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

students in discussion

St George's is home to world leading researchers who are tackling some of the greatest health challenges of the 21st century.

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. By completing this module 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 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. The module covers preparation and planning for the research as well as the analysis, discussion and presentation of the outcomes of the research. 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, at least 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 as well as guide learning of 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. 

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, at least 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 analysis of health systems in both the global north and south.  You will explore the issues that concern health system service models and design. Amongst these you will explore relevant issues including the relationship between supply and demand, models of the allocation of healthcare resources, 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 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 health care resources.

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. You are supported in practically applying the different qualitative and quantitative methodologies that are taught in these lectures.  The aim of the module is to enable you to develop skills in understanding, critically interpreting and extracting data. You 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 research methods appropriate to researchers undertaking projects in areas from biomedical science to health services research.

Statistics (15 credits)

The aims of the module is to introduce you to modern-day 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.

*You are required to study either Global Health, Ethics and Law OR Humanitarian Action Ethics. Although you may take both if you wish.

 Note: A full MSc = 180 credits


Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2017 15:00