Economics of Global Health Challenges

Gain insight into a range of global health challenges

The Economics of Global Health Challenges Summer School allows you to tap into the world-class health teaching of Imperial College London and the management expertise of the Business School.

This three-week short course is designed to introduce you to three key global health challenges – air pollution and climate change, food, health and the economy, and access to medicines and vaccines – that are the current focus of research efforts at our Centre for Health Economics & Policy Innovation and Imperial College more widely.

By the end of the course you will:

  • Understand a range of global health challenges
  • Analyse and explore big data
  • Explain basic economic theory and epidemiological concepts
  • Carry out routine data science queries and analyses
  • Generate findings and communicate them to a wide audience

Course content

Week one: Air pollution and climate change

In the first week, you will be introduced to the study of population health in the global context, otherwise known as Global Health. You will learn about the challenges facing the growing and ageing global population, beginning with air pollution and climate change. You will explore the drivers behind climate change and gain an understanding into the methods used to project future impacts of pollution, estimate climate-related costs and design policy-relevant solution to mitigate climate change.

Week two: Food, health and the economy

In the second week, you will take a deeper dive into the key features of food systems sustaining the world’s population of nearly eight billion people. From food production to the incentives that drive people’s choices when they purchase and consume food, this week will look at how food affects people’s health and the environment, and how you can make food production and consumption more sustainable.

Week three: Access to medicine and vaccines

In the third and final week, you will learn about global healthcare systems, innovation and the different ways patients around the world access medicine and vaccines. In the context of COVID-19, students will gain insight into how science has informed policy decisions around care and vaccine distribution. Using examples from the UK, the US and sub-Saharan Africa, students will explore the global challenges faced by nations in producing and delivering life-saving medication for conditions such as HIV, TB and Hepatitis, and learn of the innovative ways in which these problems are being solved to improve population health.

Teaching methods 

Students can choose to study the course fully online or through our multi-mode delivery format.

The multi-mode delivery method enables students to learn safely via a mixture of on-campus and remote online teaching. This new way of teaching takes into account the government COVID-19 regulations around social distancing and reduced capacity in lecture theatres, and most importantly, prioritises the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Lecture content and class material will be made available through an interactive online teaching and learning hub – The Summer School Hub. 

Workshops will use case studies, structured discussions and in-class exercises to demonstrate the application of concepts as you learn. You will also be expected to complete significant private study, exam preparation and group assignment work outside of your scheduled classes.


Entry requirements: For this short course, applicants should have an A-level in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics at grade B or above.

For more details view our entry requirements.


  • In-course assessment (50% of final mark)

  • Written exam (50% of final mark)

Imperial College London will issue an official transcript with a final overall numerical mark – a breakdown of results will not be provided.

Imperial College London reserves the right to change or alter the courses offered without notice.

Key information

Duration: 3 weeks

Session dates: 28 June - 16 July 2021