The MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine provides a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary foundation in global health. This exciting new course embraces the breadth and complexity of global health challenges facing resource limited contexts and equips candidates with the tools and awareness to contribute to innovative solutions. The course is embedded within the Oxford Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health [embedded link] and benefits from the Centre's reputation and expertise in Global Health research and practice.
The course aims to develop students':
• knowledge and understanding of the major global health problems in resource limited settings and their potential solutions;
• knowledge and skills in research techniques applied in the analysis of global health problems, including quantitative and qualitative research methods, health policy and systems research and public health, with opportunities for training in additional specialist fields;
• capacity to critically appraise evidence in global health;
• skills and practical experience in researching specific health problems.
Upon completion of the course, students will be equipped to continue to advance their knowledge, understanding and skills further in research or professional practice in the field of global health. In the future we anticipate our graduates will assume leadership and research positions within major international health organisations and ministries of health.
In the first term, the course provides an introduction to the breadth of topics in, and methods applicable to global health. The second term offers options ranging from international development to vaccinology. The third term provides students with the unique opportunity to apply their skills and gain first hand experience in a global health project in a resource limited setting. Students will then produce a 10,000 word dissertation related to their third term project.
The first term will consist of core topics on research methods, an overview of some major global health challenges, and topics related to the research and practice of global health. Core modules include:
1. Paradigms and Tools for Global Health: This module will cover epidemiology, statistics, health economics, social science for health and health policy and systems analysis. Methodological paradigms in the health and social sciences will be introduced and basic tools provided for each. Upon completion of this module, students will be able to critically review published literature covering a wide range of global health topics and can opt to further their application skills through the third term placement project.
2. Challenges and Change in International Health: This module will cover some of the key health challenges found in resource limited contexts. Topics will include: water and sanitation; land use, population and migration; climate change; nutrition; vector borne diseases; vaccine preventable diseases; neglected tropical diseases; maternal and child health; non-communicable diseases; accidents and injuries. Upon completion of this module, students will have a broad awareness of the kinds of factors affecting international health, their challenges, solutions that have worked and current efforts to affect change.
3. Global Health Research and Practice: This module highlights some of the important considerations in the research or practice of global health. Topics covered include global health governance, global health research ethics, challenges to research in global health, data management and governance, health impact evaluation, design of disease prevention and health promotion programmes, health programme evaluation, and outbreak investigation.
In the first term, there will be a series of problem-based learning sessions to integrate the core topics covered and allow students the opportunity to engage in more depth with real global health scenarios.
During the second term, in addition to some continued core content, students can select two of the following six options for further study:
1. Advanced Topics in Tropical Medicine: This option delves deeper into the range of infectious diseases affecting resource limited settings and provides a historical account of efforts to address them, the failures and successes, as well as current developments and advances.
2. Vaccinology: This exciting option is for those with an interest in the application of more basic science. The module will examine the science of vaccine development and the challenge of its application in real world contexts. The content will cover advances at the cutting edge of vaccine development.
3. Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: This option addresses in more depth the persisting challenges faced by mothers, infants and young children in resource limited settings. Topics will engage with the current challenges, discuss viable solutions and address the obstacles to implementation.
4. International Development and Health: This option, offered jointly to MPhil students in Development Studies, aims to introduce students to the important linkages between processes of development (political and economic) and health. The module challenges conventional health thinking and compels a broader consideration of the inter-related factors affecting the health of populations.
5. Health, Environment and Development: This innovative option brings together students (and teachers) from Geography, Development and Global Health to engage with a series of cases illustrating the intersection between processes of development, environmental changes and human health.
6. Case Studies in Field Epidemiology: This option aims to familiarise students with the principles and practice of field epidemiology by lectures and discussions of outbreak investigation case studies.
The third term will involve a funded eight week placement with a global health project in a resource limited setting. Projects represent the range of subjects covered in the course. We have established a series of projects hosted by the Oxford Tropical Network in various geographic regions. Students, with advice from their departmental tutors, may choose from the placements available or propose their own placement (providing it meets course guidelines). The placement project will then form the basis of an independent 10,000 word dissertation to be submitted six weeks after return from placement.