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Global Health Geographies

MA ( 1 year Full-time / 2 years Part-time )

Overview

© Jessica Seldon/DFID© Jessica Seldon/DFID

We live in a world of remarkable health challenges: from emerging infections and non-communicable diseases to weak health systems and uneven access to medicines. In meeting these challenges, it is abundantly clear that improving global health requires a critical understanding of the complex interplay between health, politics and social and spatial inequalities in wealth and power. In this new programme, students explore the contested terrain of global health politics in theory and practice. Combining advanced geographical analysis of pressing global health concerns with jointly-taught modules from experts in the Global Health Unit, at the QMUL Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, this degree equips a new generation of critical scholars to tackle the moral, ethical and political challenges of global health today. MRes version of this course is also available.

This programme:

  • provides you with a detailed understanding of global health debates, agendas, politics and practices in a variety of geographical and historical contexts
  • encourages you to examine pressing global health challenges in light of the significant conceptual, methodological and empirical contributions of critical geographical scholarship
  • involves unique multi-disciplinary teaching from internationally recognised global health experts that permits students to craft a programme of study that furthers their own academic or professional interests.

Become part of QMUL Geography

  • Professional and friendly environment: We are recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Our work is at the forefront of geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. We are also known for our friendly and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars. Joining the School of Geography places you alongside academics that are actively developing and challenging contemporary thinking in their field. 
  • Research excellence: Almost 80 per cent of the School’s research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing it 5th in the UK for this measure. Our scores increased across all areas in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) and we were ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall. We are also proud to feature in the top 100 geography departments in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).
  • Employability: Students completing this programme will be well-placed to enter governmental, non-governmental organisations, civil society, and academic research roles.
  • Field-based research: Students receive tailored research supervision and training suitable to their individual research interests. They will also be able to participate in a fieldtrip to Geneva, Switzerland to further develop field research skills. *
  • Twilight teaching: Some optional modules will include evening classes (5-7pm) and intensive teaching periods will condense required attendance. Small group teaching will provide students the unique opportunity to work closely with leading academics in this field of study.
  • Capital location: We're a School that cares about the world beyond the university, working with a range of community groups, artists, cultural and heritage institutions and policy makers, particularly here in east London. Our passion is to demonstrate through research and teaching the intellectual and political significance of geographical research and understanding. We encourage our students to become part of this vibrant intellectual culture.

Funding

  • Walter Oldershaw Award: eight awards (£3,000 each) are available across all masters degrees offered by the School of Geography
  • Queen Mary Alumni Loyalty Award: all graduates of QMUL are awarded a £1,000 bursary 
  • Postgraduate Loans Scheme: eligible students are able to borrow loans up to £10,000 
  • Read more about these opportunities on the funding a masters page

Facilities

  • Weekly research seminars: As a postgraduate student you will be invited to weekly research seminars as well as several research frameworks sessions with top-level academic researchers.
  • Dedicated working space: QMUL's new Graduate Centre, opened in early 2017, provides excellent teaching and learning spaces for all postgraduate students, including a 200-seat lecture theatre, study spaces, seminar rooms, an open-plan study area, landscaped courtyard and a cafe. Additionally, postgraduate students have desk and computing space in dedicated offices within the School of Geography and access to facilities for specialist statistical and Geographical Information System (GIS) analyses, desktop publishing and the processing of video and electronic images.  
  • University of London network: QMUL is a part of the University of London, so our students have access to the facilities, learning resources and libraries across the group's institutions. You can also use the first-rate resources of other libraries with London collections (e.g. the British Library).

Ask us a question

* Fieldwork costs are additional to tuition fees. Students taking the field class module on this degree programme are responsible for paying the costs of flights, accommodation and living expenses.

Structure

The programme is made up of 180 credits. For full details on our modules please go to the online module directory

Core module:

  • Dissertation of 15,000 words (60 credits)

Compulsory modules:

  • Critical Global Health Geographies (30 credits)
  • Geographical Thought and Practice (30 credits)
  • Researching Global Health and Biomedicine (30 credits)*

Option modules: 

Students must take one module from option A and one module from option B.

Option A: 

  • Health Inequalities and the Social Determinants of Health (15 credits)
  • Health Systems, Policy and Practice (15 credits)

Option B: 

  • Advanced Social Determinants of Health (15 credits)
  • Anthropology and Global Health (15 credits)
  • Ecological Public Health (15 credits)
  • Gender, Sexuality and Health (15 credits)
  • Global Health, Law and Governance (15 credits)

*Fieldwork

The module, ‘Researching Global Health and Biomedicine’, includes the opportunity to travel to Geneva, Switzerland on fieldwork to visit institutions and meet individuals involved in the shaping of global health politics. Students taking this module are responsible for paying the costs of flights, accommodation and living expenses. The dissertation can include fieldwork conducted in the UK or overseas.

Contact

  • For enquiries, contact the Postgraduate Studies Manager on +44 (0)20 7882 8165 or email geog-pgadmin@qmul.ac.uk
  • The programme is led by Dr Tim Brown, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

Ask us a question

Entry requirements

An upper second class honours degree or higher in a relevant subject from a UK university (or an equivalent international qualification), together with two supportive references, at least one of which must be academic. Relevant work experience may also be taken into account. Candidates are expected to have good English language ability and to meet the standard of the IELTS, or equivalent, at a level of 7.0.

Read more about English language requirements. If you do not meet language or scholarly requirements it might be possible for you to undertake foundation or pre-sessional programmes that will prepare you for the masters programme. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office on +44 (0)20 7882 5533 or email admissions@qmul.ac.uk.

It is not necessary to have a first degree in geography and we welcome applicants from different backgrounds in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

For detailed country-specific entry requirements please visit the international section of our website.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and small group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercises and role-plays as well as open discussion. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.

Independent study

For every hour spent in formal classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work and completing projects.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning requirements and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.

Field-based research

Students receive tailored research supervision and training suitable to their individual research interests. They will also be able to participate in an optional fieldtrip to Geneva, Switzerland to further develop field research skills. *

Assessment

Assessment on each of the modules is through a variety of coursework assignments ranging from extended essays to reviews.

Dissertation

You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation (equivalent to 60 credits) on a topic of your choice relating to the programme. The dissertation can include fieldwork conducted in the UK or overseas. You will be assigned an academic supervisor from the School of Geography who will provide guidance and advice on your dissertation research. You will meet your supervisor at least six times from January through to June in order to ensure that work is on track for completion.

Fees

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full time £8,700

Tuition fees for International students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full time £15,750

Funding

There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide [PDF] for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
email bursaries@qmul.ac.uk

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

Profiles

Dr Tim Brown, Programme Convenor and Senior Lecturer in Human Geography 

I have established an international reputation for research in the field of health and medical geography, and more especially in relation to the critical geographies of public health. My research over the past 15 years has explored how ideas of risk and responsibility are articulated as technologies of self-care. More recently, I have applied the critical insights developed in this research into other areas of contemporary and historical public health discourse; notably, global health and food security and environment and health in late-Victorian London. 

This new programme will allow our students to explore how global health is shaped by socio-economic and political questions. In examining the interplay between health and these wider forces, they challenge conventional ways of approaching health crises and, ultimately, consider alternative ways of improving global health.

Dr Stephen Taylor, Lecturer in Human Geography 

My research and teaching interests centre on the geographies of biomedicine and global health. This work turns on the thought that medical advances take place today in a world of remarkable economic, political and health inequalities. Health, poverty and exclusion are not merely biological, economic and social concepts; they are also political categories that are produced and contested. Thus, my work considers the political, legal, economic and historical structures that secure the health of some while exposing the lives of others to the slow violences of illness and abandonment.

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