St George’s, University of London
As the world becomes increasingly globalised, differences in attitudes and approaches to health and illness amongst different communities are becoming even more important. Acknowledging that there is a vastness of cultural, political, social or economic contexts and influences at play within individuals and communities is a poignant humanistic endeavour for global health practitioners when attempting to understand and respond to suffering around the world.
In the drive to improve people’s health worldwide, policymakers and practitioners are becoming more aware of the stark differences in knowledge, practices, beliefs and identities in relation to health. Humanities is increasingly being seen to offer alternative approach to inform global health – not just biologically, but philosophically, socially and politically, from past, present and future perspective.
This specialist pathway aims to showcase the different ways of exploring and understanding health from humanities-based approaches, collecting human experiences and narratives, for example, to help people connect more easily. It covers a fascinating range of topics including health activism, narrative-based medicine and story-telling for trauma.
Global health is a fascinating, broad and multidisciplinary field that is underpinned by the desire to improve people’s health worldwide, reduce inequality and protect communities from global threats, such as conflict, economic crises or preventable diseases which, as coronavirus has demonstrated, do not respect national borders.
Core compulsory and elective modules, common to each pathway, will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to understand, interpret and help solve critical global health challenges, and prepare you to conduct a high-calibre research project in your chosen specialism.
Past research projects have covered the full spectrum of the discipline – from a clinical project to examine correlation between COVID and HIV conducted here in the UK, for example, to assessment of mental health care provision in rural South Africa and an analysis of the narratives of women imprisoned in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Careers in global health are often divided into clinical and non-clinical with opportunities in both addressing issues of public or global health, or working in leadership, consultancy or research roles in either government or the private sector, as well as national and international agencies, such as WHO, Unicef or Save the Children, for example.
Career options include policy development, advocacy, health systems administration and management, education, research, community outreach, community healthcare planning, infectious disease management, programme planning and evaluation.
Depending on your interests and chosen specialism, you will also be able to target the countries, individuals, initiatives or challenges you feel most passionately about. On completion, you will also be equipped with practical research-based training and skills putting you in a good position to apply for a PhD, which some of our students choose to do.
Students must have the equivalent of a bachelor degree to intercalate a Master’s. This will usually require you to have a BSc degree or have completed the first three years of your medical programme.
Applications typically open in November and close in July. Early applications are recommended.