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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Global Health

BSMS > Postgraduate > Global Health

Global Health

Key facts

MSc, PGDip, PGCert

Full-time: 1 year

Part-time: 2 years

Location: University of Sussex, Falmer campus

Course Leader: Dr Mei L Trueba >

General enquiries:


This course is validated by the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex.


Key areas of study

  • Determinants of health and ill-health
  • Global Burden of Disease and Injury
  • Global Health Management
  • Access to Medicines
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
  • Health, Poverty and Development
  • Global Health Policy and Practice
  • Global Occupational Health
  • Antibiotic Resistance

Course overview

The health and wellbeing of people differs widely across the globe. Life expectancy varies from 45 years in some countries to double that figure in others, and similar inequalities exist within countries.

Economies, environments, societies and cultures are increasingly heterogeneous, but also interconnected and interdependent. Thus, many complex factors and processes simultaneously operating from the local to the global spheres affect the health of individuals, populations and nations. As these factors change, so do the challenges and opportunities for improving health locally and globally.

The global health programme at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Global Health Research develops students’ understanding of the complex determinants of health and their potential solutions in order to help them contribute to the improvement of health and the achievement of health equity and social justice worldwide. With this purpose, this programme offers an inter-multi and cross-disciplinary approach to health and ill-health. The course brings together experts from the health sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, development studies, anthropology, business, economics and political sciences amongst others in order to deliver a stimulating and vibrant programme, covering topics such as poverty, inequality, cultural understandings of health and healing, emerging infectious diseases, global burden of diseases, climate change, health policy and governance, access to medicines, and the relationship between health inequality, globalisation and global governance.

Mother and child

"Completing the MSc in Global Health made my career change possible. I had been particularly interested in global health for a long time, and I’d always known I wanted to work in the development or humanitarian sectors, but I didn’t really know where to start. My masters at BSMS made it possible for me to shift my career in that direction and start working on what I really enjoy."

 Marta Fernandez-Arias, MSc 2012


 International student Marta Fernandez-Arias worked as a pharmacist before starting her MSc in Global Health at BSMS. After graduating in 2012, she worked with the American Refuge Committee (ARC) in South Sudan and is now currently working as a Health Delegate for Spanish Red Cross.

Read more about her experiences >


 Taught postgraduate student Smruti Varothayasingham talks about her MSc in Global Health.

Interdisciplinary Learning 

The BSMS MSc in Global Health gathers students from a wide range of backgrounds.

In addition, the course brings together experts from disciplines within and beyond the health sciences to deliver a vibrant programme that will appeal widely, covering topics such as poverty, development, inequalities and health; cultural understandings of health and healing; emerging infectious diseases; the global burden of disease; global occupational health; climate change; access to medicines; global health ethics; and the relationship between disease, globalisation and global governance.

workers on the road

Dissertation (Research Project)

Our MSc in Global Health has a strong research component. After a compulsory Research Methods module, the dissertation or Research Project allows students to develop an area of expertise through in-depth focus on a topic of their particular interest. Students can gain first-hand research experience with one of our overseas partner institutions. 

With the support of a research supervisor, students are expected to learn and work independently, access and critique information from a variety of sources, and competently design and report a research project. Students will be also required to obtain the necessary ethics approvals when needed.

Course structure


Global Health Principles (GHP)

PLUS two of the following modules:

  • Global Disease Burden
  • Research Methods & Critical Appraisal
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Access to Medicines


Global Health Principles (GHP)

Global Disease Burden (GDB)

Research Methods & Critical Appraisal 

PLUS two of the following modules: 

  • Global Politics of Disease
  • Cultural Understandings of Health and healing*
  • Health and Development
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Access to Medicines
  • Sexuality and Development: Intimacies, Health and Rights in Global Perspective

(* Due to research commitments this module will not be available in 2016 - 2017)


As PGDip 


Dissertation (Research Project) 

Career opportunities

Graduates of this programme will have the skills to work as global health practitioners, policy makers, consultants or researchers within international health and development agencies.

Our graduates will have a sound understanding of the global burden of disease, the complex determinants of health and ill-health in a globalised world and of the potential management strategies at different levels.

Previous graduates have gone into a range of careers, including working for national and international NGOs and Public Health England (PHE). Others are working in national and international-level research organisations and universities, and some have continued for further postgraduate training at PhD level.

Two of our graduates recently got in touch to let us know what they are up to now that they've completed their Global Health MSc:

  • Marta Fernandez Arias works for Spanish Red Cross as a Health Delegate.
  • Hannah Franklin works for Marie Stopes International as a Regional Programme Manager.

Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree or equivalent in any Global Health-related subject (e.g. anthropology, development studies, sports, nursing, political sciences, psychology, pharmacy, etc) or the successful completion of at least three years’ basic medical science at a UK medical school (having gained at least 360 credits).

English Language (IELTS):  A minimum score of 7, with no less than 6.5 in each section

podo patient receives treatment

Global health scholarship

BSMS offers a number of scholarships for students admitted to full-time Master's degree in Global Health at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Global Health Research.

The scholarships are funded by BSMS, and confirm the emergence of the Global Health department as a national and international leader in global health research, practice and PG study. The BSMS Global Health scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic and/or professional merit and financial need.

The scholarship provides two £2,500 awards towards tuition fees to UK and EU students or one £5,000 award towards tuition fees to International (non-UK/EU) students.

Application Procedure

You must first apply for admission to the MSc in Global Health course via our online application process (see 'apply here' section). 

You will need your applicant number to complete the BSMS Global Health Scholarship application form.

Download application form >

The completed application form should be submitted as a single Word document saved as a PDF and sent via email to Dr Mei Trueba ( by 2.00pm on 30 June 2016 (UK time). The subject of your email should read BSMS Global Health Scholarship.

Successful candidate(s) will be notified by 28 July 2016.

Unfortunately we are not able to provide feedback regarding unsuccessful applications.

Apply here

Applications are made through the University of Brighton online portal.