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Global Health: Economics and Policy

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Global Health: Economics and Policy


The closing date for applications to start this course in September 2024 is 31 July 2024. Further detail here.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees*: £10,600

International/EU fees**: £20,500

The course

Global Health: Economics and Policy (MSc)

How effective are health policies implemented around the world? What role does economic and population growth play in the sustainable development goals? How does climate change affect the distribution of health and well-being? These are some of the modern-day challenges you will study on the MSc Global Health: Economics and Policy.

Studying this new course, you’ll learn to analyse existing and emerging health and economics challenges of the 21st century, such as pandemics, economics growth, demographic changes, climate changes and the environment. You’ll receive training in modern health economics from a global perspective, covering topics such as inequality, development, environment and public health-care delivery.

Studying in the Department of Economics within the School of Law and Social Sciences at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts at one of the UK’s top ten teaching and research Economics departments. Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. You will have close contact with the academic staff teaching on the course and you will receive individual support from the course director whilst being able to tailor your degree to your interests.

On graduation you’ll be prepared to work for international organisations, government, NGOs, consultancies and think-tanks.

  • Excellent career prospects with economics graduates having an impressive employment record and starting salaries amongst the highest in the country
  • Be part of a relatively small cohort enabling you to receive individual support from the course director and other academic staff

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Core Modules

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of basic mathematical methods that are used in the study of Economics and Finance, including basic matrix analysis, topology, statistics, and probability theory. You will look at differentiation and integration of standard functions, and basic manipulations of vectors and matrices. You will also examine various optimisation problems and theorems leading to certain basic results in calculus.

  • The aim of this module is to provide comprehensive training in the understanding of models and empirical evidence pertaining to health economics. The module will cover a diverse set of topics that are at the heart of modern health economics; this includes: the effectiveness of health policies and the organisation of health delivery (past and present); individual-, family and community-behaviour on health matters; the interaction between epidemiologic and economic models; the role of health in the formation of human capital and in the improvement of welfare, among other topics.

  • This module aims to give you broad advanced-level training in linear regression analysis, statistical testing procedures and the economics of policy evaluation. It does so by providing you with the facility to apply economic models to evaluate actual policy interventions, especially those in health economics, and teaches you quantitative techniques and qualitative methods, and particularly their application to evaluate actual policy interventions in particular fields and countries. You will first be introduced to the principles and assumptions underlying Ordinary Least Squares estimation and the consequences of departures from these assumptions. Secondly, you will learn to apply the following evaluation methods to public policy: i) randomised experiment, ii) natural experiments, iii) panel and fixed effects methods, iv) differences in differences methods, v) regression discontinuity designs, and vi) instrumental variables.

  • This module will equip you with the basics of modern microeconomic analysis. You’ll learn the core tools that economists use to analyse problems of resource allocation in market settings. You’ll analyse the optimising behaviour of consumers and producers, be introduced to markets and the notion of competitive equilibrium as well as the analysis of situations where individual market participants can affect prices. Having first analysed the problem of a monopoly, focus will turn to static game theory, which provides the tools to analyse markets where a small number of firms compete with each other (oligopolies).

  • You will attend a set of preparatory classes to equip you with the necessary skills required for research, including a hands-on approach to using statistical packages and reading peer-reviewed articles. You will be expected to use either econometric or statistical techniques, and apply your knowledge and skills from the other quantitative methods and theory modules taken during your studies, to produce your own piece of research around 10,000 words in length.

  • This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.


  • The aim of the course is to give guidance to students who want to work in the financial industry. The level of this course is mostly for third year or MSc students, but it does not require pre-existing knowledge so first and second year students can follow this course. This course aims to bridge the gap between finance studies at university and what finance industry professional expect from graduates. The course explains precisely what existing finance jobs entail, what is required from the people working in those jobs, what the perspectives of these jobs are. This course will also prepare students for the professional interview of such a job.

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

  • The aim of this module is to provide an overview of the current research on health behaviour and outcomes in middle- and low-income countries, with special attention to the role of poverty and inequality in shaping those outcomes. The module will focus on drivers of health outcomes and the effectiveness of different interventions and public health programmes and how the environment shapes disease incidence (such as malaria, and other vector-borne diseases).

  • The aim of this module is to provide an understanding on behavioural aspects of individual actions and outcomes related to health. It will offer recent insights in behavioural economics, at the intersection with psychology and health economics to explore addictions, lifestyle choices and their consequences on individual health. The module will also provide insights into why and how people decide to insure themselves against health shocks and the role of policy in shaping health behaviour, from taxes, outright bans (e.g. illegal drugs, smoking restrictions) and behavioural interventions (nudges) like framing, reference points and the role of behavioural biases.

  • The aim of this module is to provide an understanding in the measurement and patterns of long-term trends in health outcomes, including the demographic transition and the evolution of life expectancy, anthropometrics and other indicators that measure quality of life. The module will discuss historical aspects of health, including pandemics in history, the Industrial Revolution and the birth of Public Health, including vaccine programmes and the eradication of diseases and the nationalisation of healthcare.

  • The module introduces you to the main econometrics techniques used to analyse time series data. The core knowledge embodied in the course will enable students to understand, and critically assess the extant literature in empirical time series econometrics.  At the end of the course, you will: have an understanding of linear and non-linear time series at a level that should make them able to read the relevant empirical literature and some theory articles; identify the appropriate methodology for large sample modelling of economic data collected over time; demonstrate ability to apply the correct testing procedures on time series data. The module will cover modelling, estimation and inference for univariate and multivariate linear time series as well as non-linear time series.

  • Students on the MSc Global Health: Economics and Policy can choose one option from the MSc Global Health courses offered by the Department of Health Studies.

Teaching and learning is mostly by means of lectures; seminars; study groups; essay consultations; oral presentations and guided independent study. Assessment of knowledge and understanding is typically by formal examinations, coursework, examined essays, online tests and exercises, oral presentations and the dissertation.


Bachelor's in a science or social science subject.

Eligible degree subjects include (but are not limited to) Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Biological Science, Biomedical Science, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, Genetics, Geography, Health Science, and Human Biology.

Applicants must show evidence of having completed quantitative (statistics) modules.

Candidates with professional qualifications or relevant professional experience in an associated area will also be considered.

International & EU requirements

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall. 6.5 in Writing. No subscore lower than 6.0.
  • Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 61. No other subscore lower than 54.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
  • TOEFL iBT: 88 overall, with Reading 22 Listening 20 Speaking 22 Writing 25.
  • Duolingo: 120 overall, 125 in Literacy, 125 in Production, no sub-score below 110.  

This degree has been developed to equip you with the skills to address social socience and economics challenges locally and globally. Studying this degree you'll develope a range of employability skills such as:

  • Communication skills - through the writing of essays as well as communicating to the public, media and policy makers
  • Analytical skills developed through work with materials including government reports and academic literature
  • Interpreting and locating sources and using appropriate methodologies where interviewing or data analytics
  • Time management -
  • Team working and working independently, working both independently and as part of collaborative projects

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £10,600

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £20,500

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis in the academic year 2024/25. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.

Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase all postgraduate tuition fees annually, based on the UK’s Retail Price Index (RPI). Please therefore be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration), and that this also means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. For further information, please see our terms and conditions.

** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more 

*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

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