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Key Concepts In Global Health (Module)

Module description

By the end of this module, students will be able to understand key concepts and debates in global health. The module explores (a) the link between social and economic transformations in society and global public health; and (b) the impact of policy and interventions on global health. It takes an interdisciplinary approach that draws on multiple fields including public global health, sociology, economics, demography and philosophy. Through these multiple perspectives the module aims to provide students with an understanding of key topics as well as controversies in the understanding of the determinants and interventions in Global Health. The module draws on the wide range of expertise across faculty at the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine, and it links concepts and theories to specific applications in global health.

The module is divided in three blocks. The first block (1st semester) explores the links between social and economic transformations (demographic change, inequality, global trade, conflict and violence) and global public health. The second block introduces students to critical topics in human rights, ethics and social justice in Global Health, including international research ethics, the judicialisation of global health (1st semester), and the approaches to social justice and health (2nd semester). The third block (2nd semester) examines interventions and policies in global health. Lectures in this block examine how health and social policies, including social protection systems and poverty reduction programmes, as well as health systems, influence global public health. The module will also provide students with an introduction to global health in practice, by focusing on the practical aspects of working and interventions in global health.

  1. Su C, Muennig P. Social Policy and Global Health. In: Su C, Muennig P, editors. Introducing Global Health: Practice, Policy and Solutions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2013. p. 143-169.
  2. Glymour M, Avendano M, Kawachi I. Socioeconomic Status and Health. In: Berkman LF, Kawachi I, Glymour M, editors. Social Epidemiology, 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press; 2014. p. 17-62.
  3. Kienzler, H. & Pedersen, D. (2012). Strange but common bedfellows: The relationship between humanitarians and the military in developing psychosocial interventions for civilian populations affected by armed conflict. Transcultural Psychiatry, 49(3-4), 492–518.
  4. Reubi, D., Herrick, C. and T. Brown (2015). The Politics of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Global South. Health & Place doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.09.001
  5. Fee, E. and M. Parry (2008). Jonathan Mann, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. Journal of Public Health Policy, 29:54–71.
  6. Abraham, J. and Davis, C. (2005) ‘A comparative analysis of drug safety withdrawals in the UK and US: implications for current regulatory thinking and policy’ Social Science & Medicine 61: 881-92.
  7. Fernald LC, Gertler PJ, Neufeld LM. Role of cash in conditional cash transfer programmes for child health, growth, and development: an analysis of Mexico's Oportunidades. Lancet. Mar 8 2008;371(9615):828-837.
  8. Children's health priorities and interventions. Were WM, Daelmans B, Bhutta Z, Duke T, Bahl R, Boschi-Pinto C, Young M, Starbuck E, Bhan MK. BMJ 2015;351:h4300
  9. Venkatapuram, Sridhar. 2010. Global Justice and the Social Determinants of Health. Ethics and International Affairs, 24, 119-130.
  10. Rodin J, de Ferranti D. Universal health coverage: the third global health transition? Lancet. 2012;380(9845):861-2.

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.  

Staff information

Dr Mauricio Avendano

Teaching pattern

Each week comprises a lecture followed by a seminar. Students are expected to do individual study and readings before class. Active learning through class participation is an important component of the course.

Module assessment - more information

  • Unseen Written Examination (40%)
  • Research paper on a global Health problem (30%)
  • Class reading response (15%)
  • Infographic (15%)

Required module for

Key information

Module code 5SSHM001

Credit level 5

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 30

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No