Institute for Global Health


Health systems in a global context (core module)

The health systems in a global context module will introduce students to the fundamental elements of health systems from around the world. Covering the financing and organisation of health systems, and key issues related to the demand for and supply of health care, students will be asked to critically engage with policy responses to important health system problems, as well as the overall performance of health systems. Policy problems addressed will include: equity in the financing and provision of health care; quality of care and responsiveness to health system users; as well as issues related to the use of human resources and pharmaceuticals in health systems.

Module Code: CIHDG042

UCL Credits: 15

Module Organiser: Mike Rowson. Please direct queries to the course administration team in the first instance igh.adminpg@ucl.ac.uk

Who can study this course?

MSc/PG Dip Global Health and Development students and MSc Population Health students. Other UCL MSc/PG Dip students, TropEd students, Taster course students, and Short course students subject to availablility.

Admission Requirements

MSc and PG Dip students: Open to all UCL MSc/PG Dip Global Health and Development, and to any UCL MSc/PG Dip students.

tropEd students: evidence that you are registered as a tropEd student, successful completion of core course.

Taster students: UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant/allied subject awarded with a 1st or upper 2nd class Honours or an equivalent qualification.  Two academic or professional reference letters.

Short course students: Professional work experience in a relevant area and/or UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant/allied subject awarded with a 1st or 2nd class Honours or an equivalent qualification.

In addition to the above, all students must demonstrate a GOOD standard of English Proficiency with 6.5 in each of the subtests.

Course length 5 weeks 
Course dates 13 November to 12 December 2017
Days and times

Monday Lecture AM (all students) and Tutorials PM (1/2 of the class) 

Tuesday  Lecture AM (all students) + Tutorials PM (other 1/2 of the class) 

Essay to be submitted by 09:00 am on 8 January 2018.


Teaching and learning methods

Interactive lectures will be combined with seminars and group discussion.  The bulk of teaching will be carried out by tutors from within the unit, but outside lecturers may also be employed.  The module prioritises time for private reading and self-study. Moodle will be used to give students access to reading materials.


Essay (2000 words) 100%

Assessment Date

Essay to be submitted by 09:00am on 8 January 2018.

Selected Reading List

Balabanova D, McKee M, Mills A (2011). ‘Good Health at Low Cost’ 25 years On: What Makes a Successful Health System? London, LSHTM.

World Bank (2003). World Development Report 2004. Making Services Work for Poor People. Washington DC, World Bank. (read Overview and chapters 1 & 8).

People’s Health Movement, Global Equity Gauge Alliance, Medact (2005). World Health Organization. In Global Health Watch 2005/2006: An Alternative World Health Report. London, Zed Books. (read chapter B1 on health systems)

Rockefeller Foundation, Save the Children, Unicef, WHO (2013). Universal Health Coverage: a Commitment to Close the Gap. London, Save the Children. 

WHO (2008). World Health Report 2008: Primary Health Care – Now More Than Ever.

Geneva, WHO. (read chapter three).