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This programme offers a unique opportunity for you to develop a critical understanding of the key issues within health and medicine, health policy and health planning, and of the determinants of health and health inequalities from a social science perspective.

Why this programme

  • You will examine health issues that arise for different population groups and across national boundaries, including social and cultural constructions of health, disability and chronic illness, and global and national health policies.
  • You will make a critical analysis of health and its determinants, and develop a deep understanding of the influence and role of equality/inequality, demographics and location on health.
  • You will study social science research methods, and apply them in the completion of an original piece of research.
  • The University is a leading centre of applied and policy related research. This programme brings together expertise in health inequalities, health and wellbeing, disability, urban health, health economics and the history of medicine.
  • The degree is fully interdisciplinary in its structure and content, and is designed to allow you to focus your learning around the global health issues that interest you most.
  • You will be encouraged to participate in networking activities. Recent examples have included inviting international Global Health professionals to attend a Careers in Global Health event, and a week-long fact-finding trip to Geneva.
  • You will be taught by experts from the following world-leading centres based at the University: Institute of Health & Wellbeing, MRC Social & Public Health Sciences Unit, Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research, Centre for the History of Medicine, and Policy Scotland.
  • From the start of the programme you will be closely supported to build the skills, experience and networks that will open doors to you in your future career in Global Health.

Programme structure

You will take three core and three optional courses. Courses will be delivered via lectures and seminars. You will also undertake an independent research project focusing on an issue in Global Health that particularly interests you, and will submit this as a dissertation at the end of the degree.

Core courses

  • Global Health in social context
  • Improving health and society: Programme devleopment and evaluation
  • Research design.

Optional courses may include

  • Communicable diseases
  • Cultural, social and biological determinants of mental health
  • Environmental health
  • Epidemiology, evidence and statistics for primary care (online)
  • Equality and human rights
  • Globalisation and public health
  • Health and culture
  • Health economics (online)
  • Health promotion: Principles and practice
  • Health technology assessment in a global context (online)
  • Health technology assessment: Policy and principles (online)
  • Improving access to mental health care in the global context
  • International primary care principles and systems (online)
  • Introduction to mental health and disability
  • Management of long term conditions in primary care (online)
  • Managing health care organisations
  • Mental health and disability: International law and policy
  • Mental health promotion across the life-span
  • Principles of public health
  • Psychosocial approaches to public health
  • Qualitative methods
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Studies in the history of medicine before 1850
  • Studies in the history of medicine 1850-2000
  • The global burden of mental health difficulties
  • Understanding health policy.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Throughout your time at Glasgow you will have the opportunity to be closely supported in preparing for your future career in Global Health. Early in the programme, you will be given advice on career pathways and how to achieve them, and how to use social media to enhance your career prospects. There will also be an opportunity to organise an event that brings together leading global health professionals and benefit from their experience of forging a successful career in this field. Our students have gone on to careers as health care professionals and health care policy advisors, and to work in public health care systems, and the voluntary and third sectors. Others have opted to stay in academia and undertake a PhD.


Visit the Global Health (MSc) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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