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

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Global Health (GLHE11044)

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)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting 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 five weekly sessions. Sessions 1 to 4 cover the topics listed below. The final session is for student group presentations and feedback. The four preceding 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. 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. We also consider the concept of globalisation and global drivers of health and disease.
3. Health inequity: We introduce the concept of health inequity and the seminal work of Sir Michael Marmot. We look at tools for assessing the equity impact of public health interventions and different health system arrangements.
4. 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.
The final week of the course is devoted to student presentations, which constitutes 40% of the summative assessment for this course. Students are divided into three groups and present the results of their enquiries into:
1. Communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases
2. Noncommunicable diseases
3. 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
Additional Costs Students are responsible for meeting the cost of their own computer and Internet access.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. Have a critical awareness of: the socio-economic, biological and environmental causes and consequences of disease in different global contexts; the importance of effective global health governance in negotiating responses to problems that affect more than one country or region; 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
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course directly addresses the following graduate attributes:
Research and enquiry
Personal effectiveness
Special Arrangements This course will be taught entirely by online distance learning, using the virtual learning environment Learn as the delivery platform. Course materials are protected by secure username and password access that will be made available to registered users.
Study Abroad Not applicable
KeywordsGlobal health,public health
Course organiserDr Ruth McQuillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 9238
Course secretaryMrs Rosemary Porteous
Tel: (0131 6)50 9835
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