MPH Master of Public Health (Communicable Disease Prevention and Control)

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Global Women's Public Health

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH62411
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will be of interest to students from all over the world. It has implications for health professionals, policy makers and researchers. A number of health and clinical topics will be introduced each week. Students do not need to be health professionals to take this unit, and links will be provided to give clinical information for those students who are interested. 

In 2015 Dr Flavia Bustreo the WHO Assistant Director General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health stated that In 2015, “in too many countries, women’s empowerment remains a pipedream - little more than a rhetorical flourish added to a politician’s speech. Too many women are still missing out on the opportunity to get educated, support themselves, and obtain the health services they need, when they need them.”  This unit is going to look critically at the 10 most pressing issues that Bustreo highlighted. Taking a public health perspective we will also examine the burden of the problems and critically appraise the quality of data that is available to support decision making on women’s health. We will explore how social determinants of health, for example poverty, education, working and living conditions impact on a women’s life and health throughout her life course. Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals is to ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’ and we will look throughout the life course at the impact of discrimination (UN 2015).

This is an interactive online course. Students must work through the online course material. Students are encouraged to use the Blackboard discussion boards to ask questions and check their understanding of the course material.


This unit is one of three which may be taken as the additional mandatory unit for the Global Health pathway, alongside the mandatory core unit of POPH 60041 for all pathways.

The other options are:

  • POPH62311 - Global Health in the 21st Century
  • POPH62212 - Health Systems Challenges in Low and Middle Income Countries


To understand the burden of women’s global health and the factors affecting it. 

Learning outcomes

  • To assess the changing burden of women’s global health in a global context.
  • To apply an understanding of environmental, social and economic determinants of health to women’s global health issues.
  • To understand the role gender equality and women’s empowerment in global women’s health.
  • To critically appraise the level of evidence available to support decision making in women’s global health.


1.    Being Young

2.    Reproductive health

3.    Maternal health

4.    Sexually transmitted infections

5.    Violence

6.    Mental health

7.    Non communicable diseases

8.    HIV

9.    Cancer

10.   Older Adulthood

Teaching and learning methods

The majority of the course material to be covered is provided through the written course unit, links to journal articles, web sites and digital book chapters. Some weeks the students will work on an exercise individually or in a group towards assessed discussion boards. This unit will encourage students to share their experiences and use examples from their own practice or area of interest as a basis for their assignments.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
At Masters level we expect students to be able to apply what they know to other contexts, often their own. In this unit students will have the opportunity of doing this in their final assignment.
Group/team working
Team working is important for all health professionals and especially Public Health specialists. This unit requires students to work together in small groups to curate two discussion boards during the unit.

Assessment methods

Assessment task


Weighting within unit (if relevant)

Midterm Assignment:

(after week 5)

1,500 words


Final Assignment:

(after week 10)

2,500 words


Assessed Discussion Board:

(see below)



On the assessed discussion board activities there will be a discussion board running throughout the unit which will explore the wider determinants of women’s global health. Students will be allocated two separate weeks where they will be responsible for leading the discussion, and they will be expected to make no fewer than four additional posting / comments over the 10 taught weeks. They will receive feedback and marks on their discussion leading. Final marks will be allocated at the end of the unit. 

Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised written  feedback for their mid-term and final summative assignments, within 15 working days for mid-term assignments and 20 working days for final submission. Students will also receive feedback for both assessed discussion board activities. 

There will be a specific webinar to provide detailed feedback on the mid-term paper and prepare students for the final assignment.

Recommended reading

Women’s health priorities and interventions (2015)

Women and Health: the key for sustainable development (2015)

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Elizabeth Dalgarno Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For further information please watch this video from our previous Course Unit Leader.

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the course unit leader, Elizabeth Dalgarno, via email on If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on

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