Introduction to the course

Global Health is taught as an optional short two-week module in the third year of the BSc Medical Biosciences degree programme.

The module offers a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to be introduced to a range of fundamental concepts in global health and epidemiology, including the epidemiology of communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Core epidemiological study designs are introduced with emphasis on their relative strengths and limitations and the role they play in steering evidence-based Global Health policy.

Learning takes place through a blend of both group-based interactive and didactic sessions. The module also provides opportunities for students to interact with guest speakers, who are well established leaders in their field of Global Health.

What is Global Health?

Despite major improvements in health, there are still large disparities in health and health care across the globe: within and between regions, countries and local areas. Academic global health is a relatively recent area of inter-disciplinary scholarship that focuses on inequalities in health and the increasing interconnectedness of the determinants of health. To enable the study of such diverse issues, the field includes different disciplinary perspectives from epidemiology and public health to a range of social sciences (including politics, economics, sociology and anthropology). 

Module learning outcomes

  1. Interpret global patterns of infectious and non-infectious disease, compare the disparities worldwide, and identify broad underlying causes for these patterns
  2. Distinguish the hierarchy of evidence in study design through knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of various study designs, and explain the importance of applying evidence to clinical decision making
  3. Interpret and evaluate statistical findings commonly reported in scientific papers
  4. Describe and list examples of the main methods of intervention to improve health, including education, protection and prevention

Our students

We receive very positive feedback each year and our students often tell us they enjoy the material and sessions where they can interact with various guest speakers.

Many final year BMB students who complete this course have chosen to apply to the Masters of Public Health (MPH) programme, in order to study the topic of Global and Public Health in more detail.


As this is a brief two-week module where students are introduced to a variety of Global Health concepts, the workload can feel quite intense. There are two summative assessments in the two weeks; a 1000-word case study and a 7-10 minute video blog (Vlog).

For both assessments, students will have a session dedicated to providing further support and guidance in order to complete them.