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Global Health and Infectious Diseases (Online Distance Learning) - MSc/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev


Course Description

In the past few decades there has been almost one new disease emerging each year and more than 75 per cent of these diseases derive from zoonotic origins. There is now more demand for investment and research to help us manage these diseases better.

This programme aims to address the challenges posed by infectious diseases in the 21st Century by offering you courses in surveillance, prevention and control of infectious diseases, as well as evaluating how they impact public health.

This is a professional postgraduate qualification for biomedical, medical, public health, and veterinary personnel with an interest in global health and infectious diseases.

The programme draws upon the parallels that exist between these diseases, learning from the challenges that exist and aiming to connect individuals to lay the foundations for a global community of practice. Our aim is to provide advanced qualifications for biomedical, medical, public health, and veterinary personnel. The course is designed to instruct students in the practice of formulating and implementing strategies and programmes aimed at renewing and strengthening scientific knowledge development and building human capital.

Our online learning system lets you work entirely from your home location while still earning your salary. This can enhance your learning experience and working knowledge while rewarding you with a highly regarded qualification.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

Online learning

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Programme structure

The programme normally takes three years, beginning with a series of courses and followed by an individual project or dissertation.

In Year 1 (certificate), you will take courses that include:

  • Global Health: Fundamentals
  • Understanding Infectious Diseases

And you will choose one from the following two options:

  • a single course in Applied Epidemiology and Public Health
  • a course each in Global Citizenship and Globalisation and Health

In Year 2 (diploma), you will choose sixty credits from a range that includes:

  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Forensic Medicine and Science
  • Global Health: Mortality
  • Hospital-acquired Infections
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Newborn and Child Health
  • Public Health Systems in the Developed and Developing World
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Zoonotic Disease

In Year 3 (masters), you will conduct a written reflective element of 10,000-15,000 words.

Find out more about how the programme is structured:

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Please contact the programme team for more information about available courses and course start dates.

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to help you fulfil leadership roles in international and national organisations that manage health and disease issues. A number of students have also raised their academic profiles through the publication and dissemination of their final year research.


Visit the Global Health and Infectious Diseases (Online Distance Learning) - MSc/PgDip/PgCert/PgProfDev page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a biomedical, medical, public health, veterinary or relevant bio-science topic.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant work experience; please contact us to check before you apply. You may be admitted to certificate level only in the first instance.

All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

Last Updated

27 September 2016

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