Institute for Global Health


Gender and global health

This module explores and explains theoretical, empirical and applied approaches to and perspectives on gender and global health.  It adopts a critical approach to gender and aims to train students to understand how gender identities determine our health and wellbeing on a local and global level.  The module will illustrate and discuss current global debates and issues in gender and health, and provide students with a strong theoretical basis from which to conduct gender transformational research and interventions on global health.

Module Code: GLBH0038

UCL Credits: 15

Module Organiser: Dr Jennie Gamlin and Dr Jenevieve Mannell

Who can study this course?

MSc/PG Dip Global Health and Development students, other UCL MSc/PG Dip students, Taster course students, Short course students.

Course length5 weeks 
Course datesTBC
Days and timesTBC

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 (subject to availability).

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.


The central focus of this module is to explore and understand how masculinities and femininities impact upon individual, collective and global health.  Following a general introduction to gender theory and how gender impacts upon health, sessions will outline key issues related to gender and global health including:

  • theoretical perspectives on  gender and health
  • health implications of gender relations in global contexts
  • gender and violence
  • gender and reproduction
  • marginalised sexualities and health
  • conflict and migration
  • obstetric violence

Methodologies such as feminist ethnography and a focus on gender mainstreaming for research and interventions will be covered through practical workshops which train students to research and think critically about gender and health issues.

Teaching and learning methods

The module is delivered through lectures followed by Q&As and through seminar sessions.  Lectures will cover main theoretical concepts and key issues in gender and global health.  Seminars will follow each lecture with 2-3 essential readings for each session, with discussion to be led by the students.

For the "book launch" group assessment, students will give a critical appraisal of a text on gender and global health, presenting the main ideas and arguments to demonstrate their understanding of theoretical concepts and how these are applied.  The essay will enable students to synthesise and critique what they have learned.  Essential readings and supplementary material for the lectures and seminars will be available on Moodle.


Essay (80%) 2,500 words

"Book launch" group presentation 20% (30 minutes inc. 5 minutes per person).

Assessment Dates


Selected Reading List

Connell, Raewyn. 2012. Gender, health and theory: Conceptualizing the issue, in local and world perspective. Social Science and Medicine 16 (7): 1675-1683.

Hawkes, Sarah and Kent Buse. 2013. Gender and global health: evidence, policy and inconvenient truths. The Lancet 381:186-187

Philippe Bourgois. 1996. In search of masculinity. Violence, respect and sexuality among Puerto Rican crack dealers in East Harlem. British Journal of Criminology 36(3) 412-427

Risman, Barbara. 2004. Gender as a social structure. Theory wrestling with activism. Gender and Society 18 (4):429-450

West, Candace and Don H Zimmerman. 1987. Doing Gender. Gender and Society 1(2):125:151

Brower C and Carole Sargent. 2011. Reproduction, globalization and the state. New theoretical and ethnographic perspectives. Duke University Press. (CHAPTERS ONLY)