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Duration

One year full-time, two years, part-time

Application Deadline

The deadline for this course has passed but we are still accepting applications where places are available

Location

St George's, University of London

Start dates

September 2020

The Global Health, Ethics and Law MSc will enable you to consider global health from a normative perspective. You will learn about the emergence of global health law and the relevance of national, regional and international law to healthcare. There will also be a strong focus on the application of moral and political philosophy to global health issues. In particular, close attention will be paid to theories of cosmopolitanism, distributive justice and human rights. The Humanitarian Action and Ethics module will examine the ethical challenges faced in increasingly complex humanitarian crises and environments. You will learn to critically analyse complex scenarios, investigating theories of humanitarianism, humanitarian needs, ethical principles and values.

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 other 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 policymaker. The programme will also give you the ability to make a real difference in the pursuit of health equity and global social justice.

For more information about the course, watch the Global Health Course Talk 2020.

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

Covid-19 updates

We won’t be making any significant changes to the content of our programmes, but there will be some changes to the way they are delivered. Please see the Covid-19 updates tab for further details of how this may affect this course.

Highlights

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

  • Excellent academic connections for potential placements in London and overseas.

  • 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.

Fees and funding

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Funding your study

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

  • 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.

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.

Additional costs

The following table gives you an indication of additional costs associated with your course.  These costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Item 

Description

Technology requirements

Find out more about technology requirements associated with online learning.

Find out more 

Learn more about what it’s like to study at St George’s, University of London.  

Sign up for our free intro email series. 

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

  • meet the entry criteria

  • write a personal statement

  • provide two suitable references.

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Undergraduate degree or equivalent

You should have or be expected to achieve, a minimum of a second class degree (2:2). For healthcare graduates, a pass is required. All degrees must be awarded before 1st August on the year of entry.

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

Alternative professional qualifications, or previous related experience, may be considered and we encourage you 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).

International qualifications

We accept equivalent qualifications gained in other countries and use UKNARIC to assess. Please see our International Student Support pages for more information. If you have any questions, you can contact us at study@sgul.ac.uk.

English language

For details on English Language requirements, please see here. This is a Group 1 course.

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.

When you graduate with a Global Health MSc from St George’s, you’ll open your world to a range of opportunities.

The breadth of experience that you will gain on the course will place you in 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 or 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 suite 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.

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.

The MSc Global Health and Ethics programme allows you to study core modules that focus on governance and ethics, alongside a number of options from a wide choice of other global health subjects.

The full MSc comprises 180 credits.

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Core modules

You must study either Global Health, Ethics and Law or Humanitarian Action Ethics, or both.

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 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. This module will give you a richer understanding of the global health challenges that face healthcare professionals, politicians and policy makers in the 21st century, and the importance of good governance in achieving health equity. 

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. By completing the module, you will gain a richer understanding of the global health challenges that face healthcare professionals, politicians and policy makers and you will develop a deeper understanding of the relevance of ethics and law to the overarching aim of improving health for all. 

Humanitarian Action and Ethics (15 credits)

This module explores some of the most pressing questions about the fragility of the human condition. 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. Human rights frameworks need to be examined against the backdrop of health injustice, vulnerable populations and the demand that humanitarian actors undertake roles in truth, peace, reconciliation and justice efforts. You will critically analyse ethical dilemmas faced by humanitarian health actors, drawing on case scenarios and examples of their moral experience of the field.

MSc research project (60 credits)

This module gives you the opportunity to conduct an independent project related to your area of interest. It 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. 

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 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).

Optional modules

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 in and diverse skills required for humanitarian work, and guide learning of good management practice. These case studies will 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. 

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 these processes drives 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 explore issues concerning health system service models and design. Amongst these you will explore relevant issues including the relationship between supply and demand, models of healthcare resource allocation, and methods to measure and compare health system performance.

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 in bringing health injustice and human rights abuses to light for various organisations. You will also learn about the role of narrative in promoting health particularly in societies facing conflict, oppression and lack of health care resources.

Research support modules

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 will help you apply in practice the qualitative and quantitative methodologies that are taught in these lectures. You will develop skills in understanding, critically interpreting and extracting data, and will be supported 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 methods appropriate to research undertaken in areas from biomedical science to health services research.

Statistics (15 credits)

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

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

How to apply

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

Applications must be submitted through our online application system, which you can access below. 

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Access our online application system

  1. Select the application link for your chosen mode of study:

  2. You will be asked to create an account.

  3. Once you have created your account, you will then be able to complete an 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 through your online account.

Guidance for completing your references

When completing your application, you will be asked to provide contact details of two referees. Please ensure these details are accurate. As soon as you have submitted your application, your referees will be contacted by the university asking them to upload a reference to your online application.

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.

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.

We will send reminder emails to your referees but it is your responsibility to ensure that contact details are correct and referees are available to submit a reference. References should be uploaded within two weeks of making your application.

We have been working hard to find ways to teach our courses without disruption, while keeping our staff and students safe and making sure we follow government guidance on Covid-19. We won’t be making any significant changes to the content of our programmes, but there will be some changes to the way they are delivered. Please see below for further details of how this may affect this course.

If government advice changes, we may need to update our plans. If we do so, we will update this information, and will keep current students and offer holders informed by email.

We will also continue to update our frequently asked questions page for applicants and offer holders as more information becomes available.

Course content

We are not making any significant changes to the content of the Global Health programme. There will be some minor changes to how some of our teaching is delivered – see below.

There is a possibility that government advice on social distancing may change in the future and this may restrict access to the campus. Even if this were to be the case, we expect to be able to continue to deliver the programme as planned.

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Module changes

Module/component

Academic year to which the change will apply

Description of change

All taught modules in Term 1

2020/21

These will be delivered online

All taught modules in Term 2

2020/21

The plan is to teach these modules face to face, but a blended learning or online-only approach may be needed

Research project module in Term 3

2020/21

We hope to be able to offer a wide range or projects (e.g. overseas; clinical, wet-lab based) but it is possible all projects will have to be literature-based

Supporting vulnerable students

Students considered to be most at risk from Covid-19 should work at home wherever possible in line with government advice. Students who are going on placement will be required to complete an individual risk assessment and others may choose to do so. In addition, students from vulnerable groups, including care leavers, students estranged from their families and students with disabilities, are prioritised for help from the University’s Hardship Funds and for accommodation in Horton Halls. Priority for loans of laptops from the University will be given to those eligible to receive a hardship grant; those registered as disabled, care leavers or with caring responsibilities; and international students who may have difficulty sourcing an appropriate device on arrival in the UK.

We recognise the impact that the current circumstances may have on mental health and have expanded our counselling provision, offering remote appointments to any student. In addition, every student will be allocated a personal tutor to offer individual pastoral and academic support from the start of their studies. (Further information about health and wellbeing advice during Covid-19 is available here.)

Priority consideration has been given to support for students with disabilities when accessing teaching and learning online, through the provision of automatic live captioning and British Sign Language within our primary technologies of Panopto, MS Teams and Big Blue Button. These can benefit a range of students, especially those who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as students with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), memory processing issues, and for whom English is an additional language.

Human-level captioning is also available where a need has been established through the Disability Advisory team. Human-level captioning requests are processed by the Learning Technology Services (LTS) section and can be requested by email to lts@sgul.ac.uk.  

How the course will be delivered

The existing learning outcomes for our modules and courses will remain in place. From September to December 2020 all students will primarily access their learning, including learning materials, via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Canvas. Hands-on practical teaching and learning activities will be delivered on campus with appropriate social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) measures put in place, and with controls on the number of people in each location.

The online components of the course will be designed to balance interactive real-time sessions with lecturers and other students, with self-paced independent study. Students will have clear learning pathways through the activities they are expected to engage with, and there will be opportunities to check learning and progress.

Personal tutor support and all other student support, such as the Academic Success Centre, will also be online for this period, using a range of methods for staying in touch, such as telephone, email and the University’s web conferencing systems BigBlueButton and MSTeams.  

Pending Health Education England (HEE) approval, placements are currently expected to resume from September 2020 with minimum changes to planned delivery or timings. All students on placement will be expected to undertake a risk assessment and adhere to local Trust working patterns and guidance.   

To get the most from online study, hardware requirements have been established and communicated to all existing students and offer holders. Students will need their own personal computer or laptop and an internet connection in their place of accommodation. This needs to be in place at the start of the course. Once enrolled, students will have the ability to use Office 365 as part of our institutional licence, and access software required for their modules/courses via AppsAnywhere. In addition, we offer Office for Mac via Ofice365, but only the following applications are available for Mac: Teams, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote. Web-based Office applications are available on Mac. Full details are available here. There is a provision for students who may struggle to meet the hardware requirements to contact our IT Hardship team.

All taught modules in term 1 will be delivered wholly online. The balance between lectures, seminars and self-directed learning will vary between modules, but will be broadly similar to how the course was previously taught. Lectures will be shorter and there will be a greater use of pre-recorded (asynchronous) lectures, in addition to live (synchronous) lectures. Seminars will remain the same length and will be live. There will be more self-directed learning with a greater emphasis on pre-reading before a live lecture or seminar. More resources will be made available on Canvas (our virtual learning environment) before sessions.

We intend to deliver taught modules in term 2 face to face. We may need to deliver these modules in a blended way or wholly online. If we need to deliver wholly online, delivery will be the same as in term 1.

Risk assessment

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Incoming students (starting September 2020)

Students with pre-existing illnesses or disabilities, or who are shielding

If you suffer, or have suffered, from a serious illness (physical or psychological) or have a disability, or have been required to shield due to Covid-19, please let us know. St George’s is committed to supporting our students and will explore all reasonable adjustments to support you to thrive on your course.

Please contact our Disability Advisor as soon as possible with details to help us establish whether your health history or disability is likely to affect your ability to study or practise. This will also give us sufficient time to carry out a detailed assessment, obtain reports and organise additional expert assessments if required.

Attendance at site

Most of our courses include elements of teaching for which you will be required to attend the University site. Attendance at these sessions will be essential to enable you to engage with the course and undertake assessments.

Placements

You will be required to undertake a personal risk assessment before you can attend any placement that is part of your course (or undertake certain other activities, such as those which include the practice of clinical skills or require the use of PPE). Where a health concern arises, every effort will be made to identify alternative placement arrangements, but your health and safety will be the first priority, and alternative arrangements may not be possible. This may have implications for the continuation of your study. If you are clinically vulnerable or have been shielding, we strongly encourage you to contact the Disability Advisor now to undertake an assessment.

Current students

Students with pre-existing illnesses or disabilities, or who are shielding

If you're a student with a pre-existing illness or disability, or who is shielding, your course team will contact you to ask if you would like to complete a personal risk assessment before you return to the site. If you suffer from a serious illness which may increase your level of risk, or have been required to shield due to Covid-19, we recommend that you complete a personal risk assessment. St George’s is committed to supporting our students and will explore all reasonable adjustments to support you to thrive on your course. 

Attendance at site

For the majority of our courses we will delivering an element of face to face, hands-on teaching on campus in line with social distancing guidelines which you are required to attend. If you will be unable to attend teaching on site due to a health reason, you must let us know by start of the academic year so we can consider alternative arrangements to ensure you progress through the course. Mitigating Circumstances can still be submitted for unforeseen illnesses; however, being unable to attend the site due to shielding or being at heightened risk from a pre-existing illness or disability will not be accepted as grounds for Mitigating Circumstances. Please discuss this with your course team and complete a personal risk assessment so that all reasonable adjustment can be made.

Placements 

You will be required to undertake a personal risk assessment before you can attend any placement (or undertake certain other activities, such as those including the practice of clinical skills or requiring the use of PPE) that is part of your course. Where a health concern arises, every effort will be made to identify alternative placements arrangements, but your health and safety will be the first priority, and where alternative arrangements are not possible, there may be implications for your studies. If you are clinically vulnerable or have been shielding, we strongly encourage you to contact your course team now to undertake a personal risk assessment.

Course length

At this stage, we expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable full-time students to complete the programme in one academic year and part-time students to complete the programme in two academic years. All assessments can be completed and/or submitted remotely. 

Additional costs

We do not expect students to incur any extra costs over and above those that we have advertised to students

As a result of our courses beginning with the majority of teaching online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online lectures. Information is available on recommended device specification and prospective students should email IThardship@sgul.ac.uk if they will struggle to meet the requirements so we can look at support options.

Assessment methods

We assess the knowledge, skills and attributes of our students in a variety of ways. These include formal written examinations and in-course assessments (which include essays and oral presentations).

All in-course assessments are already completed and/or submitted online via Canvas, and this will continue. All formal written examinations take place in May or June. By this stage, we expect to deliver these assessments as planned.

Although some assessments are designed to be taken on site, we successfully developed an alternative assessment strategy in 2019/20 to enable students to complete assessments remotely and without coming on to campus. For example, formal examinations were taken remotely by students within at a time of their choosing within a window stipulated by us. If the government advice on social distancing changes, we will take this approach again.

Projects are assessed via thesis and supervisor’s report. The thesis is submitted online.

Award

No changes.

Location of study

All face-to-face teaching will take place at St George’s, University of London, on the campus that we share with St George’s Hospital in Tooting, with appropriate social distancing measures in place. We have not explored alternative locations for teaching and have no immediate plans to do so. If government advice on social distancing changes, we will consider ways in which we can deliver teaching on site in a manner that is safe for students and staff.

Consenting to these changes

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Incoming students (from September 2020)

The changes that we are making are the consequence of current public health advice, and our capacity to offer alternatives is limited by that advice. If you wish to avoid these changes by deferring your offer please contact admissions@sgul.ac.uk.

Current students

The changes that we are making are the consequence of current public health advice, and our capacity to offer alternatives is limited by that advice. You will be required to consent to these changes as part of your re-enrolment. If you wish to avoid these changes (e.g. by taking a year out from your studies) please discuss this directly with your course team in the first instance. We remain, as always, focused on the best experience and outcomes for our students.

Apply now

Duration

One year full-time, two years, part-time

Application Deadline

The deadline for this course has passed but we are still accepting applications where places are available

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