BSc Global Health (intercalated)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to Global Health

Course unit fact file
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 global health and the global health agenda and its importance to the medical profession. A total of 11 individual lectures cover issues such as the global burden of diseases, the determinants of health and health inequalities, the Sustainable Development Goals and important contemporary key topics in global health, for example, maternal, newborn and child health; water, sanitation, hygiene; the environment and vulnerable groups and emerging areas including disease outbreaks. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of health systems organisation and governance, health systems strengthening, and the key actors in global health 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, and increase awareness of specific health issues and challenges. 


 The unit aims to: 
Provide a comprehensive understanding and critical review of global health to include the key debates and challenges both in the U.K. and globally and underpinning this, the key focus of global health on improving health and achieving health equity for all worldwide. It further aims to enhance students’ knowledge of contemporary global health issues, for example, maternal health, child health, water, sanitation and hygiene, environmental issues and non-communicable and communicable diseases and other key areas in global health and their associated challenges and governance.

Knowledge and understanding

•    understand the socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental factors impacting 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 organisation and governance on the health and well-being of populations
•    to understand important contemporary global health topics 

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
  • to understand the critical global health challenges, and the factors that have contributed to their emergence and key governance issues

Practical skills

  • plan, research and execute individual and group work
  • develop oral and written presentation skills
  • to conduct research on contemporary policy topics

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,policy analysis and evaluation
  • enhanced student awareness of global inequalities and their ethical implications
  • enhanced understanding of contemporary global health topics and key challenges in global health
  • increased awareness of students’ own values as an individual and global citizen

Employability skills

- health profiling - working withunderstanding and critiquing data from a range of data sources e.g. quantitative and qualitative data - critical policy analysis - ability to plan and execute individual and group research - presentation skills

Assessment methods

Formative essay plan


1 x group presentation





Feedback methods


Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Verbal feedback during lectures and seminars (students receive verbal and written feedback for the practice essay plan)


Written feedback on assessed presentations - using SALC feedback from


Written feedback on essays- using SALC feedback form


Written feedback on essay plan 

Recommended reading

 Seye Abimbola (2018) On the meaning of global health and the role of global health journals, International Health, 10:63-65.

Hani Kim, et al. (2019). A critical assessment of the ideological underpinnings of current practice in global health and their historical origins, Global Health Action, 12:1, 1651017 (13 pages).

Paul Farmer (2013) “Reimagining Global Health - An Introduction”, University of California Press.

Joia Mukherjee (2017) “An Introduction to Global Health Delivery¿: Practice, Equity, Human Rights”. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Michael Marmot, et al. (2020) Health equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On - Executive Summary

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sabah Boufkhed Unit coordinator
Byron Bitanihirwe Unit coordinator

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