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Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Intercalated BSc in Global Public Health

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.

About the qualification

Our intercalated students study alongside MSc students. Teaching is through lectures and small-group seminars, giving you the opportunity to develop debating and advocacy skills, and to share insights and experiences with students from around the world, including experienced doctors and medical professionals from low and middle income countries.

Structure and timing

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 and 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.

Summary for 2020-21 with unit values

Core modules in semester 1

  • Epidemiology and Statistics
  • Evidence, Policy and Global Health
  • Health Inequalities and Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Systems, Policy and Practice

Core module in semester 2

  • Dissertation

Two of the following electives- also in semester 2

  • Anthropology and Global Health
  • Governance of Migration, Displacement and Healthcare
  • Gender, Sexuality and Health
  • Health Systems Theory, Policy and Political Economy
  • Global Health, Governance and Law
  • Human Rights and Public Health
  • Globalisation and Contemporary Medical Ethics
  • Planetary Health and International Health Policy

Summary of programme units

Epidemiology and statistics

Module organiser: Dr Dominik Zenner, Institute of Population Health Sciences

Evidence, Research and Methods for Global Health  

Module organiser: Dr Megan Clinch, Institute of Population Health Sciences 

Health inequalities and Social Determinants of Health

Module organiser: Dr Doreen Montag and Dr Jon Kennedy, Institute of Population Health Sciences

Health systems, Policy and Practice

Module organiser: Dr Jonathan Filippon, Institute of Population Health Sciences

Health systems theory, policy and political economy

Module organiser: Dr Jonathan Filippon, Institute of Population Health Sciences

Global health governance and law

Module organiser: Dr Jon Kennedy, Institute of Population Health Sciences

Globalisation and contemporary medical ethics

Module organiser: Dr Miran Epstein, Institute of Population Health Sciences

Dissertation Project

Module organiser: Dr Megan Clinch and Dr Jon Kennedy, Institute of Population Health Sciences

Further information

Informal approaches are welcome at any time, please contact:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2541

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