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 abroad, especially in relation to social justice.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Flexible: 3-5 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £N/A (PT)
£18,670 (FT) £9,285 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Fees note: Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. The tuition fee schedule for 2016/17 entry can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

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: Good

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, political and historical analysis, and 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
  • Cost-benefit Analysis and Health


  • Students choose five of the following:
  • Bioethics Governance
  • Comparative Human Rights Law
  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy I and II
  • Death, Dying and Consequences
  • Disability and Development
  • Ethics in Welfare Economics
  • General Philosophy: Epistemology and Metaphysics
  • General Philosophy: Moral and Political Philosophy
  • Global Health and Development
  • Global Justice and Health
  • Graduate Studies in Moral Philosophy, Ethics and Regulation of Research
  • Health Inequalities over the Life-course
  • Key Principles of Health Economics
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Normative Ethics
  • Public Ethics
  • Research in Philosophy, Justice and Health
  • Modules 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 available on the department web site 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 (where available) below. 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

  • Barrister, One Crown Office (2012)
  • Research Assistant, Taipei University (2012)
  • Graduate Management Trainee, NHS (2012)
  • Technical Officer, WHO (2013)
  • Doctorate of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (2013)


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.

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 health and applied philosophy, through units such as the Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health, 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.

Student / staff ratios › 54 staff › 195 taught students › 58 research students

Department: Centre for Multi-disciplinary & Intercultural Inquiry

Degree reviews

Student review

"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
29 July 2016

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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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