UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health



Subscribe to our email newsletter


A A A

Optional Modules

Students on the MSc and PGDip programmes will have the opportunity to tailor their course to suit their needs, by selecting four optional modules in Terms 2 and 3. There are 25 optional modules to choose from.

Anthropological Perspectives on Global Health

Medical anthropology exists in a creative tension between the positivism of biomedicine and the more interpretative perspectives of social anthropology. This module will introduce you to medical anthropology through a survey of classical and current issues, concepts and topics, with this tension as a central thread. The general aims of the course are to link illness experience with socio-political factors and to understand cultural influences on health and sickness in a variety of contexts around the world.

Dr Audrey Prost
UCL Centre for International Health & Development

Dr Rodney Reynolds
UCL Anthropology

Children in Difficult Circumstances

Children in difficult circumstances include street children, children exploited through labour, children exposed to violence and sexual abuse, disabled children, orphans and children with HIV. This module introduces the problems facing these children both in the UK and around the world. It examines the underlying causes and explores some of the potential solutions.

Professor Therese Hesketh
UCL Centre for International Health & Development

Climate Change and Health

This module will explain the global causes and health, economic and environmental impacts of climate change. It will examine the anticipated impact on the availability of food, water and shelter and likely results in terms of poverty, health inequality and human migration. You will also debate possible strategies for both mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and the barriers to these.

Professor Anthony Costello
UCL Centre for International Health & Development

Professor Hugh Montgomery
UCL Medicine

Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health

The conflict, humanitarianism and health module examines the causes of violent conflict and its effects on health. It discusses key policy issues in contemporary humanitarianism and assesses the effectiveness of humanitarian interventions and organisations. Students will also engage with particular topics related to these areas, including the policy responses to migration in conflict situations and the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions and reconciliation initiatives in divided societies.

Dr Maria Kett
(Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre,  UCL)

Child Development: Inclusive Approaches in Global Contexts

The module aims to reflect on the lives of and services for children across cultures and context, with a particular emphasis on disabled children. It takes the principle of inclusion as being key to the consideration of disabled children as children first and their particular needs in relation to their impairment second. We will consider different models of service provision in early child development, health and education to look at ways in which all children living in very diverse contexts, can be given the best life chances. The emphasis will be on lifespan and rights based approaches and on cross cultural and international examples of research and practice in childhood and disability studies.

Mary Wickenden
(UCL Centre for International Health & Development)

Clinical Aspects of HIV Disease

This module aims to develop clinical skills relevant to the management of patients with HIV infection.

Death, Dying and Consequences

This module seeks to identify and explore interdisciplinary approaches to death and dying and to think through the issues that arise in relation to individuals, cultures, health systems and policy. Over a ten week taught term individual lecture topics will address death and dying practices and morbidity measures, birth and death, suicide, aging, ritual, disaster, accident, violence, grief and commodification of death.

Dr. Rodney Reynolds

UCL Anthropology

Disability and Development

The aim of this module is to introduce and explore historical and contemporary concepts and models of disability, and to discuss links with major issues in community development (eg health and illness, gender, education, poverty, social exclusion).  It will present international legislation in relation to disability and consider the cultural and sociopolitical contexts in which this has developed, and reflect on ways in which the lives of disabled people and their families might be improved.  Examples will be drawn from a range of types of communities and diverse cultural settings globally, but with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries.  You are encouraged to draw on your own cultural experiences in considering disabilty policy and practice.

Mary Wickenden
(UCL Centre for International Health & Development)

Economic Evaluation in Healthcare

(Students must take Key principles of health economics as a pre-requisite).

This course covers cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit and cost-utility analyses. Students will be guided through theoretical and practical considerations on the measurement of costs and benefits in health care, and conducting simple analyses by the end of the course. Students will also engage with the policy implications of using economic evaluation for decision making in healthcare. The course is delivered through lectures, tutorials, computer-based exercises and independent reading.

Dr Jolene Skordis-Worrall
(UCL Centre for International Health & Development)

Ethnicity, Migration and Health

This module will provide you with an introduction to the different concepts of ethnicity and the association between ethnicity and physical and mental health outcomes. In the process, you will be exposed to debates on race, mechanisms that can explain ethnic differences in health, as well as the role health services play, the health experiences of migrants, and cultural aspects of the migrant and ethnic minority experience.

Dr. Laura Marlow

(UCL Epidemiology & Public Health)

Economics of Health and Population

This course examines the nature of and explanations for diverging patterns of socio-economic performance across the globe. The course draws on the most contemporary political economy literature and thus allows for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the nature of economic development.

Dr. Chris Gerry
(School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

Global Justice and Health

This module explores contemporary debates in global justice, especially as applied to issues of international health inequalities. Topics include: international distributive justice; health equity; bioethics and public heath ethics; and the human right to health.

Professor Jonathan Wolff
(UCL Philosophy)

Globalisation and Security

This module draws on theory in critical geopolitics and related fields to examine evolving relations between globalisation and security. In particular it considers the nature, transformation and consequences of domopolitics (the governance of states in the name of ‘homeland security’) in an era of increasing global inequality and integration. It explores these issues through a variety of thematic and empirical case studies and considers methods through which geopolitical issues can be researched. Finally, the module assesses the claim that the European Union represents a new form of polity uniquely suited to the challenges of globalisation.

Dr Alan Ingram
(UCL Geography)

Health Inequalities over the Life Course

This module examines how exposures to health promoting or health damaging factors are unequally distributed from birth onwards and transmitted intergenerationally. Theoretical models of life course epidemiology will be discussed and epidemiological evidence for different models debated. These models will be used to elaborate explanations and policy strategies for inequalities in health.

Dr. Anne Peasey
(UCL Epidemiology & Public Health)

Healthcare Quality and Evidence Based Practice

Online learning with tutorials

Clinicians and managers around the globe are struggling with the problem of how to deliver and manage increasingly complex healthcare systems. This module examines perspectives on and frameworks of healthcare quality and considers the interplay between governance, regulatory processes and healthcare quality.  It explores the role evidence plays in supporting clinicians, managers and policy makers and highlights the different evidential perspectives adopted by clinicians, managers and policy makers. It also tackles the thorny question of why it is often difficult to use evidence to transform clinical practice and service delivery.

Ms Jeannette Murphy
(UCL Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education)

Health Management: Planning and Programme Design

This module centres on a simulation exercise of a health programme mission in a resource-poor setting. You will work in a team using a logical framework approach to define a target population and formulate programme objectives within the context of a country’s national development goals.

David Beran
(University of Geneva)

Key Principles of Health Economics

(This module is a pre-requisite for students taking "Economic evaluation in healthcare").

The module introduces key concepts in health economics using the foundations of economic theory, and then applies that theory to health and health markets. It enables participants to understand how demand and supply interact, how markets work and why they fail, and to identify the main methods of health financing.

Dr Jolene Skordis-Worrall
(UCL Centre for International Health & Development)

Law and Governance of Global Health

Law and governance applying to global health is a field rarely studied in any holistic way. This course aims to enable health practitioners and lawyers to understand, critically analyse and work with the law and governance framework applying to global health. It will include detailed discussion of the institutional arrangements for the protection of global health, including not only those institutions directly working in global health, but also those whose interventions are crucial but easily overlooked, including the WTO. The law relating to various bioethical issues, such as consent, will be considered in its global health context. The course will also include an examination of the responsibilities of transnational corporations in respect of global health.

Jonathan Montgomery
(UCL Laws)

Nutrition and Public Health

This module provides you with an understanding of the public health importance of nutrition, the main determinants of malnutrition, methods of nutritional assessment, and approaches to nutritional intervention in both developmental and emergency contexts.

Dr Andy Seal
(UCL Centre for International Health & Development)

Perinatal Epidemiology and Newborn Care

This module addresses current important issues in perinatal and newborn care. Issues covered include links between newborn and child survival, perinatal asphyxia, low birth weight and parent to child transmission of HIV.

Dr David Osrin
(UCL Centre for International Health & Development)

Regression Modelling

This module is a Level 2 course in biomedical statistics and statistical computing which will provide you with an advanced level of knowledge in key concepts (such as statistical methods for continuous and categorical variables) and introduce regression (linear regression, logistic regression). Statistical modeling will be undertaken using Stata software. Contact hours are divided between theory, non-computer and computer-practical sessions so that you can consolidate the concepts you have learned by applying them in a variety of contexts relevant to clinical and social epidemiology.

Dr Hynek Pikhart
(UCL Epidemiology & Public Health)

Research in Action: Qualitative Approach

This module will enable you to enhance the quality and credibility of qualitative studies. It provides the opportunity to gain skills and experience in valuing and using qualitative methods for investigating community health problems and undertaking actions to address the problems. It examines qualitative research concepts and tools, including interviews, observations and focus groups.

Mary Wickenden
(UCL Centre for International Health & Development)

Research in Action: Quantitative Approach

This module equips students with the concepts  and skills required to design and conduct surveys for diverse population groups and to critically evaluate surveys carrried out by others. This course covers areas of survey methodology including data collection, sampling, questionnaire design and using computers to analyse data. The course emphasises practical learning and focuses on real life experiences and application.

Dr Zelee Hill
(UCL Centre for International Health & Development)

Social Determinants of Health

The module examines evidence from a range of sources and country case studies to understand the social determinants of global health, and analyses how research on social determinants of health can inform action to tackle health inequalities, globally and within countries.  At the same time we highlight areas where more evidence is needed in this rapidly growing area of research.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot and Dr. Ruth Bell
(UCL Epidemiology & Public Health)

Sexual Health: Designing Sexual and Reproductive Health Programmes in Low and Middle Income Countries

This is a new module offered in the 2012-2013 Academic Year.

The aim of the module is to introduce the students to the key principles involved in designing, planning and implementing programs to improve sexual and reproductive health, particularly in low and middle income settings.

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Gather and critically appraise the literature around intervention effectiveness
  • Adopt a problem solving approach to intervention design and implementation
  • Navigate and synthesize evidence from multiple sometimes conflicting disciplines, including biological sciences, social science, anthropology, law, politics, and gender studies.
  • Write a project proposal
  • Communicate effectively and concisely orally and with the use of visual aids
  • Communicate effectively in class
  • Collaborate in a team and across disciplines
  • Reflect on new ideas and approaches
  • Effectively use internet search strategies


Maryam Shahmanesh
UCL Infection and Population Health

Page last modified on 19 jul 13 12:36