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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Public Health Research

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Global Health (PUHR11046)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis introductory global health course will equip students with an understanding of how the health of the world's population has changed over time, how and why it might change in future and what might be done to influence these trajectories. A recurring theme throughout the course is that essentially the same global drivers are responsible for the health risks faced by populations in both high and middle/low income countries. The stark differences in health outcomes in high income compared with middle/low income countries is not primarily a reflection of different risks but of differences in the capacity to prevent or respond to these risks. The field of global health is a constantly and rapidly changing one, so the focus of this course is not simply to teach students about current global health priorities but rather to equip them with the skills and knowledge to assess and critically appraise global health evidence so that they can become effective decision-makers and problem-solvers.
Course description This course is organised into ten sessions. Sessions 1 - 7 are lecture/seminar sessions covering the topics listed below. The final 3 sessions are student group presentations, which constitute the formative assessment for this course. The seven sessions are:

1. What is global health? This session examines the concept of global health and how this has evolved over the last 70 years or so. We consider evolving global health governance arrangements.
2. Globalisation and health - We ask whether globalisation is good or bad for health, examine distal and proximal drivers of health and introduce concepts such as the epidemiological transition.
3. Measuring global health - We look at how different types of global health issue can be measured and at the inherent challenges involved. We introduce and briefly critique the global burden of disease approach and look at what this tells us about evolving global health issues.
4. Health inequity - We introduce the concept of health inequity and the seminal work done by Sir Michael Marmot. We look at tools for assessing the equity impact of public health interventions.
5. Gender and health - We focus on gender as one form of inequity and introduce a tool for analysing the impact of gender on disease and disease outcomes.
6. Participation - We consider bottom-up approaches to tackling global health problems and consider what is meant by the term participation in the context of global health.
7. Health systems - We introduce the concept of health systems and explore the characteristics of different health systems.

The final three weeks of the course are devoted to student presentations, which constitutes the formative assessment for this course. Students are divided into three groups and present the results of their enquiries into:

-Communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases
-Noncommunicable diseases
-Injuries and violence

These enquiries cover an analysis of the magnitude/global burden of the issue, the underlying causes/drivers, the identification of risk factors and at-risk populations/groups and a critical analysis of global initiatives and evidence-based interventions to address the issue. Students receive peer and tutor feedback.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  60
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 19/09/2016
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will be assessed by a written assignment at the end of the course.
Feedback Students will be given summative feedback (peer and tutor) to their group presentations. This will also function as feed-forward for the written assignment. Feedback on the written assignment will cover topic-specific but also generic skills, such as academic writing, critical thinking, which will be useful for future courses.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have a critical awareness of: the socio-economic, biological and environmental causes and consequences of disease in different global contexts; the different ways that health systems can be organised to respond to national health priorities; the importance of effective global health governance in negotiating responses to problems that affect more than one country or region; the importance of participatory approaches in developing effective responses to public health problems; key approaches to addressing global health challenges in communicable and nutritional disease, maternal and child health, noncommunicable disease, injuries and violence..
  2. Be able to critically apply methodologies such as the global burden of disease approach and health equity tools to measure and analyse global health problems
  3. Have worked collaboratively with a small group of your peers to investigate a global health issue, to communicate your findings to your wider peer group and to give and receive constructive feedback.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsglobal health,public health
Course organiserDr Ruth Mcquillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 9238
Course secretaryMr Stuart Mallen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3227
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