UCL Health of the Public


Health Inequalities Community

Meet our community leads | Our activities | Podcasts and events

About us

Health inequalities are differences in health and access to health care that exist between different groups of people. These differences are often unjust, avoidable, systematic, and intersectional. They can be influenced by a variety of social, economic, geographic, and environmental factors, as well as other dimensions of inequality (e.g. sex, gender, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation).

Our health is shaped by the complex interaction of factors including economic and social resources which lead to inequalities in access to safe and healthy housing, transport, neighbourhoods and workplaces, as well as high-quality health and care services. Health inequalities exist as a result of variations in these factors across the life course and across populations.

Public health policies and interventions aimed at reducing health inequalities are essential for building a fair and just society where everyone has an equal opportunity to lead a healthy life – a human right.

UCL has a long tradition of health inequalities research and education, including the seminal work of Sir Michael Marmot at the UCL Institute of Health Equity, and Dame Hazel Genn’s work on Health Justice Partnerships. Exciting and new research and innovations tackling health inequalities is taking place across UCL, with researchers designing and implementing interventions, and informing policies to address health inequity from different disciplinary perspectives, beyond population health. This community aims to bring those disciplines together to act and ensure healthy lives for all.

Meet our community co-leads

Professor Anne McMunn
Anne's research is concentrated on the social determinants of health within a life course epidemiological framework. More specifically, she investigates the influence on health and wellbeing of family care, work and social relationship characteristics. She is also interested in how gender and socioeconomic position structure these associations. 

Professor Yvonne Kelly
Yvonne has published extensively over the past 25 years in the area of child and adolescent health and development. Prof Kelly is Director of the ESRC-funded International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health (ICLS) and is Director of the ESRC-BBSRC Soc-B Centre for Doctoral Training in Biosocial Research. She leads a large programme of research on children and young people’s health and development.

Our activities

Below is a flavour of some of our activities, key centres and initiatives, but this is by no means a comprehensive list.


Upcoming events

Coming soon.

Past events

  • Public Health Voices’: Build back fairer: tackling health inequalities for a healthy future
    Watch this webinar to hear from Prof Sir Michael Marmot and European partners as they outline key considerations in tackling the social determinants of health as a matter of social justice.
  • ‘Public Health Voices’: Everyone In: Citizen Voice in Inclusion Health
    Watch this webinar to hear Inclusion Health experts discuss the importance and value of involving people with lived experience of social exclusion and show how this is key to designing effective interventions and solutions.
  • ‘Public Health Voices’: Urban Health and Climate Change: What can our city tell us about our health?
    Watch this webinar to hear from urban health and climate change experts as we explore how urban characteristics can influence health and disease in the urban context.
  • UCL Health of the Public Annual Symposium: Improving health for all, beyond disciplinary borders - Session 1: Build back fairer: how can we secure a healthy future for all?
    Watch the recordings of our annual symposium to hear from leading experts in health inequalities and climate change and health, as they discuss what needs to be done to improve health for all.

Featured Podcasts

  • Unravelling Health Disparities: The Racial Divide
    Dr Halima Begum (CEO of ActionAid UK) and Delan Devakumar (Professor of Global Child Health) discuss the systemic challenges faced by people of colour, and the complex relationship between racism, health equity, and efforts for social justice.
  • Living on the edge - health inequalities and rising costs
    Professor Sir Michael Marmot (Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity) and Jack Monroe (award-winning food writer, TV presenter, and campaigner) explain why there are health inequalities in our society and how the cost-of-living crisis disproportionally affects people on lower incomes. 
  • How is law good for your health?
    Sir Keir Starmer (Leader of the Labour Party and former human rights lawyer) and Professor Dame Hazel Genn (Professor of Socio-Legal Studies) discuss the intersections of law and public health, and how law and legal services can help to mitigate health inequalities.
  • How can arts and creativity tackle health inequalities?
    Artist Dr Harold Offeh and UCL Professor of Biology Professor Helen Chatterjee explore what arts and creativity have to do with public health, and how they can help tackle health inequalities.