Global Health and Development MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The MSc in Global Health and Development is a multidisciplinary programme (drawing on epidemiology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, political science and government, gender studies, critical theory etc.) that provides comprehensive training in how to address the world’s most complex and pressing health issues with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in medicine, nursing and other allied heath professions, sciences, humanities and social sciences. Professional experience in the fields of health and development is desirable. An applicant whose qualifications vary from UCL standards may be admitted if evidence of an adequate academic background and work experience in an appropriate field can be shown.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

You are provided with foundational training in the critical evaluation of research evidence, health systems strengthening, and global health policy. The programme’s extensive range of optional modules offers the opportunity to tailor the MSc to your desired areas of specialisation whether you are interested in research and evaluation, policy formulation, advocacy, or the implementation of global health programmes in resource-limited settings.

This programme takes a unique cross-disciplinary approach to global health and attracts students from a range of academic and professional backgrounds.

Who this course is for

Graduates of this programme include students from more than 70 countries and from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds including development practitioners, medical doctors, nurses, researchers and non-governmental organisation workers. This increases opportunities to learn from other students' skills and experiences.

What this course will give you

UCL offers a multidisciplinary approach to studying global health. You will work alongside teachers, researchers and other students from a diverse range of disciplines and be taught by experts from several of UCL's faculties. These may include health policy specialists, economists, philosophers, lawyers, political scientists, geographers, clinicians, nutritionists, anthropologists, and epidemiologists. We place particular emphasis on research-based teaching, and our academics use their current research as case studies.

The MSc in Global Health and Development will provide you with the following skills and capacities:

1. A comprehensive understanding of the main theoretical approaches to global health and development and the ability to critically analyse them.

2. Experience working with quantitative/ qualitative or mixed methods research methodologies and an understanding of their application in global health settings.

3. The capacity to communicate effectively both orally and in writing about global health topics and research.

4. Collaborate in a team and across disciplines in addressing complex global health challenges.

The foundation of your career

The programme is designed to teach you how to apply different disciplinary perspectives to global health issues. The modules draw on different approaches to assessing your skills and knowledge in order to develop the diverse set of skill needed for work in global health, including: presentations, teamwork, applying theory to practice, project management and planning, policy analysis, time management, and critical thinking. These skills are relevant for a wide range of careers within global health, including: research and evaluation, policy formulation and advocacy, and programme planning and implementation.


Alumni from the MSc in Global Health and Development have pursued careers in government, NGO and for-profit sectors. They have taken on roles at national and international levels as programme managers, policy advisers and advocacy leaders, researchers, advisors for Ministries of Health, consultants, programme officers, and so on. Others have decided to pursue a career in academia by completing a PhD after their MSc.

The MSc in Global Health and Development alumni network is global, dynamic, and continuously expanding. The alumni network provides the chance for students to engage and interact with leaders in global health throughout the academic year in a number of networking and social events.


Institute for Global Health students have priority access to academic events held throughout the year. This includes UCL's prestigious Lancet Lecture series which showcases leading global health scholars working on key public health issues. Students also have access to internal events, such as meetings that bring together research being done across our three sites and lunchtime lectures featuring the research of Institute for Global Health staff and doctoral candidates. From 2023, academic staff will be hosting a series of events for students in order to provide informal spaces to discuss ideas, research, and provide career advice.  

Teaching and learning

The MSc is designed to train the world’s future global health practitioners through developing critical thinking, writing, planning, teamwork, and presentation skills. You will learn through a mixture of lectures, seminar discussions, presentations, group work, and independent reading and research. Most lectures are accompanied by assigned readings and a discussion seminar. Seminars are designed to help you solve global health problems through prepared questions, problem-sets based on readings, debates, role-playing, scenario-based sessions, case studies, task-oriented activities, presentations and group work. 

The programme is taught with an emphasis on collaborative and co-operative learning to ensure that you enter the workforce capable of joining projects and programmes where working in teams is important.

Assessments may include written assignments, unseen written examinations, projects, oral presentations, portfolios, multiple choice questions, group work and the written dissertation. In addition, students undertaking primary data collection as part of the dissertation must submit an ethics form for screening by the UCL Ethics Committee.

Core modules are normally taught over five weeks.

Optional modules are offered in two formats: long (three hours per week over 10 weeks) or short (three weeks, with teaching in the first two weeks on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday and the third week is for self-study).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, nine months full-time, two to five years flexible study) is offered. Students take four core modules (60 credits) and four optional modules (60 credits).


For full-time students, in term one, you will be introduced to the most recent and pressing issues defining global health in Concepts and Controversies in Global Health, alongside the study of Research Methods and Evidence for Global Health, Health Systems in a Global Context, and Power and Politics in Global Health. These four compulsory modules provide a foundation for the MSc and expose you to the different conceptual frameworks used by global health practitioners to understand and assess the causes and consequences of poor health outcomes globally.

Terms 2 and 3 provide an opportunity to take the concepts learned in term one and further refine your study with a focus on a more specific area. You can choose from a diverse range of optional modules, which offer the possibility to tailor the programme to your own interests and prepare for your final Dissertation Project.

Alongside your taught modules, you will work on your Dissertation Project throughout terms 2 and 3. This project is an opportunity to complete an independent piece of scholarship with guidance from an expert supervisor, and can be a literature review, an original piece of research (including primary data collection or secondary data analysis), or an action plan. The flexibility in the dissertation project offers yet another opportunity to tailor the MSc to your specific areas of interest within global health.   

Over the course of 2 years students must take 60 credits of compulsory modules, 60 credits of optional modules and 60 credits MSc Dissertation

In year 1, students must take a minimum of 90 credits of which a minimum of 30 credits must be taken from the compulsory modules list, and a maximum of 60 credits can be taken from the optional modules list.

In year 2, students must take a minimum of 90 credits including 60 credits of MSc Dissertation. The remaining 30 credits can be taken from the compulsory or optional modules list.

Over the course of up to five years students must take 60 credits of compulsory modules, 60 credits of optional modules and 60 credits of MSc Dissertation. There is not a prescribed structure for this programme and students can take modules as they fit in their timetable.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Global Health and Development. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Global Health and Development.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

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

Additional costs

There may be additional costs for students undertaking primary data collection or secondary data analysis as part of the dissertation. Additional costs may include travelling, accommodation, translation services, etc. The department offers several competitive travel bursaries each year to cover some of these costs.  

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

Funding your studies

Find here information about bursaries and scholarships offered by the UCL Institute for Global Health.

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

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Deadline: 14 December 2023
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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.

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 Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Global Health and Development at graduate level
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • why you want to study Global Health and Development at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.