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BSc International Disaster Management & Humanitarian Response / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Introduction to Global Health

Unit code HCRI30021
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The unit conceptualises current approaches in the global health agenda and its importance to the medical profession. A total of 8 individual lectures cover issues such as the global burden of diseases, the determinants of health and health inequalities, and the progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6. These three goals are directly related to health. We also critically examine the new Sustainable Development Goals that replaced the MDGs. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of health systems organization and governance and reflect on the implication of this on population health. Lectures are complemented by a weekly seminar series to explore issues of global health in context, in the UK and globally, in more detail and increase awareness of specific health issues and challenges.




The unit aims to: Provide a critical overview of major global health debates and challenges both in the U.K. and globally. It further aims to enhance students’ knowledge of the determinants of health and health inequalities and their link to current global burden of diseases and the progress towards the WHO Millennium Development Goals and new Sustainable Development Goals.


Knowledge and understanding

  • understand the socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental factors on health and diseases
  • develop critical understanding of the diversity and changing nature of the determinants of health and health inequalities
  • recognise the role and impact of health systems organization and governance on the health and well-being of populations

Intellectual skills

  • critically analyse the concept of global health and its relation to clinical medical practice
  • critically reflect on the implications of the social determinants of health and health inequalities
  • critically reflect and evaluate the impact of global health systems and agendas on health status

Practical skills

  • plan, research and execute individual and group work
  • develop oral and written presentation skills

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • ability to plan and execute individual and group research
  • develop oral and written communication skills
  • critical evaluation skills: e.g. research and policy analysis
  • enhanced student awareness of global inequalities and their ethical implications
  • increased awareness of students’ own values as an individual and global citizen

Employability skills

- health profiling - working with quantitative and qualitative data - critical policy analysis - ability to plan and execute individual and group research

Assessment methods

Group practice presentation 0%
Group presentation 25%
Groups debate 25%
Essay 50%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Verbal feedback during lectures and seminars (students receive verbal and written feedback after practice presentation sessions)


Written feedback on assessed presentations- using SALC feedback from


Written feedback on essays- using SALC feedback form



Recommended reading

Beaglehole, R. and Bonita, R. (2010) What is Global Health? Global Health Action 3: 1-2

Fried, L. et al. (2010) Global health is public health The Lancet 375: 535-537

Garrett, L. (2007) The Challenge of Global Health Foreign Affairs 86: 155-161

Jacobsen, K. (2008) Introduction to Global Health London: Jones and Bartlett

Koplan, J. et al. (2009) Towards a common definition of global health The Lancet 373:1993-1995


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Maura Duffy Unit coordinator

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