Postgraduate Course: Refugees, Health and Humanitarian Action (PGSP11576)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course aims to provide a context for the setting of refugee health during forced migration, and an in-depth examination of the unique health needs and challenges that refugees face. With an introduction to the common health problems and risks associated with forced population movements, the course will examine specific challenges particularly in relation to maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health, mental health and psychosocial disorders, SGBV, disease burdens in refugee camps, and the social determinants of health during the migration process. We will also review and critique important policy issues surrounding refugee health and the efficacy of related humanitarian actions in the context of health during and after the migration process.
This course will focus on health in individuals that experience forced migration by considering the social determinants of health in refugee populations, barriers to health in refugee settings, and policies and actions aiming to address these issues.
The aims of this course include:
- Outline the context, causes, history and consequences of forced migration in terms of refugees' unique experiences with health.
- Critically understand the relationship between forced migration and health, including key barriers with a focus on the social determinants of refugee health.
- Examine common health problems prevalent among refugee settings and the impact of refugee status on access to health care.
- Articulate and critically analyse policy options and humanitarian actions addressing refugee health.
- Critically understand the role of refugee health in global health, particularly in relation to the United Nations - SDGs 3 and 5.
The first section of the course will be an introduction to the history and nature of forced migration, including the Geneva Convention, global and local contexts, theoretical notions, and critical race theory in order to provide a background on refugee health. The next section will examine refugee health in a number of contexts, starting with the relationship between forced migration and health, including the challenges faced by refugees and host populations. We will also examine more specific health challenges, such as maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health in refugee contexts, mental health among refugee populations, sexual and gender-based violence, and disease burden in refugee camps. This section will conclude with an examination of the barriers and social determinants of health during the migration progress. The final section of the course will focus on policy issues in relation to refugee health, with an emphasis on health protection and the designing and implementing of humanitarian actions in these contexts. Throughout this course, we will make reference to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, and observe how refugee health is an essential aspect of progress towards the goals of global health and well-being (#3), and of gender equality (#5).
The course will be taught via a combination of lectures and workshops, student-led seminars and where possible webinars led by humanitarian practitioners and academics based in refugee settings in the global South (drawing on the course organiser's links and subject to availability of speakers).
The course learning outcomes will be assessed via a blog/policy brief/report - 30% (week 6); and an essay - 70% at the end of the course. The course lead will provide feedback on essay outline (formative assessment) during week 7-8).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The course learning outcomes will be assessed via a blog/policy brief/report - 30% (week 6; once assessed, students will be offered an opportunity to post the blog/policy brief/report on the Global Refugee Health Research Network website which is being developed); and an essay; 70% at the end of the course.
||Summative assessments will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission.
An essay briefing will be offered in week 6 and the course lead will provide verbal feedback on essay outline (formative assessment) during week 7-8
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Explain the contexts, causes and consequences of forced migration on refugee health and identify common health problems among refugee settings
- Examine and critically discuss the relationship between forced migration and health, including access to health and key barriers with a focus on the social determinants of refugee health.
- Show an awareness of policy options, and be able to orally debate and evaluate the various advantages and disadvantages of different courses of practical action.
- Conduct independent research into the role of refugee health in global health, particularly in relation to the United Nations¿ SDGs 3 and 5.
- Write effectively in writing for different audiences and communicative platforms, including a blog/policy brief/report
|- International Organisation for Migration (2006). Migration : A Social Determinant of the Health of Migrants. Geneva, IOM Migration Health Department.|
- Mengesha ZB, Perz J, Dune T, Ussher J. (2017). Refugee and migrant women's engagement with sexual and reproductive health care in Australia: A socio-ecological analysis of health care professional perspectives. PLoS One. 12(7):e0181421. Published 2017 Jul 20. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0181421.
- Ostrander, J., Melville, A., & Berthold, S. M. (2017). Working with Refugees in the US: Trauma-Informed and Structurally Competent Social Work Approaches. Advances in Social Work, 18(1), 66-79.
- Palattiyil et al. (tbc). Journeys into adulthood and out of displacement - how refugee girls navigate their reproductive health in urban Uganda and Jordan. Refugee Survey Quarterly (just submitted, so not sure if be featured in the final proposal)
- Palattiyil, G., Sidhva, D., Derr, A., and Macgowan, M (tbc). Global Trends in Forced Migration - Policy, Practice, and Research Imperatives for Social Work. International Social Work.
- Silove, D., Ventevogel, P. and Rees, S. (2017), The contemporary refugee crisis: an overview of mental health challenges. World Psychiatry, 16: 130-139. doi:10.1002/wps.20438
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- By the end of the course, students should demonstrate communication skills, through involvement in discussion groups, presentations and written tasks.
- By the end of the course, students should have developed their skills in research and enquiry to identify and creatively tackle problems, and to seek out opportunities for learning.
- By the end of the course, students should have personal and intellectual autonomy to critically evaluate ideas, evidence and experiences from an open-minded and reasoned perspective.
- By the end of the course, students should be able to draw on the depth and breadth of their experiences to engage with communities around them and seek to contribute positively, ethically and respectfully.
|Course organiser||Dr George Palattiyil
Tel: (0131 6)50 3907
|Course secretary||Mrs Beth Richardson-Mills
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659