BSc Global Development

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to Global Health

Course unit fact file
Unit code HCRI20321
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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, women health, social determinants of health and emerging infectious diseases. 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, women health, social determinants of health and emerging infectious diseases and non-communicable and communicable diseases and other key areas in global health and their associated challenges and governance.

Teaching and learning methods

The module is delivered using lectures, individual/group structured reading, discussion and preparation sessions, and seminars. The study sessions and seminars provide a structured environment for students to initiate and carry out independent and group work, supported by staff. Session material including unit handouts, assigned readings, videos, and web links are made available via Blackboard (accessed via the student system). Information on how to use e-learning tools is included in Welcome Week and in the course unit introductory lecture.

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 as well as key governance issue

Practical skills

  • Plan, research and execute individual and group work 
  • Develop oral and written presentation skills to present research outcomes
  • To conduct critical analysis on contemporary global health issues

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 - Understanding and critiquing data from a range of data sources e.g. - Quantitative and qualitative data - Critical analysis - Ability to plan and execute individual and group research - Presentation skills

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative 



1 x group presentation Summative 15 minutes per group 40%
Essay Summative 1500 words 60%

Feedback methods

Feedback method Formative or Summative
Verbal Feedback during lectures and seminars (students receive verbal and written feedback for the practice essay plan) Formative
Written feedback on assessed presentations - using SALC feedback form


Written feedback on essays - using SALC feedback form Summative
Written feedback on essay plan Formative 


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. 
  • Steven Hoffman, et al. (Chatham House) (2015) Mapping Global Health Architecture to Inform the Future, January 2015. 
  • Margaret E Kruk, et al. (2018). High-quality health systems in the Sustainable Development Goals era: time for a revolution, The Lancet global health, 6.11 (2018): e1196-1252

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sabah Boufkhed Unit coordinator

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