Migration, Culture and Global Health

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


This recently re-developed MSc aims to enable students to explore the central role that is played by migration and culture within global health processes and migration and health policy and practice. It will develop students’ empirical and theoretical understandings of the range of health, wellness and healthcare concerns that are experienced by migrants and their families and how these occur across interconnected development contexts of ‘origin’, ‘destination’, ‘return’ and ‘transit’ countries. In completing the MSc, students’ will have developed the skills and knowledge that are needed to work with migrant community groups, health support groups, advocacy organisations, non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations, as well as government agencies and trade unions. In doing so, it will prepare them for employment within the fields of community organising, migration support services, migration and health policy, migration policy, public health and humanitarian policy and practice at the local, regional, national and international levels. Within these fields, students will be able to apply academic learning on migration and health to respond to problems and opportunities related to migrants' social, cultural and political identities, social welfare, humanitarian needs, and their legal, citizenship and rights-based concerns, especially those that intersect with health and healthcare. 

Students will also have developed research-based skills to work in research-related posts, while some graduates may continue their academic trajectory by developing funding proposals to pursue doctoral study in the Centre for Primary Care & Public Health, within Queen Mary more broadly, or beyond.

The Migration, Culture and Global Health MSc is part of a wider programme of study in global health within the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Why study Migration, Culture and Global Health at Queen Mary?

Students who successfully complete the MScc will have the capacity to work in community support work, public health, migration policy and humanitarian care, with a particular interest in migrant and refugee groups. As 'migration' and 'health' are often studied as separate areas of enquiry, graduates from this particular programme will be especially-well equipped with specialist 'migration health skills' that will enable them to be more competitive for employment in these fields. Graduates will also be able to formulate and implement critical responses to current migration and health problems by working in an interdisciplinary way and in multi-disciplinary teams of affected communities, scholars, practitioners and policy makers in the fields of migration services and policy and health services and policy.

Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry is comprised of two world renowned teaching hospitals, St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London, which have made, and continue to make, an outstanding contribution to modern medicine. We are one of the top five in the UK for medicine in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

The Global Public Health Unit combines the local and the global in a stimulating and challenging research and teaching environment – we have strong links to the NHS, local authorities, third-sector organisations, policymakers in the UK and elsewhere, and leading international figures in global health.

  • The MSc programmes global health study from a diverse multidisciplinary perspective, with teaching led by public health consultants, lawyers, sociologists, geographers, and economists.
  • You will learn from a truly multidisciplinary programme, which will give you a genuinely broad education and a wide perspective.
  • With this multidisciplinary approach, you will gain critical insight and applied skills necessary for management, persuasion, and advocacy.
  • We integrate different types of teaching delivery including small group seminars and participation in public health conferences.
  • We work from the local to the global – the Global Public Health Unit is based in Whitechapel in London's East End, and has close links to NHS organisations, local authorities, and the voluntary sector in one of London's most diverse and complex areas.
  • We have collaborations with other universities and organisations from around the world to aid research, teaching, policy development, and community engagement.
  • We encourage students to get involved in both our local and international work.


Key academics


Professor David McCoy

Programme Director

Professor David McCoy is a senior clinical lecturer at the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health at Queen Mary University, London and head of Public Health Intelligence for Inner North West London.

David graduated from Southampton University medical school and worked as a clinician in the UK for two and a half years. He then spent ten years in South Africa, first working in a rural government hospital in South Africa for two and half years, and subsequently in the field of public health and health systems development. He was policy research fellow at the Child Health Unit of the University of Cape Town, and then worked for Health Systems Trust, a non-government organisation established to support the post-apartheid transformation of South Africa’s health care system. On returning to the UK, he completed his formal training in public health medicine. He then worked as a research fellow at University College London, followed by a stint as Director of Public Health in Hammersmith and Fulham. He has an M.Phil in Maternal and Child Health from the University of Cape Town and a doctorate from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr Sajida Ally

Dr. Sajida Ally is a lecturer in Global Public Health at the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, where she joined in December 2016 to lead teaching on migration, culture and health. Dr. Ally’s research examines migrants’ wellness and illness and the intersections between embodied health experience, gender, kin and communal relations and the politics of healthcare access in the contexts of Sri Lanka and the Arab Gulf. Specifically, she studies the existing disjunctions between migrants’ articulations of healthcare needs and health and development interventions that target low-income labour migrants.

In addition to her research, Dr. Ally has had a decade of experiences working in the NGO sector on migration policy advocacy. She has worked with the Asian Migrant Centre (Hong Kong), Migrant Forum in Asia (Manila) and Migrants’ Rights International (Geneva). This work involved building international, multi-disciplinary networks for conducting policy advocacy on migrants' human, health and labour rights, community organising, and the development of the institutional capacities of migrant workers’ organizations and trade unions. Her professional, research and fieldwork experiences span Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Geneva, the U.S., Manila, the Mekong sub-region and India, among other countries. Dr. Ally’s doctoral research project on transnational Sri Lankan domestic workers' experiences of wellness – through the Tamil notion of ‘suham’ – explored health in relation to changing kin and communal relations and new materialities of livelihood, labour recruitment and sponsorship regimes. It built on her first-hand experience of Asian migration policy advocacy and two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Sri Lanka and Kuwait.

Dr Megan Clinch

Dr Clinch is a lecturer in medicine and society. She has a background in social anthropology and has researched at the Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge, the Faculty of Social Science at the Open University, and the Centre for Medical Science and Technology Studies at the University of Copenhagen. She explores how different forms of investigation, experimentality, evidence, and evaluation are understood and managed in the development of public health interventions. This research contributes to her broad interest in the politics of evidence in contentious practice situations and the emergence of interdisciplinary research as a means of managing them. Megan teaches medical anthropology, medical sociology and qualitative research methods at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Dr Miran Epstein

Dr Epstein is a reader in medical ethics. His research covers transplant ethics, end-of-life ethics, and human research ethics. His particular interest is the history of biomedical ethics, on which he is currently writing a book. He is a member of The Transplantation Society (TTS) and a London-based NHS research ethics committee.

Dr Valentina Gallo

Dr Valentina Gallo is a neuroepidemiologist with both clinical neurological qualifications and epidemiological background. She graduated in medicine in 2000 at ‘la Sapienza’ University of Rome, where she also obtained her clinical qualification as neurologist in 2005. She attended the MSc in Demography and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2003-04. Before joining QMUL, Valentina worked as research associate in the School of Public Health, Imperial College London, and as clinical lecturer in epidemiology at LSHTM, working on the health effect of perfluorinated compound exposure. Valentina is currently investigating risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a form of motor neurone disease) and Parkinson’s disease; and has interests in environmental, molecular, and social epidemiology.

Dr Jonathan Kennedy

Jonathan’s research uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods – including in-depth interviews, comparative historical methods and statistical analysis – in a question-driven process. Broadly speaking, his research can be divided into two substantive strands. The first introduces methods and theories from political economy and political sociology to analyze the political, social and economic determinants of public health. The second seeks to understand violent political conflict between the state and marginal communities in a manner that takes into account the dynamic relationship between individual actions, political opportunity structures, and socioeconomic structures. Jonathan’s published research concentrates on South Asia, but he is interested in developing and transitional countries more generally. He is currently working on a project that uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative data to investigate the political determinants of polio and specifically the relationship between Islamist insurgency and polio in countries including Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Ms Sally Kerry

Sally Kerry is a reader in medical statistics and senior statistician in the Pragmatic Clinical Trials Unit. She previously worked at St George’s, University of London where she developed an interest in pragmatic trials in primary care and cluster randomised trials. She is particularly interested in making statistical ideas accessible to health researchers and has written a number of papers about cluster randomised trials in the BMJ. She has co-authored two books, ‘Presenting medical statistics from proposal to publication’ with Janet Peacock and ‘A practical guide to cluster randomised trials’ with Sandra Eldridge.

Dr Elias Kondilis

Dr Kondilis is a senior lecturer in health systems. He has been involved in research on healthcare privatization policies, quality evaluation and regulation of private for-profit healthcare providers. His research now focuses on the impact of economic crisis on population health and healthcare reform in Europe. Previously he held research and teaching positions at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

Dr Doreen Montag

MSc Coordinator

Dr. Montag is a lecturer in Non-Clinical Global Public Health with almost 20 years of experience among indigenous and non-indigenous people in rural and urban areas of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon.  She received her DPhil in Anthropology from Oxford University. Her doctoral research, which was funded by the Radcliff-Brown Trust of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, the Bamborough Fund, the Linacre Trust Fund and the Peter Lienhardt Memorial Fund from the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford University, is an ethnography of fever in the Peruvian Amazon. It focuses on how historical factors, embodied biopolitics, current environmental degradation and increase in emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases impacts upon urban Shipibo-Konibo people’s experiences of fever.

Dr Adrienne Milner

Dr Adrienne Milner is a lecturer in the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health at Queen Mary University of London. She joined QMUL and the Global Public Health Unit in September 2016 to lead modules which focus on health inequalities and the social determinants of health. Dr Milner’s research addresses issues of health equity in terms of race and ethnicity and sex and gender in political and sports contexts. Specifically, she studies racial and sexual attitudes, policy preferences, and inequality in the United States’ Barack Obama era to examine issues such as police brutality, Title IX enforcement, and affirmative action. Her other work focuses on disparities in access to athletic participation and analysing the costs and benefits of sport participation for individuals with complex and diverse identities.

Dr Milner is coauthor with Prof Jomills Henry Braddock II of the monograph, Sex Segregation in Sports: Why Separate Is Not Equal, which uses a socio-legal approach to compare racial and sexual policy and argue that sex segregation in sport should be eliminated.  Specifically, Milner and Braddock II focus on why large-scale sex integration in sport would result in a number of social benefits, such as increased safety and access to athletic participation and decreased prevalence of violence against women, eating disorders, and use of performance-enhancing substances. Dr Milner recently served as principal investigator (PI) on two grants that assessed how demographic differences are related to physical activity and health outcomes. With Dr Elizabeth Baker, she designed and implemented the world's first walking bus program for adults and completed a pilot study assessing how the intervention was associated with weight loss for obese and overweight Birmingham, AL residents, and how race, sex, and socioeconomic status may have influenced results. For this research, she received two U.S. national awards: the American Heart Association’s Workplace Innovation Award (gold) and the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) excellence award (silver).

In addition to her research, Dr Milner is a dedicated teacher with over ten years of experience. Her published works on race, sex, and equality include a wide variety of teaching materials.



The Learning Resource centre has 200 networked PCs and is open to students round the clock, there are dedicated workstations for postgraduate students.

You will also have access to Queen Mary’s comprehensive libraries, including the Postgraduate Reading Room, and The British Library can also be accessed as a research resource.

You will have access to a range of specialist facilities including: medical libraries located at the Royal London and St Bart's hospitals and at the main College campus at Mile End.


This new and updated MSc programme is available for study for one year full-time, or two years part-time.

In the first semester, modules develop the key concepts and research methods and analysis. These present you with relevant methodological issues and challenges while providing interdisciplinary foundations. In the second semester, you gain a more detailed understanding of areas relevant to your interests through specialist and elective modules.

Core modules- new and updated for 2018-19!

  • Epidemiology and Statistics
  • Evidence, Policy and Global Health
  • NEW core module- Migrants, Inequality and the Cultural Politics of Health
  • Health Systems, Policy and Practice
  • Dissertation

Specialist module

  • NEW  Governance of Migration, Displacement and Healthcare
  • NEW  Researching Global Health and Biomedicine- Geneva Field Class*

Optional modules

  • Gender, Sexuality and Health
  • Primary Care and Global Public Health
  • Anthropology and Global Health
  • Health Systems Theory, Policy and Political Economy
  • Global Health, Governance and Law
  • Ecological Global Health
  • Human Rights and Public Health
  • Globalisation and Contemporary Medical Ethics
  • Understanding and Managing Human Resources for Global Health
  • Economics of Development
  • Human Resource Management in the Public Services

Our core modules are studied in the first semester only, from the third week of September to mid December.

Optional and specialist modules are studied in the second semester only, from the second week of January to the end of March.

*Additional associated cost for flights and accommodation


Undertaking a master’s programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly. Each module you study is worth 15 credits. University guidelines suggest that for every 15 credits, a student will need to study for 150 hours. You will usually have one 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar per module, per week. You should expect to be on campus at least 3 days a week.


Our part-time study options mean you can complete this MSc over two years. This MSc programme consist of four core modules, one specialist module and three optional modules and finally a dissertation, worth a total of 180 credits.

A part time student is required to take two of the core modules worth 15 credits in semester one of the first year. In the second semester of the first year, a part time student will take one specialist module and one optional module of 15 credits each. The first year teaching is completed by early April, and final assessments submitted by the end of May.
In the second year a part time student will take the other two core modules worth 15 credits in semester one, and in the second semester they would take a further two optional modules worth 15 credits. In the second year a part time student would research and write their 10,000 to 12,000 word dissertation, worth 60 credits. This is usually submitted in August.

University guidelines suggest that for every 15 credits, a student will need to study for 150 hours. This is worth considering when thinking about studying part time. You will usually have one 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar per module per week.

Distance Learning

This programme is not currently available as distance learning, although we hope to make this available in the future. Contact us for further information.



Entry requirements

You will normally need at least a 2.1 honours degree or GPA 3.2/4.0 or GPA 3.4/5.0 or international equivalent in a relevant subject, such as medicine, the health sciences, nursing or the social sciences. Applicants with a 2.2 honours degree with relevant experience within the field are welcomed to apply. We also welcome applications from those who have studied a less directly related subject at undergraduate level, but who can demonstrate interest and motivation in this area.

International applicants

Students from outside of the UK help form a global community here at Queen Mary. For detailed country specific entry requirements please visit the International section of our website. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language proficiency.

Find out more about our English language entry 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.

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 exercise and role-play 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 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; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

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 needs 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.


Assessment takes a number of different forms including coursework essays, assignments and presentations, and examinations. Students must achieve an overall pass in the taught element in order to progress to their dissertation, which must also be passed for a degree to be awarded.


You will also be assessed on a supervised 10-12,000-word dissertation.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £10,440
Part time £5,220

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £17,100
Part time £8,550

Part time fees are charged per annum over two years for a two year programme and per annum over three years for a three year programme. A percentage increase may be applied to the fees in years two and three.

This increase is defined each year and published on the intranet and in the Tuition Fee Regulations. A 3% increase was applied to the unregulated university fees in 2019/20. Further information can be viewed on our University Fees webpage, including details about annual increases.


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 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



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