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One year full-time, two years part-time

Application Deadline

Applications for 2024 entry open in November


St George's, University of London

UK, EU and non-EU (international)

citizens may apply

Start dates

September 2024

About this course

2020 showed us the devastating effect on global health of a new rapidly spread infectious disease and left national health systems struggling to maintain control. The battle against Covid-19 must continue, but so too must international efforts to end the scourge of polio, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and to avert epidemics of diseases like measles and yellow fever.

If you are looking to make a real difference in the pursuit of health equity and global justice, our stimulating suite of MScs in Global Health will help you better understand global health issues, policy and practices in the 21st century. Reflecting contemporary concerns and areas of research excellence at St George’s, we offer five specialist pathways in Global Health – in Conflict, Humanities, Mental Health, Ethics and Law, and Infection and Immunity – as well as the broad-based general degree.

Highly practical in nature, drawing on experiences of our own faculty and the many practitioners we have links with, these courses will be of particular interest to those who already work or wish to pursue an internationally focused career in development, policy, education, research or humanitarian relief. This includes policymakers, doctors, other health professionals and anyone with a strong interest in governance, management, law, politics, economics, policy, science, anthropology, philosophy and ethics.

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Course overview

Stopping infectious diseases and preparing for epidemics represent two of the 10 most urgent health challenges facing the population over the next decade, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Enhancing the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious disease and conditions linked to immune system function are therefore a top priority for global health.

This specialist pathway explores some of the major causes of human disease, including tuberculosis, influenza and HIV, as well as more focused topics such as emerging infectious agents like Ebola and Zika, or infection during pregnancy, childhood or other special circumstances. You will develop your understanding of the immune system, looking at how our bodies normally protect and respond to infection, as well as the mechanisms used by pathogens to evade the immune response. We will also consider some of the latest updates in vaccine technology and immunotherapy.

Global health is a fascinating, broad and multidisciplinary field that is underpinned by the desire to improve people’s health worldwide, reduce inequality and protect communities from global threats, such as conflict, economic crises or preventable diseases which, as coronavirus has demonstrated, do not respect national borders.

In addition to our general degree in Global Health, we offer five themed degree pathways which enable you to graduate with a named degree award: Global Health and Conflict; Global Health and Humanities; Global Health and Mental Health; Global Health, Ethics and Law; and Global Health, Infection and Immunity.

Core compulsory and elective modules, common to each pathway, will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to understand, interpret and help solve critical global health challenges, and prepare you to conduct a high-calibre research project in your chosen specialism.

Past research projects have covered the full spectrum of the discipline – from a clinical project to examine correlation between COVID and HIV conducted here in the UK, for example, to assessment of mental health care provision in rural South Africa and an analysis of the narratives of women imprisoned in Afghanistan and Iraq.

St George’s University of London is the UK’s only university dedicated to medical and health sciences education, training and research. We share our site with a major London teaching hospital which is both on the clinical frontline for a diverse local community and a centre of excellence for specialist conditions. You’ll study in a clinical setting with like-minded individuals, mixing with the many different healthcare professionals you will go on to work alongside throughout your career.

Course highlights

  • Flexible structure allows you to tailor your studies by specialising in one of our named degree pathways and choosing from a large range of optional modules.

  • Opportunity to spend up to four months on a research project working directly alongside high-calibre leading researchers, respected within their fields.

  • Our students have completed global health projects in many different locations around the world, including Cambodia and Sierra Leone previously, for example.

  • Our public Spotlight on Science talks cover topical global health issues and present our own scientists’ research – recent topics have included coronavirus vaccines, immunotherapy and tuberculosis.

  • Learn numerous, valuable transferrable skills including critical appraisal, problem-solving, research techniques, utilising large data, numeracy, and presenting skills.

  • St George’s is the only UK university focused on healthcare, science and medicine education and research.

  • Shared campus with St George’s Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK.

Want to know more?

Find out more about postgraduate study at St George’s, University of London by registering for our introductory email series.

Entry criteria

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

  • meet the entry criteria
  • write a personal statement
  • provide two suitable references

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 1 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 (e.g. for non-governmental organisations) and you may be required to submit supplementary details (e.g. 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

English Language

This is a Group 1 course.

Full details can be found on our English Language requirements webpages.

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.

Course structure

As well as a degree covering the broad subject of global health, we offer five themed degree pathways in the following specialist areas: Global Health and Conflict; Global Health and Humanities; Global Health and Mental Health; Global Health, Ethics and Law; and Global Health, Infection and Immunity.

By designing the suite as a series of related but independent modules, we can deliver a highly flexible programme allowing you to tailor your studies to match your interests and career aspirations. You can also accrue the appropriate amount of credits to achieve the intermediate awards of Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) or Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip), building on each qualification over time to achieve your full master’s degree.

The MSc is made up of 180 credits and can be studied over one year full-time or two years part-time. You will study one compulsory module common to all pathways, Global Governance for Health one elective module linked to your chosen pathway and choose one of three research support modules. You will undertake a research project in a topic linked to your themed degree and and choose a number of additional modules from a list of eight optional modules depending on how much credit you need to complete.

To achieve the PgCert (60 credits), you must study the compulsory module and choose additional modules to the value of 45 credits. For the PgDip (120 credits), in addition to the compulsory module, you must choose additional modules to the value of 105 credits.

Compulsory modules

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Global Governance for Health (15 credits)

This module explores 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 (NGOs) attempt to reduce the global burden of disease. You will gain a richer understanding of the global health challenges facing healthcare professionals, politicians and policy makers in the 21st century, and the importance of good governance in achieving health equity.

Infection and Immunity (30 credits)*

This module covers 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 (TB), 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.

Research project (60 credits)

You will conduct an independent research project in an area of interest to you. If you are intending to take an MSc Global Health themed award, the research project must be on a topic related to that theme. Dissertation projects will involve the assembly, analysis and interpretation of data. The project 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, will also receive local support. Previous projects have included a literature review of the antibody responses in people with active and latent TB infection and those who are BCG vaccinated, for example, and a study of the impact of HIV on COVID-19 infection in people living with HIV.

*Please note that 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).

Research support modules

If you are studying a full MSc, you may choose the following module to help you prepare for your research project.

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Research methods (15 credits)

This module looks at a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research study designs and approaches, their advantages and disadvantages. We focus on good research practice, designing studies using tools and approaches to minimise bias and maximise scientific rigour.

Optional modules

Depending on the amount of credits needed, you will choose from the list of optional modules below.

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Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) (30 credits)*

This module examines the major AMR problems and the strategies needed to reduce the current and future AMR burden, with a particular focus on healthcare impact, genetic technologies, and interventions. There will be an opportunity to learn about bioinformatics techniques, new sequencing technologies and ‘omics’ methodologies, and the enormous impact that genetics is having on understanding the epidemiology, selection and evolution of AMR pathogens. There will also be a series of sessions focusing on strategies to reduce AMR such as rapid diagnostics, antibiotic stewardship, dosing, new drugs, vaccines and phage applications. 

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, and the importance of the external factors which impact medical care. Previous natural disasters and conflicts provide case studies through which to explore the challenges experienced and the various skills required for humanitarian work. These case studies will shine a light on some of the debates and issues surrounding humanitarian work and disaster relief. You will also explore the important roles of other professionals in the field such as engineers and logisticians.

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 also 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 Ethics and Law (30 credits)

This module considers global health from an ethico-legal perspective. You will learn about cosmopolitanism, nationalism, distributive justice, consequentialism, deontology and human rights theory, using different theoretical 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.

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.

Global Health and Comparative Health Systems (15 credits)

This module focuses 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, including the relationship between supply and demand, models of healthcare resource allocation, and methods to measure and compare health system performance.

Global Health Diseases (30 credits)

This module deals with a wide range of current and emerging diseases 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. Examined from a global perspective, you will explore the aetiology, overall health impact, epidemiology, pathology, manifestations and prevention approaches for each disease. Referencing freely available global health reports and statistics, for example from WHO, you will learn how to measure past and current progress to combat diseases within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and forecast future outcomes.

Humanitarian Action and Ethics (15 credits)

The effects of humanitarian crises are increasingly globalised, as seen with recent trends in migration and forced displacement. Aid workers now respond to increasingly complex crises in which decision making and action can be adversely affected by the changing nature of conflict, climate change or disasters. In addition, humanitarian organisations can come under pressure in volatile political situations, especially when they are structured by extreme religious ideology. This module recognises that humanitarian action is a cross-cultural endeavour, fraught with ethical challenges and conducted against a backdrop of health injustice and vulnerable populations.

Migration and Health (15 credits)

This module is intended to provide students with an understanding of the growing field of migration and health in a contemporary global context. This module is designed for students wishing to understand the impact that the migration process has on health outcomes, with a specific focus on infection.

The module will explore historical and contemporary global migration trends, theories and models of migration, international legal, ethical, and policy frameworks, and the role of key stakeholders involved in policy and service delivery. Students will learn about global health and disease patterns in diverse migrant groups, healthcare needs and priorities, their risk factors and vulnerabilities, and explore key policies and practices and international protection structures of relevance to migrant health in middle- and high-income countries.

The module will explore migrants’ barriers and facilitators to health and vaccination systems, and make students aware of new research approaches and public health innovations to improve the health of these populations in the area of screening, vaccination, mental health, public health communications and data strengthening. They will explore the growing field of participatory research and co-design in public health to strengthen the design and delivery of public health interventions.

The module will provide students with the knowledge and skills to critically analyse and discuss migration as a social determinant of health, providing them with an understanding of the current evidence-base and emerging hot topics in this evolving and growing field.

*Please note that 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).

Module availability

It is possible that certain modules listed on the course page may not be able to run due to a variety of reasons, such as availability of specialist academics or patterns of student demand, including limitations due to minimum or maximum class sizes. The University will ensure that all affected parties are notified of any changes as soon as possible and propose relevant alternative options if necessary.

Teaching and learning

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

The nature of the Global Health discipline ensures that we attract a diverse student cohort each year, of different ages, stages of life and professionals from sectors as disparate as medicine and law, which students tell us makes the learning all the more interesting.

They also tell us they like the many opportunities to learn from people working directly and indirectly within the global health sector and humanitarian organisations. Where possible, we invite guest lecturers to share their experiences, capitalising on the in-house experts within our own faculty, St George’s Hospital and our extensive industry links. Previously, students have heard from a senior advisor at WHO, a Kenyan NGO, international lawyers and world-leading researchers in tuberculosis and malaria, to name just a few examples.

Teaching is delivered through a variety of methods including group lectures, tutor-led seminars, postgraduate masterclasses and workshops, and case or scenario based learning sessions. For example, in the Global Governance for Health module, you will explore the impact of corruption in healthcare and examine the impact of various anti-corruption policies on health. You will also participate in self-directed study and wider reading, as well as individual and group practical sessions.

Personal and professional development is fostered through academic study, self-directed learning activities and the implementation of a research project under supervision. With opportunities in London and internationally, research projects reflect the flexibility offered throughout the programme with the potential to study an exciting range of subject matter as part of a humanities, laboratory or clinical project.

The course is designed to encourage you to become more self-directed in your studies and, in doing so, gain insight into your own learning styles, preparing you to take responsibility for your future learning and professional development. You will develop transferrable skills in critical thinking, communication skills, time management, planning and logistics and data analysis.

Our expertise

You’ll be taught by staff whose expertise covers medical ethics, law, philosophy, humanities, communicable diseases, clinical medicine, surgery, environmental epidemiology and public health. This includes, for example, an an academic specialising in mental health, gender-based violence and conflict, an environmental epidemiologist with more than 10 years’ experience working in the area of environmental determinants of human health, and a veteran public health specialist formerly of the World Health Organization (WHO).

St George’s enjoys a global reputation as experts in population health, infection and immunity, and molecular and clinical sciences thanks to our four world-class research institutes – Molecular and Clinical Science, Population Health Research, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education and Infection and Immunity.

For the past two centuries, since the ‘father of immunology’ Edward Jenner, based here, created the world’s first vaccine, we have been at the forefront of developing new and innovative solutions to enhance the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. More recently, our research has included a focus on tuberculosis, malaria, HIV in low and middle-income countries and Covid-19. A founder member of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), we have been involved for over 25 years in measuring the burden of respiratory disease nationally and globally.

Assessment methods

Assessments are designed to help you with preparation for your dissertation. They help you review published work critically, use appropriate experimental design, and analyse experimental data. They also enable you to develop scientific writing and presentation skills. All modules are assessed through written assignments or an oral presentation, with the exception of the statistics module which is assessed via examination. Following the research project, you will be asked to present a poster on your research.


Graduating with a master’s degree in Global Health from St George’s opens up a world of opportunities – quite literally.  The breadth of practical experience and insight, coupled with the international connections you will make, prepare you to make impactful change and positively influence the health of people anywhere in the world.

Careers in global health are often divided into clinical and non-clinical with opportunities in both addressing issues of public or global health, or working in leadership, consultancy or research roles in either government or the private sector, as well as national and international agencies, such as WHO, Unicef or Save the Children, for example.

Career options include policy development, advocacy, health systems administration and management, education, research, community outreach, community healthcare planning, infectious disease management, programme planning and evaluation.

Depending on your interests and chosen specialism, you will also be able to target the countries, individuals, initiatives or challenges you feel most passionately about. On completion, you will also be equipped with practical research-based training and skills putting you in a good position to apply for a PhD, which some of our students choose to do.

Example career routes:

  • Academic institutions

  • Aid agencies

  • Civil service

  • Hospitals

  • Local or national government

  • National health services

  • National ministries of health

  • NGOs

  • Professional bodies

  • Third sector organisations

  • World Health Organisation


St George’s is the only UK university based on a hospital site, St George’s Hospital, which is where much of the Channel 4 television series 24 hours in A&E was filmed. We offer a unique opportunity to study and work alongside the full range of clinical professionals and their patients. Based in the thriving multi-cultural hub of Tooting in South West London, our location has the added advantage of being just a short tube ride from Central London and all the city lifestyle has to offer.

We also have a range of specialist health and academic facilities to support your learning, listed below.


Our teaching laboratories are fully fitted with equipment for biological, chemistry, biomedical, molecular biology and pharmacy practicals. This includes microscopes, spectrophotometers, DMA amplifiers, organ baths and specialist glassware. We also have audio visual equipment installed, so that microscope images can be projected on to large screens.

Image Resource Facility (IRF)

First established in 1979, the IRF has developed to encompass Light Microscopy, Electron Microscopy, and sample preparation for both, all housed in a single department providing a range of imaging analysis options and the expertise to compliment them. Users of the IRF have the ability to image histology samples, cells and molecules of all varieties, and model organisms such as zebrafish using any of the light microscope, slide scanning, or electron microscope systems we maintain, supported by experienced staff at all stages of analysis.

Dissecting room

The dissecting room is where present and future healthcare professionals and scientists in the hospital and University learn or refresh their anatomy knowledge directly from the human body, through access to cadaveric material and models, and plastinated (preserved) specimens.

Pathology museum

Our on-site museum houses a collection of over 2,000 pathological specimens, including a number of original specimens donated by Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie in 1843. This space is used for small group tutorials by students across all of our courses as an educational tool to help you understand the mechanisms of disease. 

Library and learning technology

Our modern health sciences library offers a wide range of books, e-books, academic journals and other resources to support you. You will also have access to online resources, such as the Canvas virtual learning environment

and our Hunter discovery service to help you find the information you need. The library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and comprises silent, quiet and group learning areas, as well as four group discussion rooms.

IT facilities

We have five computer suites housing 260 workstations. Three of these suites are accessible 24 hours a day. It’s easy to find a free space with our handy real-time computer locator. We also have 75 self-service laptops available. Free Wi-Fi covers the whole campus, including all accommodation. You can use these resources to access your course materials, discussion boards and feedback through Canvas.

Student support

Whether you are an existing healthcare professional or global health policy maker, returning to education after a break or joining us after graduating from an undergraduate degree, we want to ensure your experience is positive from the outset. At St George’s, you’ll be welcomed by a multicultural student and staff body of different ages, ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds, all with one thing in common – an interest in healthcare, science and medicine.

Students frequently tell us they greatly appreciate the diversity of our student and staff body, as well as the patients who access healthcare services in the borough of Tooting. The University attracts a substantial number – over two-thirds – of ‘mature’ students, aged 21 or over when they start; many have family and caring responsibilities.

We offer a full range of academic support and student services across all institutes, departments and faculties, some of which are listed below. We take pride in offering a transformative educational experience underpinned by cooperation and collaboration between staff and students.

Academic support

On arrival, you will be allocated a personal tutor – someone with whom you can have regular contact, who you ask questions and discuss problems with, both academic and personal. The main purpose of a personal tutor is to monitor your progress, pick up and help you resolve any problems, whether academic or welfare related. Even if they don’t have the answer they will point you in the right direction towards the best people to deal with specific problems.

You’ll have access to your lecturers, usually by arrangement via email.

Induction programme

The main goal of induction is to make sure that you are set up for your studies and start to feel part of the University and our community. As well as course-specific activities, we run an online ‘Get Started’ module which provides lots of information about social and enrichment activities, student safety, wellbeing and learning support, including study skills, a library induction and guidance about our careers and employability services. Additional information is provided for international students.

Student Life Centre

Our Student Centre team can help you with every aspect of student life: finances, accommodation, exams and assessment, academic procedures, admissions, international queries, disability and wellbeing, even finding your way around – whatever it takes to make you feel at home. Each course has a designated contact within the student centre to link to and your personal tutor can signpost you to relevant support, including a confidential counselling service.

Careers service

Our careers service works to support current students and recent graduates to find and maintain the career of their dreams. We work with careers tutors from each course area to ensure that careers activities specific to your programmes and future profession come to you.

Fees and funding

In this tab you will find the financial information for this programme of study, including available financial support and scholarships.

Tuition fees

2023 UK (Home)

  • Full-time MSc: £12,500

  • Part-time MSc: £6,500 per annum

2023 EU and International

  • Full-time MSc: £24,000

  • Part-time MSc: £12,750 per annum

Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course (unless stated). Fees for second and subsequent years are likely to increase annually in line with UK inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI-X). They will not normally increase by more than 5% each year, except when the rate of inflation is significantly more than that projected in the preceding year.

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.


Study abroad

Tuition fees outlined above do not include costs associated with completing a project abroad.

Technology requirements

Find out more about technology requirements associated with online learning.

Funding your study

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

Find out more on our fees and funding webpage.

Apply now


One year full-time, two years part-time

Application Deadline

Applications for 2024 entry open in November

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