The Institute for Global Health and Development

The Institute for Global Health and Development is a multidisciplinary centre for postgraduate education and research addressing contemporary health and development challenges in low and middle income countries and their connection to global systems and trends.


The Institute for Global Health and Development is a multidisciplinary centre for postgraduate education and research addressing contemporary health and development challenges in low and middle income countries and their connection to global systems and trends.

Our approach is marked by a commitment to critical thinking, practice engagement, and social justice. Critical thinking means we bring fresh insight and perspectives to situations, with our work frequently involving innovative methodologies and approaches. Practice engagement means that we are committed to working directly with ministries of health, international and national organisations, and local communities to develop real solutions to problems. Social justice means that we are always particularly mindful of the needs of the most disadvantaged and ways of improving their health and wellbeing.

The Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) offers a range of awards through the Master’s Programme in Global Health and Development. These include the MSc Global Health, on which the majority of our students enroll, and provides the broadest range of choice. Our MSc Sexual and Reproductive Health, and MSc Social Development and Health, are our two more specialised awards reflecting focused pathways through the programme. Students should apply for the master’s award that best suits their career needs, but are able to revise their choice – subject to having studied appropriate modules – before progressing to the dissertation stage. For those not wishing to pursue a full master’s degree at this time, we offer a number of Postgraduate Certificate awards.

The awards on offer are:

  • MSc Global Health
  • MSc Social Development and Health
  • MSc Sexual Reproductive Health
  • PgCert Applied Social Development
  • PgCert Health in Fragile and Conflict Affected States
  • MSc International Health (Trop Ed)

Key Features of our Master’s Programme in Global Health and Development

A Distinguished History of Influence

Building on one of the first Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care programmes in the UK targeting participants from the global south, our work in the field of global health and development has a history of more than 25 years. We were established as the Centre for International Health Studies in 1993 and became the first institute of the university – the Institute for International Health and Development - in 2005. We were recently renamed the Institute for Global Health and Development to reflect our understanding of the impact of globalization on health, and the partnership between global north and south to address it. Since our establishment, we have equipped more than 500 masters and doctoral alumni from sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, the Middle-East, Europe and the Americas, for work in the health, development and humanitarian sectors.

A Setting for World Leading Research

The Institute hosts world-leading research in the areas of health systems, particularly in fragile and low-income settings, and the psychosocial wellbeing, protection and integration of migrant, refugee and other vulnerable populations. In the former area our team is heavily engaged with the UK Department for International Development-funded ReBUILD consortium. ReBUILD’s work is focused in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Cambodia. Other recent and ongoing health systems work has been funded by the World Health Organisation, Medical Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, and National Institute of Health, addressing issues ranging from human resources for health in Africa, to analysis of systems resilience in the Middle-East and strategies supporting victims of stroke in Asia. In the latter area our work is typically with inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental partners (such as UNICEF and World Vision). Recent projects include humanitarian situations (for example, in Nepal, in Malawi post-floods, and in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon) and contexts of refugee resettlement (including the current settlement of Syrian refugees in Scotland).

A Culturally and Disciplinarily Diverse Cohort Experience

We are proud of our reputation for providing a high-quality programme which draws together participants from diverse cultural, professional and academic backgrounds to share a student-centred experience emphasising mutual learning and support. With a typical cohort size of around 25 students, our programme provides a learning environment focusing on active learning and interchange of ideas and views between participants and educators.

A Teaching Approach Emphasising Active, Applied Learning

The diverse background of our students and small class size enable learning to be interactive, with lectures and online learning material supplemented with in-class group work and discussion. Assignments are diverse, and geared towards practice applications and facilitating extension of participants’ interests and development needs. The active engagement of teaching staff in applied research provides many opportunities to illustrate issues with contemporary field examples.

A Flexible Programme Structure

Within the overall structure of our Master’s Programme in Global Health and Development, students can choose between our flagship MSc Global Health or the more specialised award pathways of the MSc Sexual and Reproductive Health and MSc Social Development and Health. There are opportunities to take modules from other teaching programmes at QMU or from partner institutions in Europe through the TropEdEurop programme.

Career Prospects

Our degrees lead to careers in a variety of settings. Many of our graduates are looking to progress into higher level technical or management positons and others are looking for a complete change of career. We counsel students that the first job after study is not always the ‘perfect’ one, but that it can be an important step in gaining experience. At IGHD we circulate a range of job opportunities in our partner organisations and are often able to suggest candidates for vacancies that our partners are looking to fill. After this, they do very well obtaining employment in the health or social sectors in ministries of health, national or local NGOs and international organisations. Salaries are difficult to estimate as our graduates are working in countries as diverse as Sudan, France, Sri Lanka and USA. Postings to humanitarian organisations such as MSF or the Red Cross/Crescent may require a substantial salary sacrifice. However, graduates are often interested in these due to job satisfaction, their personal ethics and values, or for work experience. Jobs in this sector can range from £20,000 to £80,000+ depending on settings and experience.


International applicants may apply for a Santander Scholarship of £5000 and competitive Commonwealth Scholarships. Two Santander Scholarship are available for IGHD applicants each year. For more information on each of these scholarships, visit


Find out more information on how to apply for a course at QMU.