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Global Health Systems Theory and Policy

MSc ( 1 year Full-time )

Overview

Applications are closed from 17-23 September 2018 and will reopen on Monday 24 September 2018.

This programme considers how the principles and practice of effective and fair public health care can inform health policy and health care systems in national and local settings. An important focus of the programme will be the theoretical and practical principles of solidarity in health care systems. The programme analyses the principles of health systems, and makes global linkages to social, political, economic, and cultural issues in individual countries and themes. Students will gain an understanding of competition and trade law and regulation and its application to public health care. This programme is of particular interest to medical and clinical practitioners, civil servants, public health practitioners, social and political scientists, lab scientists, and NGO workers.

High quality primary health care and public health systems form the cornerstone of an efficient, effective, and equitable health system. Many countries (whether low-, middle- or high-income) are seeking to shift from a secondary care led, disease-oriented and ‘reactive’ healthcare system to one characterised by a strong primary care sector offering ‘proactive’, whole-patient care through measures such as patient education, prevention, early diagnosis, support for self-care, risk factor and chronic disease management, and systematic gate-keeping to the secondary care sector.

This vision for developing public health and primary care is widely held (eg, it is prominent in World Health Organization strategic plans and is a strong theme in the new healthcare strategy in the USA), but it depends critically on capacity-building to produce the research leaders, educators, policy-makers and change agents who are integral to this process.

Through the knowledge and analytic skills they have gained, students can address the challenges facing public health and public policy more generally across a range of contexts. Their ability to plan and develop services and advocate for them will be greatly enhanced, and their effectiveness in delivering health care and public services will be increased. Strong emphasis is placed on research methods and analytic techniques for practical application or further research, and research methods are integrated into many modules.

The broad approach provides the context for collaborative interdisciplinary work. The programme will be led the Centre for Primary Care & Public Health in collaboration with the School of Law, and the School of Business & Management.

 

Why study Global Health Systems Theory and Policy at Queen Mary?

There are a number of distinct features about the course which include: an emphasis on the social determinants of health; a focus on the interface between politics and policy; a concern for social justice; and a stress upon primary care acting as a platform for effective public health action.

The offers an opportunity to develop a pronounced multi-disciplinary analysis that includes sociology, anthropology, economics, law, geography as well as public health medicine. You will therefore learn from a truly multidisciplinary programme, which will give you a genuinely broad education and wide perspective.

Furthermore, the Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry is comprised of two renowned and prestigious teaching hospitals: St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London. Both continue to make an outstanding contribution to modern medicine and together have been consistently ranked among the top five in the UK for medicine.

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.

We integrate different types of teaching delivery including small group seminars and participation in public health conferences. We have collaborations with other universities and organisations from around the world to aid research, teaching, policy development, and community engagement, and we encourage students to get involved in both our local and international work.

Key academics

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.

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 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 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 Giuliano Russo

Giuliano Russo is a lecturer in global health at QMUL’s Centre for Primary Care and Public Health. Giuliano has over 15 years of professional experience in academia, public and private sector, having worked in the past for the University of Lisbon (Portugal), the Overseas Development Institute (UK), the Government of Mozambique, the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica (Mexico), as well as for SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals (Spain and the UK).

A health economist by training, his recent work has focused on pharmaceutical policy and markets in low- and middle-income countries, the economics of human resources for health, health systems in low-income settings, and on global health aid architecture, with a geographical focus on African and Latin-American countries.

Giuliano holds an MSc in health economics from the University of York, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Structure

This 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

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

Specialist modules

  • Health Systems Theory, Policy and Political Economy
  • Understanding and Managing Human Resources for Global Health

Optional modules

  • Anthropology and Global Health
  • Migration, Culture, and Health
  • Gender, Sexuality and Health
  • Global Health, Governance and Law
  • Ecological Global Health
  • Human Rights and Public Health
  • Globalisation and Contemporary Medical Ethics
  • Researching Global Health and Biomedicine- Geneva Field Class
  • Economics of Development
  • Human Resource Management in the Public Services

Full-time

Undertaking an MSc 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.

Part-time

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

A part time student is required to take two of the core module worth 15 credits in semester one of the first year. In the second semester of the first year, a part time student will take the two specialist, each worth 15 credits. 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 each in semester one, and in the second semester they would take a 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.

Contact

msc-enquiry-globalhealth@qmul.ac.uk

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 equivalent in a relevant subject, such as medicine, the health sciences, nursing or the social sciences. 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.

You should have IELTS 7.0 or PTE academic 68, with IELTS 6.5 or PTE 62 in writing.

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

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.

Dissertation

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

Fees

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £10,440
Part time £5,220
Part-time study is not available for this course

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £17,100
Part time £8,550
Part-time study is not available for this course

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 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 Janakan Ratnarajan- MSc PT Blizard Institute, Global Health Systems Theory and Policy- Graduating December 2018

Why did you choose Global Health at Queen Mary?

After qualifying as a GP, I realised I wanted to be more involved in health system planning. I found a number of universities which catered to part-time students. What attracted to me about Queen Mary was the explicit intentions of universal health coverage and equality. This was vital to me as it chimed with my own values and objectives. There was a wide range of courses available and the mandatory courses were well selected to give a targeted but varied foundation.

As a part-time student the course provided many adaptations to accommodate my work schedule. Including first selection of modules to being open to interact and adapt to allow us maximum exposure. The administration ensured that I could study and continue working. It was really appreciated.

 

What are you most enjoying about your degree?

Firstly, and most importantly it has changed the way I think about not only health, but the world in general. Core modules were distinct but built upon learning in other modules. Selective modules covered all my interests and were delivered with diligence and enthusiasm. Secondly, the professors were all friendly, and approachable. It was clear that they had passion for health equality. We were treated as colleagues and encouraged to challenge. Thirdly, there is an incredible breath of nationalities and experience. Fellow students shared how health is managed, and the challenges they face in our interactive weekly seminars was an unexpected and special bonus.

 

How would you describe this degree to someone who knew nothing about it?

If you believe health is a right, then this is a great course for you. It is a demanding course, which needs good time management. But if you are driven by improving health for others, the reading, lectures/seminars and assignments will provide you with the tools to move forward.

What do you plan to do after your degree?

This degree reinforced my desire to enter into health planning. It has opened opportunities to work in local CCGs in the summer break (only for part time students). Over the coming months I will weigh up my options on how to enter health policy. This could be a governmental level, 3rd sector or independent think tanks.

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