Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA

London, Bloomsbury

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA aims to equip students with the skills necessary to play an informed role in debates concerning equity and health. It explores the central ethical, economic and political problems facing health policy in the UK and globally, especially in relation to social justice.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£14,100
£7,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£29,000
£14,500
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

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.

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: Level 4

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.

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

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA programme covers relevant areas of moral and political theory, comparative policy analysis, and health economics. It allows 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.

Who this course is for

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.

What this course will give you

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 interdisciplinary research and teaching in philosophy, health humanities and global health. The programme draws on highly regarded researchers in a range of UCL departments, and students benefit by instruction from leaders in their fields.

The degree is based in the UCL Health Humanities Centre, which draws together world-leading researchers from different disciplines including medicine and health in history, philosophy, law, sociology, anthropology, and cultural and film studies. UCL's Health Humanities Centre forms part of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, which showcases and fosters multidisciplinary research in the humanities and the social sciences, with an active programme of events and visiting international scholars.

The foundation of your career

The programme equips students with an 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 programme teaches also provide an ideal springboard to further academic study.

Employability

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.

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.

For a full-time postgraduate course, we recommend around 20-25 hours of independent study per week. The majority of our courses have around 10-12 hours' teaching time spent in lectures and seminars.

For a part-time postgraduate course, your contact hours would usually be 5-6 hours per week across 2-3 days and we recommend around 10-12 hours of independent study per week.

There is minimal teaching during Term 3, which focusses on the dissertation and assessment.
 

A Postgraduate Diploma of 120 credits is available, consisting of three core modules (45 credits), and 75 credits of elective modules.

Modules

During the academic year, you will take compulsory modules which are designed to work as a postgraduate-level foundation and provide you with the specific skills and knowledge to research and write essays. Core modules include Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health; Health Policy and Reform; and Key Principles of Health Economics. You will also choose optional modules from the suggested list (see Optional modules). These modules set the foundation for the whole MA, preparing you for further learning and for your dissertation.

During Term 2, in addition to your taught modules, you will start formulating your dissertation proposal. All students undertake this independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words. You will develop your dissertation outline and structure with support from your supervisor. You will give a presentation to your peers and tutors on your dissertation to help cement your argument and subject area to cover. This is a non-assessed compulsory element of the MA. You will then spend the summer researching and writing your dissertation on a topic to be determined in discussion with your academic supervisor.

In Year 1, you will take compulsory modules, designed to work as a postgraduate-level foundation module and to provide you with the specific skills to research and write essays and the dissertation. These modules set the foundation for the whole MA, preparing you for further learning and for your dissertation.

In Year 2, you will take optional modules to develop your broader understanding of health economics from historical and contemporary perspectives and to develop key concepts learnt in Year 1. You will also formulate and develop your dissertation outline and structure with support from your supervisor. You will give a presentation to your peers and tutors on your dissertation proposal to help cement your argument and subject areas to cover. This is a non-assessed compulsory element of your MA. You will then spend the summer of Year 2 researching and writing your 12,000 word dissertation on a topic to be determined in discussion with your supervisor.

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. 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 MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health.

Accessibility

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.

Online - Open day

Introduction to MA Health Humanities

We seek novel ways of understanding health and illness in society, and how methods from the humanities and social studies may be brought to bear on biomedicine, clinical practice, and the politics of healthcare.

Online - Open day

Introduction to MA Philosophy, Politics & Economics of Health

We explore the central ethical, economic and political problems facing health policy in the UK and globally, especially in relation to social justice.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £14,100 £7,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

All full time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, or conference registration fees and associated travel costs.

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library as hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions.

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

Students on a Master's programme may be eligible to apply for a government postgraduate loan.

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

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 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.

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: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.