St George’s, University of London
A growing range of health crises – linked to anything from poverty, illness, infectious disease or disaster – have heightened our awareness of the importance of human rights and global health promotion. Governments and privileged societies have a moral responsibility to help protect the world’s citizens, but their actions and likelihood of success are increasingly bound by respect for individual freedom, liberty, law, equity, sensitivity, dignity and more.
Planning and delivering humanitarian aid can quickly become a political and legal minefield. The emergence of global health law and a growing sense of the relevance and importance of national, regional and international law to global healthcare is helping policy makers, politicians and practitioners negotiate some of the ethical and legal obstacles in their way.
On this specialist pathway, you will gain a richer understanding of the global health challenges and develop a deeper understanding of the relevance of ethics and law to the overarching aim of improving health for all. You will learn to critically analyse complex scenarios, investigating theories of humanitarianism, humanitarian needs, ethical principles and values. There will also be a strong focus on the application of moral and political philosophy to global health issues, in particular, theories of cosmopolitanism, distributive justice and human rights.
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.