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School of Geography

Launch of two new masters programmes in global health at QMUL Geography


Global Health Geographies MA/MRes and Development & Global Health MA challenge students to think differently about health, politics and inequality.

We live today 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 interplay between health, politics and inequalities in wealth and power.

Combining the latest research on global health, health geography, political economy, science and technology studies, and population health, two innovative new programmes – Global Health Geographies MA/MRes and Development and Global Health MA - interrogate the intersections of global health and development politics. Both programmes are now open for applications with teaching commencing in September 2017.

The new programmes challenge the assumption that global health is merely the study of infectious diseases in and from the Global South © Lwp Kommunikacio

Dr Tim Brown, programme convenor of the new Global Health Geographies MA/MRes, said students would be encouraged to explore the contested terrain of global health politics in theory and practice. The programme combines advanced geographical analysis of pressing global health concerns with jointly-taught modules from public health experts in the Global Health Unit, at the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, based at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry at QMUL. “We are trying to equip a new generation of critical scholars to tackle the moral, ethical and political challenges of global health today,” he said. “In examining the interplay between health and these wider forces, we aim to challenge conventional ways of approaching health crises and, ultimately, consider alternative ways of improving human health and well-being.”

Students will visit Geneva, Switzerland, for field-based research © Stephen Taylor

A new module, Researching Global Health and Biomedicine, will offer students the chance to develop individual research projects in Geneva, Switzerland, that examine the operation of multinational health institutions and the development of global health policies. Support throughout both programmes will also prepare students to undertake individual dissertation research in a variety of international fieldwork locations, drawing on the research networks in which staff on the programmes are engaged.

The School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London is renowned for a level of research expertise which enables it to offer unique and pioneering research-informed programmes. Almost 80 percent of the School’s research outputs are rated as world-leading or internationally excellent, placing it 5th in the UK for this measure (REF2015). Its world-leading Health, Biosciences and Security research group – including academics with specialisms in critical public health, humanitarianism, biomedicine, and migration – leads the teaching on both programmes. Dr Stephen Taylor, programme convenor of the new Development and Global Health MA, said their approach combines detailed understanding of emerging policy agendas with a critical geographical approach that problematizes established theories, practices and policies.

How do political agendas shape and inform global health and development? © Ted Eytan

“Students will be thinking beyond established responses to global health crises to consider more comprehensive solutions to the long-term developmental needs of communities,” he said. “They can, for instance, research how rapid urbanisation challenges health systems in Mumbai, witness how development agendas inform the global health priorities of Geneva-based institutions, and consider how public health agencies can best respond to new migration flows.”

An MRes version of Global Health Geographies will offer an increased methods training component for those wishing to pursue a PhD. This version of the programme is taught in conjunction with the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) and is an approved pathway for ESRC 1+3 PhD studentship funding.



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