The Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy examines people’s health and how the society responds to health needs. We study health, functioning and well-being of individuals within their environment and in light of their personal factors. Our understanding of health is rooted in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) by the World Health Organization.

The Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy is a platform for interdisciplinary research, rooted in the socio-humanistic, clinical and biological traditions. Our research centers around health communication, health behavior and management, health economics and health policy, health services research, human function sciences, and methodological aspects of health research.

For us, it is essential to create knowledge through research, reproduce knowledge by means of higher education, and translate knowledge into evidence for the public, policy makers, and practitioners.

Leaflet Department Health Sciences and Health Policy

Cluster Functioning and Health

The Cluster Functioning and Health is a network that comprises collaboration with partner institutions. Regional and national organizations  are willing to cooperate in research and teaching. The scientific collaboration includes the training and support of the Master students (incl. paid research internships) and PhD students as well as common research projects and scientific exchange.

Swiss Learning Health System

Health care systems throughout the world are facing challenges. To ensure fitness-for-purpose, effectiveness and efficiency of a health system, creative policy and practice responses are needed. Decision-making on all levels should be supported by the best available evidence, systematically and transparently providing access to high-quality research that addresses health system needs, including the evaluation of expected benefits and costs of different courses of action. To support this evidence-informed policy approach in Switzerland, the Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy together with several partner institutions is developing the Swiss Learning Health System (SLHS). The goal of the SLHS is to facilitate the flow of information between research, policy and practice. The SLHS seeks to create a continuous learning process that matches research need, as identified by stakeholders, and research results. This in turn can enhance a culture of shared responsibility creating a learning environment that links all actors – patients, health care providers, insurers, policy makers and researchers – in the common cause to strengthen the health system, improve population health, and ultimately achieve better value for the money in health care.

Clinical Trial Unit Central Switzerland CTU-CS

The Clinical Trial Unit Central Switzerland (CTU-CS) has been initiated as a cooperation of the

·         Swiss Paraplegic Centre (in Nottwil),

·         the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital and

·         the University of Lucerne.

The aim is to establish and further develop a common institution in order to support and strengthen the existing clinical research capabilities. Consulting and resources of the CTU-CS will be available for research initiatives driven by present and future network partners as well as for externally sponsored projects.

Further Partner of the Department

The Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy closely collaborates with several national and international institutions in both research and teaching.

Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine Bern with the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry

Our Master students do an internship as part of their curriulum at one of our Partner institutions. A successful partnership for both sides.

Partner Internship MA Health Sciences students:

INTERFACE - Politikstudien Forschung Beratung

CSS Versicherung

Biogen Idec

B.Braun Medical AG

Roche Diagnostics Rotkreuz 

Master in Health Sciences

The Master of Arts (MA) in Health Sciences offers students from a wide range of disciplines the necessary knowledge and skills towards a comprehen­sive understanding of health, functioning and disability. Students have the unique opportunity to apply for a paid research internship with a collaborat­ing partner institution as part of the study program.The MA Health Sciences offers the ideal preparation for students who aspire to have careers in health care in a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment. In our master program, we are dedicated to educating students so they are in an excellent position to further their career in health-related areas including positions in research, in the private sector, health administration/public health, health education, health promo­tion, and management in state and federal health agencies.

For more information please visit english website or

Master in Medicine "Lucerne track"

The Universities of Zurich and Lucerne will offer a joint Master program in Medicine for max. 40 students per year. From fall term 2017 onwards there is the possibility to enroll at the University of Zurich for the “Lucerne track”.

The students will follow this specific “track” from year 2 to 6 with a clinical focus of primary health care including the continuum of care. Students are enrolled at the University of Zurich (UZH) for the first three years, awarded with the Bachelor of Medicine at the UZH. For the Master of Medicine (year 4 to 6) they are enrolled at the University of Lucerne awarding a  joint degree from both Universities which allows the students to register for the federal final exam.

Center for Rehabilitation in Global Health Systems

The Center for Rehabilitation in Global Health Systems at the University of Lucerne, responding to the challenges of the 21st century and the World Health Organization's Rehabilitation 2030: A call for action, will promote high quality, innovative and international research and implementation in rehabilitation in international health systems.

Center for Health, Policy and Economics

The Center for Health, Policy and Economics (CHPE) at the University of Lucerne promotes innovative research and outstanding teaching in the area of health economics and health policy. Members of the CHPE are committed to improving the health of the population by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the health system through the creation, dissemination, and implementation of new scientific evidence. The CHPE supports students in acquiring the necessary skills to understand and solve the challenges that complex halth systems face at present and in the future.

Center for Health Policy and Economics