Underpinned by a commitment to principles of social justice and fairness, this intercalated BSc in global public health will provide students with a public health perspective on today's global challenges.
Technology and medical science make many promises for the improvement of human health, whether in post-genomic medicine or rapid vaccine production. But today's global health crises remind us that the root causes of good health lie in political, social, legal, and economic systems. This is a time of growing inequalities and of threats to sustainable development, and the issue of inequality is becoming more important in public, political, and academic debate.
Doctors working not just in public health but all specialties need to understand how to address these developments. By taking a year away from your medical studies you step back to see the bigger picture of global health and get a better sense of the contributions you can go on to make in medicine. You will equip yourself with the tools both to analyse the causes of ill health and social determinants of disease and to use first principles to consider better policy options. Through the knowledge and analytic skills you develop, you gain the critical insights and evidence base from which to advocate on behalf of your patients and communities.
The interdisciplinary programme is taught by academics who are leaders in their field – in public health sciences, law, sociology, geography, migration studies, economics, management, social policy, and clinical medicine – and influential in policy developments in the UK and internationally.
Based in Whitechapel in the heart of London's East End, the Global Public Health Unit, which is part of the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, brings together leading researchers and teachers in public health policy all of whom share a commitment to reducing health inequalities and promoting universal health care in and beyond the UK. It leads global health teaching in Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the first UK medical school to include global health in the undergraduate medical curriculum. It also hosts the Global Health Network, which brings together academics, doctors, nurses and practitioners, and students working on local and global initiatives.
For more information
Dr James Lancaster
Global Public Health Unit
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
58 Turner Street
London E1 2AB
In the first semester, students will focus on developing the key concepts and research methods and analysis for understanding the health of populations. There are introductions to quantitative skills (epidemiology & statistics), cultural and social analysis (anthropology and sociology), and approaching health systems through politics and economics. You will also learn the basic public health insights around the social determinants of health. In the second semester, you will choose two elective modules so as to explore some issues more deeply, and will complete a dissertation.
Strong emphasis is placed on providing you with a sound conceptual understanding of the social, political and economic determinants of health, as well as on research methods and analytic techniques. Relevant research skills are integrated into the core modules so they are learnt alongside their practical application.
- Epidemiology and statistics
- Health, illness and society
- Health inequalities and social determinants of health
- Health systems, economics, and policy
A choice of two from:
- Migration, culture and advanced social determinants of health
- Globalisation and health systems
- Public health, international law and governance
- Globalisation and contemporary medical ethics
Open to students who have completed at least three years of an MBBS or equivalent medical degree, who have been given permission to intercalate.
Learning and teaching
The programme is delivered full time and makes use of a virtual learning environment to help you with background preparation for the small-group seminars that constitute an important part of your learning.
The programme tackles important developments in politics, economics, and bioscience, for instance, public-private partnerships that address specific illnesses and problems, and the implications in terms of medicine and scientific developments, accountability and democracy, health inequality and the distribution of medicine.
Teaching is via lectures but mainly small group seminars, taken with MSc students. These will include discussion, presentations, and individual and group work.
Assessment is varied and depends on the subject, and will include assignments, exams, and individual and group presentations.
Prof Allyson Pollock
Professor of Public Health Research and Policy and director of the Global Public Health Unit
Professor Pollock is an internationally known scholar in public health medicine, recently described by The Lancet as one "of the UK's leading public intellectuals in medicine". Through her research she brings the wide range of public health disciplines – epidemiological, geographical, legal, economic, political – to bear on important issues in public health and health policy, and particularly in relation to how financing and policy impact on universal and equitable health care provision.
Her research covers globalisation, marketisation and privatisation of public services, pharmaceuticals, and health inequalities. She has strong links to developing public health programmes in low and middle income countries.
Dr Dave McCoy
Clinical senior lecturer, social determinants of health
Dr McCoy is a senior clinical lecturer in the social determinants of health, and chair of Medact. He worked in South Africa for 10 years in rural hospitals, public health and health systems development, higher education, and NGO, and has been a senior public health consultant in London. He is a member of the steering council of the Peoples' Health Movement and was managing editor for both the first and second Global Health Watch (an alternative world health report).
Fees and finance
Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
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:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Your name: Phoebe Sharratt
Course: Intercalated Degree in Global Public Health
Are you an international student? No
Are you happy with the standard of your teaching/supervision? (Are your teachers supportive/do they give helpful feedback/do they discuss their research with you?)
Yes, I am incredibly happy with the standard of my teaching and supervision. All of our teachers were happy to be contacted and asked for help to understand the material or with assignments. My dissertation supervisor is incredibly helpful and always makes himself available for meetings where he provides regular feedback on my progress and drafts. As a part of the SSLC I found that the staff really strived to make improvements to the course, were always open for constructive criticism and actively encouraged all students to give feedback on their modules.
What do you enjoy most about the course?
The content of the course is incredibly interesting and relevant to what I want to do in my future career. I most enjoyed the two health systems modules as these were incredibly well taught, giving us the basic knowledge needed to be able to think in detail about issues to do with the planning and delivery of healthcare systems.
Are you involved in any social/volunteering activities on or off campus? If so, can you describe them?
I am a member of the medical school netball team and have played with them for four years. I have enjoyed the sporting and social opportunities and have held two different positions on the committee.
I am a part of the student charity Medsin and hold a position as one of the national exchange officers, organising four week exchanges which enable medical students to practice in hospitals all over the world, while UK students host other medical students from the countries which our students are sent to.
I am currently chair of the Save Our NHS society at QMUL which educates about and campaigns against the gradual privatisation and fragmentation of the NHS which has occurred over the past thirty years.
I also volunteer at Stepney City Farm as a an animal volunteer where I spend my time feeding and caring for the animals, helping with general upkeep of the farm and working with those on the youth volunteers programme.
Are you happy with your course facilities (labs, library/IT resources etc)?
Yes, I was happy with the amount of facilities available to us. The library on the Whitechapel campus is an incredible building and a great setting to work in. The Garrod building is open 24/7 which is very helpful when deadlines are impending.
What do you think of the facilities on campus (cafés, restaurants, bars, gym etc)?
There aren’t too many facilities on the Whitechapel campus but the student’s union acts as a great place to meet up with people and grab something to eat.
I live in private rented accommodation
What do you plan to do with your degree after?
I plan to use my degree a within my medical career. I developed confidence in a number of areas which will be invaluable in medicine such as essay writing and presentation giving. Following this degree I am considering how I can integrate my medical career with work in global and public health, either as a manager or academic.
Can you describe Queen Mary [BARTS] in three words…
Friendly, supportive, fun.
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
“I chose to study at Barts and The London because I had heard very positive comments about the quality of the teaching and the down to earth atmosphere and attitudes of both staff and students. When compared to other medical schools in London, Barts seemed like the best place to be!
How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?
“The Medicine in Society placements mean you are placed in the community right from the start, which is both enjoyable and incredibly beneficial. Also, the regular in-course assessments were very useful in consolidating all the information learnt during the year, particularly in the run-up to the end of year examinations.
“One thing there is no shortage of in east London is a social life! There is always something to do, and always people ready to celebrate successes in the recently renovated Griffin Students’ Union building. The leisure and recreational facilities are great at Queen Mary’s Mile End campus. There is a good choice of places to unwind whichever way you want to, for example exercising in the Qmotion gym or relaxing with friends by the canal.”