programme gives students the ability to think precisely and rigorously about complex problems in health systems and beyond; to work with others to explore solutions; and to write cogently and concisely. Public and private sector health employers and NGOs particularly prize these skills in graduates. The skills that the course teaches also provide an ideal springboard to further academic study.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This MA is the only Master's programme in the world of its type. The compulsory modules provide necessary core skills, while the wide range of options enables students to further their own particular interests.

UCL is at the forefront of research in interdisciplinary research and teaching in philosophy, health humanities and global health through units such as the Health Humanities Centre, the Institute for Global Health and the Institute of Health Equity. The programme draws on highly regarded researchers in a range of UCL departments, and students benefit by instruction from some of the leaders in their fields.

Students further benefit from UCL's location in London, which is one of the world centres of philosophical activity, home of a number of internationally renowned journals - Philosophy; Mind & Language; Mind - and which enjoys regular visiting speakers from across the world. London has over 60 active philosophers making it one of the largest and most varied philosophical communities in the world.

Department: Centre for Multi-disciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry

Student / staff numbers › 54 staff › 213 taught students › 58 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Centre for Multi-disciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry
Interdisciplinary programme: see contributing departments

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"I am interested in public health, and this Master's provides the necessary tools to understand all the various aspects and issues surrounding public health."

Trinidad Covarrubias

Philosophy, Politics and Economy of Health

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is particularly suitable for graduates with a background in medicine, social science or philosophy who wish to specialise in this area. It will also be of interest to those already working in the health service, whether in a managerial, policy or medical role.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health at graduate level
  • why you want to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme offers.

Contact information

Page last modified on 27 October 2016 at 11:10 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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