Postgraduate Taught

MSc Global Health

Do you want to make a difference to the health of people in low-resource settings? Are you passionate about social justice or looking for a qualification that will enable you to work at a senior level in health policy and practice in the UK or abroad, particularly in low and middle income settings? Our flexible and highly respected range of global health courses could be the perfect stepping stone for your career. 

Global health is increasingly being framed as a major driver of development, international co-operation and diplomacy, both during and beyond outbreaks of infectious diseases such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This makes it not only a very interesting field of study, but also an incredibly important one regardless of the setting you will work in. 

The MSc Global Health course will offer you a thorough grounding in this multidisciplinary field, with the opportunity to specialise your studies if you wish later on. The course can be studied full or part-time.

Why QMU?

  • Unique academic institution: The Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) at QMU offers a range of postgraduate courses aimed specifically at those who wish to work in health policy and practice, particularly in low and middle income settings.  
  • Make a difference  to your career and to others' lives: Our courses put a strong focus on the social aspects of health and on health systems strengthening from a community-based perspective. They will equip you to assist in improving the lives of the most vulnerable people in the world, whether that be overseas or locally in Scotland. You will develop a strong understanding of current global health and development issues and will equip yourself with the tools you need to forge positive change locally, nationally or internationally. 
  • Access to expertise and industry connections: You will learn from experienced figures in the field and make connections that could last your whole working life. At IGHD we work directly with ministries of health, international and national organisations and local communities to develop real solutions to health and development problems. 
  • Join us on our compassion mission: Our work at IGHD addresses the health and wellbeing of those in greatest need, whether that be vulnerable populations in Scotland or those living in low or middle income countries.   
  • Wide ranging teaching and research expertise: Our teaching and research expertise spans multiple aspects of global health and development. These range from health financing, support to fragile and conflict-affected settings, to refugee integration and child protection.  


Who is this course for?

This course will be relevant to you if you are working, or planning to work, in enhancing population health in low or middle-income settings, be this within governmental (eg ministries of health), non-governmental or intergovernmental organisations (eg WHO or UN agencies). 

More about MSc Global Health and what you will achieve

How can societies implement more effective intervention strategies to improve access, affordability and quality of health services, especially for vulnerable populations? Who is responsible for initiating and then delivering the strategy in a low-income setting? The answers to most of the important questions in this field are complex and your studies will prepare you to answer them through a multidisciplinary approach. This is about gaining a truly global perspective on the state of people’s health, and enhancing your knowledge through a systematic examination of health problems and their determinants. 

The course will equip you to work effectively at a senior level to promote the health and social wellbeing of populations through the development of effective and responsive health systems. It will orient you to issues on which Institute staff are recognised to have made world-leading research contributions, such as supporting health systems strengthening in fragile and conflict-affected states, and mental health and psychosocial support for vulnerable populations. Participants are typically drawn from a broad range of backgrounds, including physicians, nurses, allied health professions, development and humanitarian workers as well as health ministry and NGO employees. 


You can opt to study for the full MSc, a PgDip or a PgCert. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits)/PgDip (120 credits)/PgCert (60 credits)

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching is comprised of a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, case studies, simulation exercises and projects. Assessment is continuous and incorporates assignments, action plans, projects and presentations. For your dissertation project, you can chose to do a desk study involving a literature review or conduct primary data collection in collaboration with national or international organisations working in health and development.

Teaching hours and attendance

Your exact attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module you are studying and whether you are studying full-time or part-time. In addition, for each module students spend approximately 10-12 hours of each week on preparatory class work independently and with colleagues, including readings and exercises available on dedicated web-based learning platforms.

Links with industry/professional bodies

Our work with a number of internationally recognised organisations and professional bodies helps shape the content of our courses. We have links with various bodies, including the following:

At QMU we host the NIHR Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility (RUHF).

Class sizes

We expect approximately 15-20 students to enroll for this course each year.



  • Global Public Health and Social Policy (20 credits) (core module)
  • Health Systems, Services and Communities (20 credits) (core module)
  • Global Health Research (20 credits) (core module)

NB part-time students leaving after completing modules but not the three specified core modules will be awarded the PgCert Global Health and Development. 


  • Global Public Health and Social Policy (20 credits) (core module)
  • Health Systems, Services and Communities (20 credits) (core module)
  • Global Health Research (20 credits) (core module)
  • Plus four elective modules chosen from other available electives, which include topics such as Global Approaches to Gender and Health; Health Systems in Fragile Setting; and Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations, among others (See 'Elective modules' below).


  • Global Public Health and Social Policy (20 credits): 
  • Global Health Research (20 credits)
  • Health Systems, Services and Communities (20 credits)
  • plus a further 60 credits from the broad range of modules available within the Institute or from other QMU courses and external universities.

 If studying for the MSc, you will also complete a dissertation involving desk study or fieldwork on an approved topic related to global health (60 credits). 

 Elective modules

IGHD elective modules may include: 

  • Programme Evaluation in Global Health and Development
  • Health Systems in Fragile Settings
  • Project Design and Management
  • Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations
  • Community-based Psychosocial Support
  • Forced Displacement and Integration
  • Research Proposal Writing
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Global Approaches to Gender and Health
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Sexual Health Rights: Policy and Programming in Practice

The modules listed for each course are correct at time of posting (October 2022) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD

Available. Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. A variety of modules can be studied for CPD, for example:

Psychosocial Interventions for Displaced Populations
Forced Displacement and Integration Module

Contact IGHD for more information.


This course could be a major turning point in your career. You will be ideally equipped for employment as a global health practitioner, senior health manager or policy maker working in, or advising, a developing country or one in economic transition. 

Entry requirements

A UK honours degree or equivalent from a relevant subject area (arts, humanities, health or social sciences). Students without an honours degree may be considered if they have other relevant qualifications and/or appropriate work experience.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.0 with no individual component score less than 5.5. 

January 2024 start: A January start date may be available for those with a related health or social science degrees. The January course differs structurally from the September course, and students starting in January begin with specialist modules, which require an understanding of the topic from their previous study.

Application deadline

July for September start OR November for a January start. 

There is no formal deadline, but you should be aware of the time requirements of visa applications which vary by country. We do not accept applications where the candidate will not be able to arrive on the term start date, but if the application otherwise meets our criteria, will recommend a start at the next available course start date (January or September). 

More information and contacts


International applicants may apply for a competitive Commonwealth Scholarship.

Open Day presentation

Start date

A January start date may be available for those with a related health or social science degrees. The January course differs structurally from the September course, and students starting in January begin with specialist modules, which require an understanding of the topic from their previous study.

Please note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/2024 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Teaching staff is subject to change.

Course Overview

1 year full-time OR 2-7 years part-time
Start Date
September 2023
Start Date
January 2024
Study Abroad
The Institute for Global Health and Development
Fees & Funding

Engage with the Team

A Student Story (see bottom of page for more)

Zubir Shams - MSc Global Health “The MSc Global Health is a much needed degree for any professional who wants to build a career in the health development sector, both in and beyond their own country. I was drawn to the key aspect of this course, which focuses on health systems management globally, particularly in fragile and post-conflict areas." Read my story