UCL Graduate degrees


Global Health and Development MSc

This programme takes a unique cross-disciplinary approach to global health and attracts students from a range of academic and professional backgrounds. You can craft a programme of study that suits your interests and which will help you become better global health practitioners wherever you work in the world.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

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

Part time mode of study available for MSc only.

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)

£12,500 (FT)
£6,250 (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.

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

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.

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

The programme challenges you to understand the complex forces that shape health worldwide, by developing your understanding of the principles underlying research, policy and practice in global health, fostering critical thinking, and building transferable skills.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four compulsory modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

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).

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, three months full-time, two years flexible study) is offered. Students take four core modules (60 credits)

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Global Health and Development. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Global Health and Development. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Global Health and Development.

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

  • Concepts and Controversies in Global Health
  • Research Methods and Evidence for Global Health
  • Power and Politics in Global Health
  • Health Systems in a Global Context
  • MSc Research Project Dissertation

Optional modules

The Institute for Global Health reserves the right not to run modules with less than 10 students registered. Options may include the following:

  • Anthropological Perspectives on Global Health
  • Climate Change and Health
  • Collecting and Using Data: Essentials of Quantitative Survey Research
  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health
  • Economic Evaluation in Health Care
  • Essentials of Global Child Health
  • Evaluating Interventions
  • Gender and Global Health
  • Health Management: Planning and Programme Design
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Global Health Policy
  • Key Principles of Health Economics
  • Urban Health
  • Research in Action: the Qualitative Approach


All MSc students undertake a 7,000 words individual research project on a topic relevant to future work in global health and development. 

Teaching and learning

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. Assessment is through written assignments, unseen written examinations, projects, oral presentations, group work, and the written dissertation.

Core modules are taught over five weeks. Face to face teaching takes place during 1 and a half to two days per week. 

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

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.


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 may apply for the IGH Postgraduate Bursaries

Applicants who are residents and nationals of an African nation may apply for an African Graduate Scholarship.

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.


Alumni from this MSc 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 etc. Others have decided to pursue a career in academia by completing a PhD after their MSc. 


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 skills and knowledge so you develop the diverse set of skills needed for work in global health. These include: presentations, team work, applying theory to practice, project management and planning, policy analysis, time management, and critical thinking. 

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Department: Institute for Global Health

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"I am a researcher and teacher at UCL Institute for Global Health. My research focus is on health systems and human resources for health with a particular focus on community engagement and accountability in low-resource settings. I have collaborated with multi-disciplinary teams at IGH in my work with partner organisations across Eastern and Southern Africa since 2010. IGH has provided me with an academic home where I can interact with colleagues who specialise in epidemiology, biology, policy and a kaleidoscope of different research methodologies while drawing on my own research in my teaching. I believe IGH’s strength lies in the diversity of its academic community, both staff and students. It is a vibrant and lively place, full of ideas, where innovative approaches to some of the world’s most pressing health challenges are reviewed and assessed, often by those that have implemented them."

Dr Daniel Strachan

Global Health and Development MSc
Student view

"The MSc in Global Health and Development provided me a dynamic, multi-disciplinary foundation in this field of study as well as the opportunity to focus on more directed courses that were beneficial to my own research interests. The collaborative and supportive study environment ensures student success and provides for educational advancement that can be applied to various areas of personal and professional development. As a continuing student at IGH pursuing my PhD, I have come to recognise how useful the education was that I obtained from this degree program and how uniquely prepared I am for the research and critical thinking demands of doctoral research."

David Sawnson

Global Heath and Development MSc

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?

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 May 2021

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 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.

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021