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Course content

The MSc in Public Policy and Global Health examines public policy, health and inequality issues and locates these discussions within a wider health systems context.

Course structure

There are no optional modules in the degree, in 2015 modules available were:
-Global Health Issues and Governance (15 credits)
-Public Policy, Health and Health Inequalities (15 credits)
-Health Systems Analysis and Comparison (15 credits)
-The Dynamics of Evidence Informed Policy (15 credits)
-Gender, Sex, Health and Politics (15 credits)
-Qualitative Methods Applied to Policy and Health Research (15 credits)
-Epidemiology and Statistics (15 credits)
-Placement in Public Policy and Global Health (15 credits)
-Dissertation in Public Policy and Global Health (60 credits)

The MSc is aimed at students, public health practitioners and managers in the publicly funded health organisations and systems (especially but not solely the NHS), local government bodies, regional agencies, and the voluntary and community sectors. Although intended to appeal to practitioners, the course emphasis is on policy implementation and decision making. It will develop critical judgement in health and policy analysis, hone your research skills and extend your capability to plan, undertake and excel in research in these areas.

A Postgraduate Diploma in Public Policy and Health (comprised of the taught MSc modules without the dissertation) is also available, as is a Postgraduate Certificate.

Learning and Teaching

Each Masters programme in The Integrated Health Sciences Suite is structured as four core modules (common to all component masters), four subject specific and optional modules, and a dissertation which is equivalent in weight to four taught modules.

The taught modules are mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Typically lectures provide the key concepts and theories whilst tutorials and seminars allow students to work through application of concepts to practice in more detail promoting analysis of theory and reflection on its application. Dependent on the learning objectives of particular modules, case studies, role plays and simulation games are also cooperated to provide experiential based learning. The aim here is to assist students to arrive at new insights into the practical applications of theory. All taught modules also include an expectation that students will learn through structured reading thus obtaining greater familiarity with key texts and a deeper understanding of the subject knowledge generally. Within the seminar/tutorial format of the modules students are required to make oral presentations. These provide opportunities to develop oral and written skills in communicating clearly in an interprofessional manner.

The precise time allocation between lectures, seminars and tutorials is partially dependent on the student numbers in individual modules. Modules with smaller student numbers will tend towards greater reliance seminar formats than modules with larger student numbers (i.e. in modules with small student numbers lecture formats will be interspersed with more interactive and participative forms of learning). All taught modules within the Integrated Health Sciences Suite are taught over 10 weeks with a minimum of two hours of face-to-face contact per module per week. All modules within the master suite are research-based and the importance of research in each programme is emphasised in the additional face to face time given to the health research methods modules which are structured for three hours of direct teaching per week per module. Certain subject specific modules within the suite are structured for 2.5 hours of face-to-face teaching per week.

The dissertation module is primarily taught through independent study, research (including library research) and analysis which allows the student to conduct, as an individual initiative, a substantial piece of academic work in their chosen academic field, write it up and present it in a scholarly fashion. This provides students with the opportunity to engage with academic issues at the forefront of research and promotes independent lifelong learning skills from a variety of sources. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom they will typically have three or four one-to-one supervisory meetings, students personalised and detailed academic study results in a significant piece of independent research of relevance to their intended future or current work. Students’ contact time with supervisors is jointly agreed between students and supervisors, and will vary according to this stage of the dissertation and the progress being made. However there is an expectation that students will have access to supervisors at least once every three weeks for the duration of the dissertation for a maximum of two hours at a time.

Throughout the programme, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically a student will meet with their adviser two to three times a year.

Visit the Public Policy and Global Health MSc page on the Durham University website for more details!





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