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Global Health Policy

MSc, PGDip and PGCert

This distance-learning master’s degree focuses on the health determinants that apply beyond national boundaries, with a particular emphasis on the policy responses that protect and promote population health.

The programme is designed and assessed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Europe's leading postgraduate medical institution in public health and tropical medicine.

MSc Global Health Policy graduate Molly Williams shares her experience studying via distance learning with the University of London and LSHTM.

This degree will suit students and professionals from all backgrounds who wish to understand more about this area of policy.

The programme is designed and assessed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Europe's leading postgraduate medical institution in public health and tropical medicine.

By studying this programme, you’ll gain an understanding of the institutional structures and governance mechanisms that address global health issues. You’ll also become familiar with relevant health policy research methods, such as comparative analysis and cross country learning.

Course details

  • MSc: You complete either 12 modules (8 electives) or 9 modules (5 electives) plus a project report.
  • PGDip: You complete 8 modules (4 electives).
  • PGCert: You complete 4 modules.

View modules

The programme is offered online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study at a time and pace that suits you (subject to certain deadlines), using the study materials provided and with support available from academic staff.

Study materials

We will send you study materials developed by academics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Your module materials may include subject guides, textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software (e.g. Stata), past examination papers, and handbooks.

All of your study materials are made available in October.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and two other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to course materials, resources, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others. Tutors are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year through the VLE.
  • The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated helpdesk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.

Teaching staff provide written, personalised feedback and advice on assignments. You can also communicate with other distance learning students, and set up your own learning support groups.

Study on campus

If you’re a registered student on the MSc or Postgraduate Diploma, you can come to London and study up to two elective modules at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. We call this Blended Learning.

Each on-campus module lasts five weeks (based on a study pattern of 2.5 days per week). These normally take between January and May, and you apply directly to the School for admission.

Find out about blended learning.

Time commitment

You should expect to study for 15–25 hours per week throughout the study year if you wish to complete your qualification in the minimum time allowed (one year for the Postgraduate Certificate, two years for the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc). Most students take between three and five years to complete the MSc.


This varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. More details can be found on individual course pages.

Exams are held in June each year. You can sit exams at an approved centre anywhere in the world (mainly Ministries of Education or the British Council). Each centre charges a fee for hosting exams.

More about exams.

What qualifications do you need?

For entry to the programme, you will need the equivalent of a UK first or second-class honours degree from an acceptable institution.

Relevant subjects include sciences (e.g. biology, medicine, nursing, pharmacy) or social sciences (e.g. anthropology, demography, development, economics, environmental studies, geography, human rights, international relations / politics, sociology).

Find equivalent qualifications where you live.

English Language requirements

You need a high standard of English to study this programme. You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall, with 6.5 in the written test and 5.5 in listening, reading and speaking.
  • TOEFL iBT: 100 overall, with 24+ in writing, 23+ in speaking, 22+ in reading and 21+ in listening.
  • Pearson Test (Academic): 68 overall, with 62+ in writing and 59+ in listening, reading and speaking.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English: 185 overall, with 176+ in writing and 169+ in listening.

Alternatively, you may satisfy the language requirements if you have at least 18 months of education or work experience conducted in English.

If you don’t meet these requirements but believe you can meet the standard, we may still consider your application.

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.

Some of the digital material provided for use with epidemiology modules may not be fully compatible with Apple Macs.

The fees below apply if you begin during the 2017-2018 session. These may be increased by up to 5% per year.

Full course fee 
MSc£ 13,000
Postgraduate Diploma£ 10,300
Postgraduate Certificate£ 7,600
Pay as you go 
Registration fee£ 1,200
Core module£ 1,600
Elective module£ 675
Final project (MSc only)£ 2,025
Individual courses (Standalone) 
Total per course£ 1,900

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.

We accept most traditional payment methods, including debit/credit card, international money order, and Western Union.

How to pay your fees.

The programmes will be relevant both for those wishing to move into health planning or promotion, particularly at national or international levels and for those who are planning to work for international agencies engaged with global health problems.

"The Global Health Policy course provided exactly what I needed. For me, participating in interactive programs was the most helpful way to stay connected."

Dr Masatoki Adachi, Japan

What do employers think of our graduates?

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is Europe's leading postgraduate medical institution in public health and tropical medicine. It has an international standing, with faculty that boasts unique multidisciplinary and international experience. It was crowned University of the Year in 2016 by Times Higher Education for its extraordinary response to the Ebola crisis.

The Faculty of Public Health and Policy has around 150 staff, carrying out research in environmental factors, health policy, health promotion, and health services. In addition to the main activities in research and teaching, faculty members provide advice, consultancy and information on a wide range of public health and health care policy issues.

Academic leaders

Dr Preslava Stoeva is Lecturer at the Department of Global Health and Programme Director of the MSc Global Health Policy by distance learning. Her current research concerns global governance and health security in fragile and conflict-affected states. Preslava has taught widely at undergraduate and graduate level, covering a range of topics from security studies and human rights to foreign policy analysis.

Dr Emma Hutchinson is Programme Content Director for the distance learning MSc in Global Health Policy and Module Organiser for the Public Health module Environmental Health and Sustainable Development. As an environmental epidemiologist, Emma’s research concerns environmental health risk assessment, particularly in the areas of indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.

Can I get sponsored?

If you're employed, your employer may be willing to cover part/all of the programme fee if you can make a compelling case as to how this programme will boost your contribution to the workplace.

Our courses are ideal for employers because they get to retain you as an employee and benefit from your learning from the moment you begin.

How can I get sponsored by my employer?

Free online courses

The School offers several free online courses on a wide range of health topics. These provide a great insight into the independent learning experience.

See a full list.

Open days

The School holds regular open days in London. You can come and meet staff and students and receive a tour of the School.

Sign up for updates.

Chiara Valdesolo MSc Global Health Policy, Italy

Chiara Valdesolo - MSc Global Health Policy

"Halfway through my MSc, I have gone from having a general background to becoming specialised in an expanding sector."