Professional/Short course Introduction to Global Public Health

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Health and Social Sciences
Course Director
Dr Stuart McClean

15 credit Masters level module

Page last updated 17 February 2022


Accreditations and partnerships:

Public health issues need to be viewed on a global scale. In this module, you will explore how population health and well-being are influenced by a range of global factors and social determinants, including sustainability and the environment, food systems, security, globalisation and human migration.

On successful completion of the Introduction to Global Public Health module, you will be able to access, synthesise, critically analyse and apply knowledge and understanding of:

  • the range of factors that impact global health and wellbeing
  • the contribution of different academic disciplines to the study of global public health and wellbeing
  • the human, social and ethical context of global public health and how this is relevant to understanding inequality, social injustice and rights-based public health

Careers / Further study

This module contributes towards:

  • MSc Public Health
  • MSc Environmental Health.



The course syllabus includes:

  • Philosophical and theoretical perspectives on health, illness and public health, including epistemological and ontological arguments and social theories of subjectivity/objectivity, induction/deduction, structure, agency, human nature and modernity.
  • Philosophical perspectives on community and society: community organisation; group and organisational theory; political ideology (individualism, collectivism, communitarianism, market capitalism, etc).
  • Political and ethical values in public health: e.g. beneficence, equity, social justice, altruism, interdependence, social responsibility, harm principle, freedom, risk, etc.
  • Contributions of primary academic disciplines to public health, specifically sociology, ecology, psychology, education, political science, economics and biomedicine.
  • Historical and geographic trends and developments: evolution of the public health field; rise and prominence of biomedicine; national and international political developments (including WHO); global public health trends.
  • Determinants of health and illness: national and international trends; cultural, social, environmental and political contexts; key health drivers.
  • Inequalities in health, healthcare, opportunity and social status: social justice; rights and freedoms; local, national and international classification and social stratification (occupation, income, ethnicity, race, culture, religion, generation, age, gender, sexuality, opportunity and ability); political and ethical debates on inequality.

Learning and Teaching

The module takes a multi-disciplinary approach, providing contributions across the health and social sciences to explore the nature and complexity of public health in a global context. The module is taught through a combination of lectures and interactive seminars, discussion and group activity.

Independent learning includes hours engaged with essential reading, workshop preparation, assignment preparation and completion.


You will undertake one item of coursework comprising a 3,000 word essay.

Formative assessment involves small group workshops scheduled during the module that include small group seminar activities designed to enable you to interact, apply and exchange knowledge.


Study facilities

The Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and the facilities it provides.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

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How to apply

How to apply

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