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MSc Social Development and Health

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  • Introduction
  • Key details
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  • Fees
  • Modules
  • Careers

- An opportunity to analyse the relationship between aspects of social development including globalisation, inequality, poverty, role of civil society and gender relations with health and wellbeing.
- For people seeking to work in resource poor or middle income and transitional economies.
- Appraisal of effective planning and implementation of health and social interventions.

This course attracts social science graduates, health and social care professionals and others who have an interest in issues such as gender equity and globalisation and their effects on the health and wellbeing of people in developing countries.

The ‘mainstreaming’ of social development is a key element of current development policy and practice. This course focuses on key issues considered within such developments, including gender awareness, the development of civil society, empowerment and the linkage between healthcare and other sectors.

This course will build on the participant’s experience, developing their understanding of the key factors and forces shaping the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged populations in low, middle income and transitional countries and focusing on specialist areas of social development (development policy analysis, frameworks for social analysis and sustainable livelihoods) and in an evidence-based critique of policy and practice.

Please check with IIHD, to confirm this course, as outlined, will be offered for the academic year 2016.

EXIT AWARDS: MSc(180 credits) )/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Delivery: At QMU

Single Modules: Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest

Duration: Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 - 5 years

Start date: September and January

Application deadline: none

Teaching, learning and assessment: Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies, simulation exercises and
projects. Assessment is continuous and incorporates assignments, action plans and projects.
For their dissertation projects, students often collaborate with organisations in the field of social development in resource poor settings or transitional economies.

Teaching hours and attendance: Each module which you study on campus will require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on which module you are studying and whether you are studying full or part time. Modules usually require two sessions of three hours in class plus around 10-12 hours of work each week consisting of preparatory class work with colleagues and on web based learning platforms as well as independent study. Subsequent to class contact, at least three weeks are given to prepare the written assignment.

Honours degree or diploma, preferably in a health-related or social science area. Some exposure/ experience of development work in low-middle income countries would be an asset.

International: Students whose first language is not English are required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 6.0 and no individual component score below 5.5.

Home/EU - full-time: £6750 per year

Home/EU - part-time: £700 per 15 credit module

Home/EU - part-time, dissertation: £1400

International - full-time: £13500 per year

International - part-time: £1400 per 15 credit module

International - part-time dissertation: £3580

Scholarships: Santander Scholarships 2 x £5,000 scholarships could be available for international students undertaking a course within the IIHD. Fees and Funding for more information.

More information about scholarships for international students

Funding Information for International Students:
Visit the International section of the website.

Course Fees:
Visit the Fees section of the website. -
Graduates of the University who hold a verified QMU undergraduate or postgraduate award and who are admitted to a postgraduate award of QMU will be eligible for a 10% discount on the published fees.

Sources of Funding:
Visit the Funding section of the website.

15 credits: Global Health and Social Policy/ Social Development Policy and Practice/ Researching Global Health and Development/ Research Design and Proposal Writing (distance) or Qualitative Research/ Gender, Health and Development/ Project Design and Management*

You will also study two 15 credit modules of your choice.

If studying for the MSc, you will also complete a dissertation.

Additional elective modules available - please contact for details.

Please note module and degree names may change.

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting, but are subject to change.

Former IIHD students work in a variety of settings including as Health Advisors for Save the Children UK and Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontières, Senior Coordinator for International Operations at Partners in Health, Policy Development Officer in Scottish NGOs, Public Health Policy Worker for first nation’s communities in northern Canada, humanitarian workers for Islamic Relief, internships at WHO as well as progressing to PhD studies.

Case study:
Abdul Manaf, MSc Social Development and Health

I had worked for nine years in Northern/Eastern Sri Lanka during the intensive conflict period with the internally displaced population in the north, and Tsunami-affected population in the North/East of the country. Initially, I was working for a local NGO in the central part of Sri Lanka then I moved to the north and worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). After this appointment I became the head of another local NGO,SHADE, which was created to give psychosocial support to the internally displaced population. Working with people including those in the conflict and post-conflict situations made me realise that this type of role would satisfy my desire to help people.

I wanted to enroll on a full time course in order to quickly progress my career and was fortunate to obtain a partial scholarship from QMU. As the humanitarian field has always been of interest to me I applied for the MSc Social Development and Health at QMU. I made the right decision in choosing this course as it is very much relevant to my career. I really appreciated the support and the motivation extended to me by the lecturers during the course of my study. Since I was taking a fulltime course I was able to manage the workload better and did not have to balance between employment and study. I am grateful to QMU and the lecturers for their constant support and patience with me during the course.

Immediately after successfully completing the course I joined the MSF Holland and started to work for one of its largest comprehensive TB care projects in Uzbekistan. Many aspects of the course proved to be immensely relevant and useful in my work. After the project in Uzbekistan I worked for a year in Dhaka, Bangladesh on an environmental health and sexual gender based violence project. Currently I am working for a HIV project in Uzbekistan.

Overall studying the masters degree in Social Development and Health gave me a greater understanding of humanitarian issues and social problems. It helped me recognise the possible solutions and impacts that these have on people and society at large while allowing me to obtain the skills required to be successful in my chosen carrier path.

Undertaking the course at QMU was a very positive experience in a very different environment to which I was accustomed. I enjoyed the study and am very grateful to all the lecturers for guiding me to successfully completing the course. I now have the desire to pursue for a PhD if the circumstances in the future allow me to do so.

Hosanna Msengezi, MSc Social Development and Health

Before I went to QMU, I had worked in the marketing field for many years. My aim was to one day manage the marketing department of some multinational company and I decided to do an MBA at Edinburgh Napier University, specialising in international marketing strategy. Whilst studying for my MBA, I found out about the MSc Social Development and Health at QMU and was very interested.

I knew it was going to be tough, but I decided to embark on the MSc whilst I also continued to study for my MBA.

When I started the course, everyone in the class seemed to have a background in health except for me and I was a little nervous. My mind was focused on the commercial world and I struggled with some of the concepts and thinking on this course.

The assignments were very daunting as the subject area was completely new to me and it was apparent that what I was being taught on the MBA conflicted with that I was being taught on the MSc - health spend and business spend are two very different areas.

However, at the end of the year, I realised that all things linked in very well: unless people have good health, the economies will not grow and thereby remain in poverty. This is one example.

The lecturers at QMU were very patient with me and I am very grateful for their support. The lecturing staff and students made a good crowd and I made many friends and who I still keep in touch with.

On completion of both the MBA and the MSc, I have decided to further my career down the international health route. I am now working for Terrence Higgins Trust as HIV Health Trainer for Scotland. It has been a long journey for me but must say I now understand why so many people have died in Sub-Sahara Africa needlessly and that those deaths could have been avoided.



further information:

0131 474 0000 or
Oonagh O'Brien
+44 (0)131 474 0000

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last modified 11/11/2015
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