Institute for Global Health


MSc in Health Economics and Decision Science

The MSc Health Economics and Decision Science spans economics, statistics and epidemiology. You will receive training in the theoretical foundations of these disciplines, which is enhanced through applied problems. You will benefit from the programme's strong links to industry and gain a range of skills that are in demand from prospective employers.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

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

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£14,300 (FT)
£7,150 (PT)
£25,800 (FT)
£12,900 (PT)

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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in economics, statistics, mathematics or a related quantitative field such as epidemiology, engineering or physics.

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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:

About this degree

By the end of the programme, you will understand how the political, economic and physical context of health systems frames the application of economics and decision science. You will also be able to conduct rigorous cost-effectiveness analyses of health interventions and technologies to inform policy at regional, national and international levels. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits, compromising eight taught modules worth 15 credits each and a substantive piece of student-led research that will carry 60 credits. You must undertake five compulsory modules. The combination/number of modules studied will depend on whether your background is in statistics or economics.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Health Economics and Decision Science.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

Five core modules (75 credits) and the dissertation module (60 credits) listed below must be taken. 

  • Health Systems in a Global Context
  • Economic Evaluation in Health Care
  • Statistics for Health Economics
  • Econometrics for Health
  • Microeconomics for Health*
  • * Students who do not have an Economics undergraduate degree are required to take Introductory Microeconomics for Health as a pre-requisite before taking Microeconomics for Health
  • Dissertation in Health Economics and Decision Science

A supplementary, non-credit bearing Mathematics and Statistics pre-programme revision course is required of all students.

Optional modules

Three optional modules (45 credits) must be undertaken. Options may include the following:

  • Modelling for Decision Science
  • Bayesian Methods in Health Economics
  • Health Economics
  • The Social Determinants of Global Health
  • Concepts and Controversies in Global Health
  • Climate Change and Health
  • Medical Statistics II
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Global Health Policy
  • Research Methods and Evidence for Global Health
  • Urban Health
  • Evaluating Interventions
  • Health Management: Planning and Programme Design
  • Gender and Global Health
  • Key Principles of Health Economics


All students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of up to 7000 words (60 credits). Some students may conduct their research project together with industry partners.


A number of students will have the opportunity to undertake an industry placement over the summer. This will not be assessed as part of the programme and access to placements is voluntary and based on open competition.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be delivered using a wide range of methods including classroom teaching, peer-led seminars, online lectures and practical exercises, moderated debates, group exercises and reading and writing tasks. Assessment varies from written examinations, to essays, portfolios and oral presentations.

Classes take place during business hours. Modules are delivered as blocks of study. The duration of modules ranges from two to eleven weeks.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Home/EU applicants can apply for a postgraduate bursary offered by the Institute for Global Health. 

Find out more about funding on the Institute for Global Health website

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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

African Graduate Scholarship

Deadline: 5pm (BST), 03 May 2021
Fees, accommodation and a living allowance (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IGH Postgraduate Bursaries

Deadline: 9am (BST), 30 June 2021
£2,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas
Based on financial need

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2021/22
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Prof. Don Brothwell Scholarship

Deadline: 9am (BST), 30 June 2021
£3,750 (1 year)
Based on financial need

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 of this programme have the relevant skills and knowledge for a career within the pharmaceutical industry, local or national government departments, international organisations, think tanks, consultancies or in academia among other opportunities such as the Ministry of Health, Office of Health Economics, UCL, King's College London, Frontier Economics, and Evidera.


As the global population grows and ages, so too does the challenge of providing equitable access to cost-effective healthcare. This MSc has been developed to fill a gap in training and skills in higher education, to embrace the multidisciplinary nature of health economics and decision science and provide you with a solid theoretical foundation - while allowing you to choose specific pathways within which you can focus on either more advanced modelling or advanced applied economics.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL offers a highly multidisciplinary environment in which to study health economics and decision science. The teaching team for this programme comprises economists, statisticians, epidemiologists, mathematicians and public health doctors among others. As a world-leading university, we research, publish and consult on the topics we teach. Our strong links to industry, policy and academia enhance the relevance of our teaching and the employment opportunities of our graduates.

Department: Institute for Global 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This programme is intended for applicants with a suitable qualification (see entry requirements) in economics, statistics, mathematics or a related quantitative field such as epidemiology, engineering or physics. Candidates with a background in medicine or allied health sciences may be considered if they can demonstrate quantitative proficiency in mathematics and/or statistics at the degree level.

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 May 2021

Target Application Results Releasing Timeline

Nov - Dec applicants: End of Feb

Jan - Feb applicants:  End of Mar

Mar - Apr applicants: End of May

May applicants: Early July

The application deadline is now changed to 31st May 2021. Applicants are strongly recommended to apply early.

In addition to the generic application criteria, applicants to this programme are required to write a 500 word-long dissertation research proposal. Please ensure that the proposal outlines the intended research question, includes a set of objectives, describes the methods you intend to use and suggests where you might find your evidence or data.  You might find it helpful to look at abstracts from open access journal articles to assist you with this task. However, be careful not to copy their wording as this would be considered plagiarism. During your time at UCL you will receive help in refining your topic and you may be able to change your topic if you have new ideas.

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 Health Economics and Decision Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Health Economics and Decision Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • 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 will deliver.

Applicants are recommended to submit applications early. International students are advised to apply by the end of June as any applications received after June may not be processed in time for the September 2021 entry. 

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021