Essentials of Global Child Health

  • 30 hours
  • 2 weeks (3 days per week)


Child health programmes are going through a challenging phase as they strive to meet global targets while addressing the need for evidence-based interventions.

This short course introduces key concepts and global issues in child health and disability. It will also provide a background to evidence-based child health interventions.

You'll develop your knowledge of common childhood illnesses and strategies on how to control these in developing countries.

You'll also have the opportunity to share experiences with a wide range of people, including clinicians and those with experience of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

This course is run by UCL’s Institute for Global Health (IGH).

Course content

As well as introducing you to the key child-health challenges and interventions, the course will examine:

  • the burden of disease, mechanisms and determinants of key childhood illnesses
  • the evidence for interventions
  • the successes and challenges of key programmes

Lecture topics include the following:

  • History and perspectives of child health
  • Causes of child mortality, morbidity and disability
  • Mechanisms, interventions and programmes for newborn health, vaccine-preventable diseases, nutrition, infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS and mental health
  • Disabilities
  • Child development and developmental delay
  • Child protection
  • Child health in the community
  • Adolescent health

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for maternal and child-health professionals, programme managers and those with an interest in child health and/or public health.

Teaching, structure and assessment

This course is taught on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays over two weeks.

It involves lectures, in-depth discussions, group work (including case studies) and self-study.

Information and reading materials are provided via Moodle (a virtual learning environment).

As a short course student you won't be formally assessed, but you're expected to fully participate in group work. You'll receive a certificate of attendance on completion of the course.

This course can also be taken as a taster course, allowing you to earn UCL credits.

The taster course is assessed by a 2,000 word essay.

Find out more about the difference between short and taster courses on the IGH website.

Learning outcomes 

By the end of the course you'll: 

  • have identified and discussed important issues in international child health and disability 
  • be familiar with the history and design of programmes and strategies 
  • have gained knowledge about common childhood illnesses, and strategies for their control in developing countries 
  • have engaged with, discussed and debated maternal and child health issues and models of disease prevention and treatment that underpin service delivery issues 
  • be confident in finding, reading and assessing international health information 
  • have thought about their particular interests within the international health field

Entry requirements 

For the short course you’ll need:

  • professional work experience in a relevant area and/or a first or second-class honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. health, education, psychology, international development)
  • a good standard of English proficiency

Course participants usually have a background in maternal and child health or public health, either through training or work experience. 

Cost and concessions

The fees for the short course are:

  • Home/EU - £850
  • Overseas - £1,200
  • Overseas low-middle income countries - £750
  • IGH staff - free 
  • other UCL staff - £400
  • IGH/UCL alumni - £650

The fees for the taster course are:

  • Home/EU - £950
  • Overseas - £1,300
  • Overseas low-middle income countries - £850
  • IGH staff - £100
  • other UCL staff - £500
  • IGH/UCL alumni - £750

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Course team

Daniel Strachan

Daniel is a Senior Research Associate and Teaching Fellow at UCL's Institute for Global Health (IGH). He's a social scientist currently working on the inSCALE project in Uganda and Mozambique which trains volunteer community health workers to diagnose and treat diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria in children below five years old, and increase coverage of integrated community case management. He's previously worked in a community child health role in Australia supporting early childhood service delivery with a particular focus on reaching hard-to-reach communities. As well as leading the Essentials of International Child Health module, Daniel also teaches qualitative research methods to Master's students at IGH.

Student review

Students who took this module as part of their MSc said:

"The module gave a solid foundation on child health issues. I felt it was a good mix of medical information and social/political theory and I have come away with a very practical knowledge."

"Amazing module, comprehensive, encompassed all aspects of child health. Wonderful guest speakers. Dynamic and innovative learning. Contemporary and a good balance of student/teacher led. I would do it all again."

"Wouldn't change anything. Met all my expectations and more. Thoroughly enjoyed."

"I gained both very useful theoretical and practical skills from the module."

"I particularly like the fact that it was an interaction session, where you could learn a lot."

Course information last modified: 18 Sep 2018, 10:44