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Duration

One year full-time, two years part-time

Application Deadline

30 June 2020

Location

St George's, University of London

UK, EU and non-EU (international) citizens may apply

An insight into the diverse cultural meanings of health and their influence upon sociopolitical movements and culture as a whole is vital to understanding the opportunities and challenges to improving global health in different cultural contexts. Covering topics including health activism, narrative-based medicine and story-telling for trauma, the Global Health and Humanities MSc programme will allow you to reflect upon your areas of interest within this exciting discipline while sharing the experiences and perceptions of your peers. You will also have the opportunity to explore in depth an area of global health and humanities through your independent research project, gaining postgraduate-level research skills and a deeper understanding of your field of study.

Global health is a broad discipline that attracts multidisciplinary involvement from those who wish to pursue an internationally focused career in development, policy, education, research or humanitarian relief. This will include doctors and others health professionals, as well as a range of people with an interest in governance, management, law, politics, economics, policy, science, anthropology, philosophy and ethics. 

This Global Health MSc is a broad-ranging practical and clinical course that covers many different aspects of global health practice and policy. We have excellent local, regional and international links, enabling our students to complete global health projects in many different locations around the world. The university also shares its campus with one of the largest NHS teaching hospitals, and many world-leading clinicians teach on our courses. 

This stimulating and vibrant programme will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to understand, interpret and help solve critical global health challenges, empowering you to pursue an exciting international career as a global health practitioner or policy maker. The programme will also give you the ability to make a real difference to the pursuit of health equity and global social justice.

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Highlights

  • Flexible structure of the MSc Global Health suite allows you to select a specialism of your choice.

  • Excellent London and international links for placement opportunities.

  • Students from a range of backgrounds creates a diverse learning community where knowledge is shared across disciplines.

  • Enjoy working with other students, researchers and clinicians as part of a small, close-knit team, with all the advantages that brings for personal networking and development.

Tuition fees

2020 UK/EU
  • Full-time MSc: £11,000

  • Part-time MSc: £5,500 per annum

2020 Non-EU (International)
  • Full-time MSc: £21,500

  • Part-time MSc: £11,250 per annum

Fees are reviewed annually.

For more information, see our fees and funding pages.

Funding your study

We have a range of funding opportunities available for students. You may be eligible for the following.

  • A postgraduate loan from the UK government of up to £10,609. Find out more information about postgraduate loans at fees and funding.

  • An alumni discount – if you're a former St George’s student you can qualify for an additional 10% discount from this course.

For more information, see our fees and funding pages.

Read more information about our courses and university services terms and conditions.

To be considered for this course, you will need to:

  • meet the entry criteria

  • write a personal statement

  • provide two suitable references.

All qualifications must have been awarded no more than five years before the start date of the course you are applying for.

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Undergraduate degree or equivalent

You should normally have, or be expected to achieve, a minimum of a second class degree (2:2). For healthcare graduates a pass is required.

We welcome applications from individuals from a range of backgrounds including: humanities, science and healthcare. 

Alternative qualifications

Alternative professional qualifications, or previous related experience, may be considered. Applicants in this situation are encouraged to apply. You will be expected to have experience of working in global health (eg for non-governmental organisations) and you may be required to submit supplementary details (eg transcripts). Alternatively, you may be required to complete one taught module before upgrading to the MSc.

English language

If your native language is not English, you will need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

English language tests are valid for only two years. If you took a test more than two years ago, you may be required to complete another. Applicants are only permitted a maximum of two test attempts within a one year period.

  • IIELTS: overall 6.5, with 6 in Listening, 6 in Reading, 6 in Writing and 6 in Speaking.

  • Pearson (PTE Academic): overall 67, with 60 in Listening, 60 in Reading, 60 in Writing, 60 in Speaking.

  • Cambridge English Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English): overall 185, with no less than 176 in each section.

  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (also known as Certificate of Proficiency in English): overall 185, with no less than 176 in each section.

Personal statement and references

You will be asked to outline your reasons for applying for the course in a brief personal statement on the application form. You will also need to provide two satisfactory references. See the ‘Apply’ tab for more information.

Applying for modules

Applications for stand-alone modules will be subject to the same entry requirements described above.

Graduating with a Global Health MSc from St George’s will open a wide range of opportunities.

The breadth of experience that you will gain on the course will place you in a prime position to make impactful change relating to your area of interest. You will have the skills to go on to work as a global health practitioner, policy maker, consultant or researcher in either government the private sector, as well as national and international agencies.

Teaching is delivered through a variety of methods including group lectures, course-specific seminars and small group sessions. You will also participate in self-directed study and wider reading, as well as individual and group practical sessions.

The course is designed to encourage you to progress towards greater self-direction in your studies; you are encouraged to develop insight into your own learning styles and thus to become responsible for your own learning and professional development. Personal and professional development is fostered through academic study, the promotion of self-directed learning activities, and the implementation of a research project under supervision.

You will encounter a wide range of teaching and learning strategies appropriate to the learning context. Combining these strategies during the course will enable you to develop an investigative, independent and individualised approach to learning and to undertake an extended research project.

There is a wide variety of optional modules and also a broad and exciting range of research projects including humanities projects, laboratory projects and clinical projects. Research projects will be offered in London and internationally.  This diversity is common across our whole MSc Global Health suite of programmes.

By designing the programme as a series of related but independent modules, we can deliver a highly flexible programme. You have the option a full MSc over one year full-time or two years part-time. Each module can also be studied independently as Continued Professional Development (CPD).

At St George’s, you’ll benefit from working as part of a small, close-knit team. Students, clinicians and researchers work happily and effectively together in a small community, with all the advantages that brings for personal input and development.

Globally, there are different meanings and understandings of health. This programme explores these perspectives while giving you the freedom to tailor your MSc. You will study two core modules and a research project, and will have the opportunity to choose from a from a wide choice of global health modules to accrue the 180 credits needed to complete your MSc.  

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Core modules

Global Governance for Health (15 credits)

In this module you will explore the roles and responsibilities of national and international organisations in improving the health of populations. You will learn about the role of donors and the effect of donor strategies on health at both a global and national level. You will also analyse how international organisations, national governments and non-governmental organisations attempt to reduce the global burden of disease. You will gain a richer understanding of the global health challenges that face healthcare professionals, politicians and policy makers in the 21st century, and you will learn about the importance of good governance in achieving health equity. 

Global Health Humanities (15 credits)

In this module you will examine different aspects of the humanities in global health: narrative-based medicine; the role of the humanities in medical education; cross-cultural concepts of health and illness; exiled writers and health activism; therapeutic aspects of health humanities; cultural competency; global narratives; and story-telling for trauma. You will reflect on and consider topics that you personally perceive as being crucial for global health, and the role of narrative for bringing health injustice and human rights abuses to light for various organisations. During the module you will also learn about the role of narrative in promoting health, particularly in societies facing conflict, oppression and lack of healthcare resources.

MSc Research project (60 credits)

This module gives you the opportunity to conduct an independent project related to your area of interest. The module covers preparation and planning for the research as well as the analysis, discussion and presentation of the outcomes. You will be supervised by an experienced academic based at St George’s and, if you complete your research project abroad, you will also receive local support. 

If you are intending to take an MSc Global Health themed award, the research project must be on a topic related to that theme. 

Optional modules

Antimicrobial Resistance (30 credits)

This module will give you the opportunity to study antimicrobial resistance (AMR), with a particular focus on healthcare impact, genetic technologies and interventions to reduce AMR. You will explore the major AMR problems and the strategies needed to reduce the current and future AMR burden. You will gain insight into how different interventions may be more effective in reducing different AMR pathogens and will take advantage of active research taking place at St George’s to work on specific topics including AMR in TB, MRSA and HIV.

To study this module you should normally have, or be expected to achieve, a minimum of a second class degree (2:2) in a biomedical science or a science related subject (or an equivalent overseas qualification).

Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine (30 credits)

This module will give you a thorough grounding in providing medical care in a range of hostile and challenging environments, whether man-made or natural disasters. Previous natural disasters and conflicts provide case studies through which to explore the challenges experienced, and diverse skills required, for humanitarian work, and guide your learning about good management practice. These case studies will also shine a light on some of the debates and issues surrounding humanitarian work and disaster relief. You will gain an understanding of the depth and breadth of the subject, and the importance of the external factors which impact medical care. You will also explore the important roles of other professionals in the field such as engineers and logisticians.

Global Health Diseases (30 credits)

This module deals with a wide range of clinical aspects of the major current and emerging clinical conditions affecting populations across the world. You will learn about communicable diseases such as HIV, malaria and TB, and emerging non-communicable epidemics such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. Each condition is examined from a global perspective and you will explore the aetiology, pathology, clinical manifestations, prevention approaches and schemes of clinical management of each disease. Through case studies you will also explore the importance of epidemiology, surveillance, data gathering and public health initiatives in tackling specific diseases. 

Global Health Ethics and Law (30 credits)

This module provides an opportunity for you to consider global health from an ethico-legal perspective. You will learn about cosmopolitanism, nationalism, distributive justice, consequentialism, deontology and human rights theory. You will then use a variety of theoretical normative approaches to analyse a range of global health challenges. You will also learn about the emergence of global health law and the way in which international law impacts on a range of global health issues. You will gain a richer understanding of the global health challenges that face healthcare professionals, politicians and policy makers and develop a deeper understanding of the relevance of ethics and law to the overarching aim of improving health for all. 

Infection and Immunity (30 credits)

This module will cover the broad area of the immunology of infectious disease, taking advantage of active research taking place at St George’s by exploring some of the specific causes of infection such as tuberculosis, malaria, MRSA and viral infections such as HIV. You will learn about the cellular and molecular responses to infection including innate and adaptive immune responses, and how these responses can sometimes be deleterious. The module will provide insight into the pathogenesis of infection and the virulence mechanisms involved. It will also demonstrate how an understanding of how these processes drive vaccine development, antibiotic treatment and immunotherapy.

To study this module you should normally have, or be expected to achieve, a minimum of a second class degree (2:2) in a biomedical science or a science related subject (or an equivalent overseas qualification).

Culture and Mental Health (15 credits)

In this module you will learn how mental health can be improved worldwide using different cultural frameworks of mental illness. You will analyse the global development of a mental health framework from an ethical, transcultural, and human rights perspective. As part of this analysis, you will explore the theories and principles of humanitarianism. You will discuss the issues of stigma and the medicalisation of mental disorders, using case scenarios and examples of localised cultural practices in the interpretation and management of mental health. 

Global Health and Comparative Health Systems (15 credits)

In this module you will focus on the fundamental principles of health system organisation and financing, considering a number of conceptual frameworks for the analysis of health systems in both the global north and south. You will also explore issues including the relationship between supply and demand, models of the allocation of healthcare resources, and methods to measure and compare health system performance.

Humanitarian Action and Ethics (15 credits)

Humanitarian action must now respond to increasingly complex crises. Challenges faced by humanitarian workers are impacted by the changing nature of conflict, climate change and disasters in a globalised world. In addition, humanitarian organisations are under pressure in terms of their values and roles in volatile political situations, especially when they are structured by extreme religious ideology.

The effects of humanitarian crises are increasingly globalised, as seen with recent trends in migration and forced displacement. Humanitarian action is a cross-cultural endeavour and due to advancements in medical technologies, medical dilemmas are further fraught with ethical challenges. Human rights frameworks exist against the backdrop of health injustice and vulnerable populations and demands that humanitarian actors undertake roles in truth, peace, reconciliation and justice efforts.

This module on Humanitarian Health Ethics exposes some of the most pressing questions about the fragility of the human condition; responding to human distress in extreme situations means that decisions are not always ideal. Ethical dilemmas faced by humanitarian health actors will be critically analysed drawing on case scenarios and drawing on examples of their moral experience of the field.

Research support modules

If you are studying a full MSc you may choose one of the following modules to help you prepare for your research project.

Practical Data Analysis: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (15 credits)

This module runs alongside the Statistics module and Research Methods module. It will teach you how to practically apply the different qualitative and quantitative methodologies taught in those modules. You will develop skills in understanding, critically interpreting and extracting data, and in the application of appropriate qualitative and quantitative data analysis methodologies. 

Research Methods (15 credits)

This module introduces you to a range of research approaches and appropriate methods relevant to your degree course. It covers research methods appropriate to researchers undertaking projects in areas from biomedical science to health services research.

Statistics (15 credits)

The aims of this module is to introduce you to modern statistical techniques and methods. In particular, you will be encouraged to critically appraise the statistical methods used in research papers, and develop the skills needed to interpret the results of the analyses presented and evaluate the inferences made.

You will develop understanding of statistical techniques and methods, so that you can analyse quantitative data and make inferences from the results when undertaking your research project. The module is delivered by lectures and group discussions, supplemented by self-directed learning.

Before beginning your application please check the entry criteria of the course you wish to study to ensure you meet the required standards.

All applications must be submitted through our online application system.

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How to apply

  1. Click ‘Apply’ above.

  2. Create an account.

  3. Complete the application form and upload any relevant documents. You can save a partly completed form and return to it later. Please make sure you complete all sections. Please make sure that the information you provide is accurate, including the options you select in menus.

  4. Add pgadmissions@sgul.ac.uk to your address book to ensure you do not miss any important emails from us.

  5. When you have checked that your application is complete and accurate, click ‘submit’.

You can track your application online.

References

Please provide two references to support your application. These must be submitted using the Reference Request Form.

One must be a recent academic reference. The other should be either a second academic reference or a professional/employer reference. They should cover your suitability for the course and your academic ability. (See the form for more detail on what the references should cover.)

Your referees should know you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. We do not accept references from family, friends, partners, ex-partners or yourself.

They should be dated no more than a year before the date of your application, and must be uploaded within two weeks of making your application.

Download the reference request form (Word)

Apply now

Duration

One year full-time, two years part-time

Application Deadline

30 June 2020

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