The Thanzi Programme is launching eight new funded Health Economics Distance Learning MSc Studentships (3 years) to support postgraduate training in health economics. Applications are open to candidates based in East or West Africa who are currently working on health economics-related issues for ministries of health or public universities and wish to further their career in health financing, planning, delivery or administration.

The Studentships are funded through the Thanzi Programme’s Thanzi Labwino (Better Health) project: an initiative led by the University of York, East Central and Southern Africa Health Community and Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE).


Health Economics Distance Learning (HEDL) Programme 

What is the HEDL Programme?

Led by academics at the University of York, Health Economics Distance Learning (HEDL) is a three-year MSc programme specialising in health economics and related disciplines.

This distance learning course is designed to be completed on a part-time basis (minimum 20 hours per week) in your own home or workplace – enabling you to gain an MSc qualification without interrupting your career.

Teaching and learning is delivered online via a virtual learning environment. Students have access to a huge range of online study resources and facilities, including recorded lectures to supplement workbook materials, discussion boards monitored by a module tutor or module leader, and online tools for submitting assessments and receiving feedback. 

Course Content

The programme will give you a comprehensive knowledge of health economics, which you can apply directly to the problems you face in the workplace.

Study is divided into two courses, each designed to provide you with the skills and confidence to apply the principles of health economics in your career:

  • Health Economics for Health Professionals and Policymakers (PGDip) | September 2024 - June 2026
  • Health Economics for Health Professionals and Policymakers (MSc) | September 2026 - June 2027 
Who is eligible to apply?

This is a Continuing Professional Development course and is designed for those who are already employed in a health or health-related field (e.g., finance, community health, medicine, statistics, economics, health care administration, planning) and wish to further their career. 

Applicants must work in one of the following types of institutions and roles:

  1. Public universities in departments focussed upon health or economics disciplines, in researcher, lecturer, or research coordination/support roles; or
  2. National Ministries of Health planning departments in analyst, advisor or similar roles; or
  3. Regional or Pan-African intergovernmental organisations focussed on health, including: AUDA-NEPAD, African Union Commission, ECSA Health Community, West African Health Organization, East African Community, or Southern African Development Community.


  • Undergraduate degree (equivalent to a UK university 2:1), with some focus on economics. Other qualifications and experience may also be accepted. Information about entry requirements for international students.
  • Written approval from your line manager to be released for one day per week to complete the course (over 3 years).
  • Evidence of your English language ability (if English isn’t your first language).
  • A cover letter setting out your reasons for wanting to undertake the MSc and how you hope it will support your career. 

For more information on the course structure, module content, entry criteria and career route opportunities, please visit the University of York HEDL web pages.


Thanzi Programme MSc Studentships 


The Studentships cover:

  • Course fees for the 3-year programme of study (approx. £6,039 per year)

Please note: the Studentships do not cover stipends, so you will be expected to provide your own IT equipment, including a laptop and internet access, to enable you to partake in course activities (e.g., using the VLE, accessing online study resources and videos, and engaging in group chats using Zoom or similar platforms).

Travel costs to attend in-person activities are not included in the Studentship, and must be supplied privately if you wish to travel. 

Application Process

Applications for the Thanzi Programme MSc Studentships are welcome before Sunday 2 June 2024 (23:59 BST). To apply, please complete and submit your online application form, ensuring that you attach the following documents:

  • A copy of your undergraduate degree qualification certificate.
  • A copy of your English language test certificate (if required) – further information can be found on the University of York English language requirements webpage.
  • A copy of your latest CV (maximum 2 A4 pages).
  • A Letter of Support from your employer, committing time (1 day per week) and necessary support to complete the 3-year course.
  • A cover letter setting out your reasons for wanting to undertake the MSc and how you hope it will support your career.

NB. You will require a Gmail account in order to complete the online application form (if you do not have an account, you can set-up one using the instructions on the Gmail Help website).   

Applications will be reviewed by regional panels led by the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) and West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), and shortlisted in June 2024. 

Successful applicants will be invited to submit their final registration forms to the University of York HEDL admissions team (deadline Friday 19 July 2024). 


Timeline 2024

Week commencing 2 April - advert is published online

Sunday 2 June (23:59 BST) - submission deadline for online application form and attached documents

Week commencing 8 July - decisions are communicated to all candidates

Friday 19 July - deadline for successful candidates to submit registration forms to the University of York

September 2024 - start of programme  



“My goal is to become an independent health economics global health researcher and a health economics lecturer. To successfully achieve this goal and become an independent health economic scientist, I needed to complement my epidemiology and clinical research skills with health economic evaluation methodologies and skills.  These key competencies will enable me to generate health economics findings that rapidly translate to policy and accelerate delivery of evidence-based interventions in sub-Saharan Africa and mentor the next generation of health economists in Africa.” 

Stephen Okoboi, MPH PhD (Deputy Director of Research, Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University, Uganda), Thanzi Studentship recipient

“The Thanzi Studentship has given me a great opportunity to study Health Economics as a postgraduate student of one of the most prestigious Universities in the world. The manuals are made simple. Video recordings are uploaded to give students a step-by-step approach on how to solve problems and draw graphs. You only need to mention your challenges to your module leader and a solution is found for you. Questions are tailored towards current challenges in the health sector worldwide. You have access to numerous text books and published journals. You are guided to these specific journals and books. You are assigned to a mentor (academic supervisor). Students are from all over the world. What else should a student expect? Need I say more? Thank you, Thanzi!” 

Anthony Kwame Apedzi, PhD (CEO, St John’s Ambulance Service, Ghana), Thanzi Studentship recipient


Frequently Asked Questions

What does ‘distance learning’ mean?

The University of York distance learning course in health economics allow you to gain a qualification without interrupting your career, and offer the flexibility to schedule your study around your professional and personal commitments. All classes will be held online, with a large proportion of lectures pre-recorded for you to watch in your own time.  You will be able to complete much of the work you need to do for each module in your own home or place of work by accessing course content and teaching materials via the University’s virtual learning environment (Yorkshare).

Students are expected to commit 20 hours to study per week.  The majority of these 20 hours will be dedicated to independent studying outside of formal teaching (e.g. pre- and extra reading, completing exercises, contributing to the course’s online forums).   

Do I have to live and work in East or West Africa to apply?

While applications from anyone living and working in any African Union member state are welcome, given the Thanzi Programme’s focus upon the East and West African regions, applicants from these regions will be prioritised.  

What are the residential workshops?

The University of York distance learning course includes optional residential workshops held at the University.  These workshops offer introductory lectures and seminars, as well as training in the use of the web-based learning environment and information systems.  For students who are not able to attend in-person, recordings of workshop activities will be made available and some sessions will be conducted in a live-hybrid format online. 

What financial support is available during the programme?

Studentships cover course fees for the duration of the programme. Funding for travel, accommodation and other costs related to the attendance at residential workshops is not included in the Thanzi Programme MSc Studentships, and students would need to cover the cost of attending if they choose to participate in-person. Candidates will need to fund other associated expenses themselves (i.e. provide their own laptop and access to the internet). 

What support will I receive during my Studentship?

Students are assigned an academic supervisor during the course of their study, who will be on hand to provide ongoing support and guidance with any programme queries you might have. You will be invited to attend a one-to-one meeting with your academic supervisor each term. Programme Administration staff will also be on hand to provide support with any non-academic or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)-related queries or issues. You will also join an online network of HEDL students, with access to discussion forums to ask questions and discuss programme activities, and support is also available through the University of York's Student Well-being Officers and Practitioners, UoY Library Services and the Maths Skills Centre.

To whom should I address my Letter of Support and/or cover letter?

As applications will be reviewed by one of two regional panels led by the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community and the West African Health Organization, we ask that your employer addresses the Letter of Support, or your cover letter, to the panel relating to the region in which you are based.  Please find the addresses copied below for your reference. We would welcome your letter to be written on headed paper by your employer, if possible. 

ECSA Regional Thanzi Studentship Review Panel

For the attention of:

East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC); Plot No. 157 Oloirien; Njiro Road; P.O Box 1009; Arusha-Tanzania  

WAHO Regional Thanzi Studentship Review Panel

For the attention of:

West African Health Organization (WAHO); 01 BP 153; Bobo-Dioulasso 01; Burkina Faso


Contact Details

For any queries about the Thanzi Programme MSc Studentships, please contact us:


[Page edited 2 April 2024]