BA History and German

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Health is a Human Right: The Global Quest for Universal healthcare

Course unit fact file
Unit code HSTM30732
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The 20th century witnessed the most fundamental changes in global healthcare. In Britain it gave birth to the National Health Service, ensuring free access to healthcare. In Asia, Africa and Latin America, health was aligned to questions of poverty, nutrition, maternity and children’s health.

Through a historical perspective, this unit introduces you to the contemporary global challenges of public health. It analyses the various national projects in Europe, Latin America and Asia to tackle problems of poverty, malnutrition, sanitation, medical infrastructure, and curative and preventive health measures in rural and urban areas. The unit studies various movements around public health, showing how public health became fundamental to national development, and how nations sought to provide access to healthcare to a larger population.

As a unit on the history of public health, it brings together insights from history, population studies and economics.






The unit introduces the global movements around health, development and universal healthcare in the post-World War 2 era. In doing this, it explores the roles of the state, civil society, and individuals in establishing, administering and delivering public healthcare.  


Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit you will be able to:

  • Identify historical approaches to public health
  • Describe the chronology of major challenges in global health
  • Analyse political, economic, ethical and historical debates surrounding models of public health and universal health coverage
  • Present and defend informed arguments on the topic


In addition, for 20 credits:

  • Research and write a literature-based review, integrating a range of disciplinary approaches





Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 25%
Written exam 25%
Report 50%

Feedback methods

For the written essay: Detailed feedback is provided online through Balckboard. Students are also encouraged to meet for face to face feedback.

For the exam: Exam scripts will contain comments for students to consult, should they wish to.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 188

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Carsten Timmermann Unit coordinator

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