Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Why tomorrow’s doctors need to learn about Global Health

The General Medical Council’s Outcomes for graduates emphasises the need to understand the ‘determinants of health and disease and variations in healthcare delivery and medical practice from a global perspective’. It also states the importance of understanding how history, culture and society might influence a patient’s presentation and can inform clinical judgement. Brighton and Sussex Medical School’s (BSMS’) MSc in Global Health provides this understanding and more. In addition to exploring global health outcomes and determinants, it attracts students from across the world. These students bring unique experiences from different healthcare settings and create a diverse environment of collaborative learning. We are confident that our course will benefit be of benefit to all of tomorrow’s doctors.

Student testimonial

I applied to study the Global Health MSc for my intercalation and my experience over the year exceeded expectations! The tutors were always very encouraging and friendly. Additionally, I had the privilege of getting to know course mates from across the globe from various professional backgrounds… I would highly recommend the Global Health MSc at BSMS for any medical students considering intercalating as you learn new skills which you don’t always get the chance to develop whilst at medical school.” Abiman Ravishanker, MSc Global Health student 2021-22

Health status differs widely across the globe. Life expectancy varies from 45 years in some countries to double that in others, and similar inequalities exist within countries. Economies, environments, societies and cultures are increasingly heterogeneous, but also interconnected and interdependent – with many complex global factors affecting the health of individuals, populations and nations. As these factors change, so do the challenges and opportunities for improving health locally and globally.

BSMS brings together experts from medicine, public health, development studies, anthropology, economics, international relations and political sciences to deliver a vibrant programme.

Topics covered include poverty, health and development; cultural understandings of health and healing; the global burden and management of disease; emerging infectious diseases; health policy and practice; access to medicines; and the relationship between health inequalities, conflict and violence, globalisation and global governance.

Our course boasts links with action-research projects around the world and students will undertake a research-based dissertation, for which they can choose to be based overseas.

We have a strong history of supporting students to publish their work in academic journals such as BMJ Global Health. Students have published on topics including drug therapy for the treatment of leprosy, and the COVID-19 pandemic experiences of students. Our course critically engages with global health, discussing colonial legacies, equitable partnerships, and co-production in research. Further information is on our course website.

Compulsory modules

Global Health Principles

Global Burden and Management of Disease

Research Practice in Global Contexts

Dissertation (Research Project)

Optional modules

Infectious, Emerging and Neglected Diseases (BSMS)

Conflict, Violence and Health (BSMS)

Access to Medicines (BSMS)

Economic Evaluation of Healthcare (BSMS)

Epidemiology (BSMS)

Sustainable Healthcare Principles (BSMS

Health and Development (Institute of Development Studies)

The International Politics of Health (Institute of Development Studies)

Migration, Refugees and Wellbeing (Institute of Development Studies)

Global Laboratories: Biotech, Life and Society (University of Sussex School of Global Studies)

Sustainable Healthcare Principles (University of Sussex School of Global Studies)

View our course page online

Entry requirements

A first or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree or equivalent in any global health-related subject (e.g., development studies, anthropology, nursing, political sciences, geography, psychology, biomedical sciences, etc.). The course is very multidisciplinary, if unsure whether your undergraduate degree is relevant, please contact us.


Applicants with a 2.2 degree with relevant global health experience will be considered on individual basis.


Successful completion of at least three years’ basic medical science at a UK medical school (having gained at least 360 credits).

For international students an IELTS (Academic) score of 7 or above is required, with no less than 6.5 in each section. You can still submit your application pending IELTS results and any offer made will be subject to meeting the IELTS requirement. We encourage you to discuss with the course team your IELTS scores once you receive them even if lower than the required scores. Nationals of majority English speaking countries may be exempt from completing an English test.

If shortlisted for the course, we will invite you to a friendly, informal online chat to get to know you and your interests further, and to give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the MSc.

Closing date

Please contact the course provider.