Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine

MSc Global and Remote Healthcare

Our masters programme will empower you to confidently meet the challenges of working in complex and unpredictable situations; overseas, on expedition, in low resource settings or within your UK practice. Following comprehensive preparatory modules we provide you with the unique opportunity to undertake a placement in a global or remote environment as part of your immersive learning experience. Discover, discuss and debate with our expert faculty.

Explore the interactions between global, environmental and human factors that influence health and welfare. Learning in the field will demonstrate the multi-factorial aspects associated with remote and global medicine. Gain the advanced knowledge, skills and leadership qualities to deliver quality medical care, use evolving medical technologies and interact with health care professionals in multicultural settings, ensuring the best possible health outcomes for your unique patient population.

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Enhance your career in the healthcare professions

This programme is part of the largest range of healthcare study options in the South West.

Key features

  • Rise to the challenge on this part-time, one year masters programme – become a health professional ready to meet the unique challenges of providing care in complex and challenging global and/ or remote environments
  • Experience teaching from faculty staff and visiting experts that have an active role in shaping healthcare systems locally and globally; working in global health partnerships, and leading expeditions to arctic, jungle, desert and mountainous terrains.
  • Equip yourself with the advanced skills necessary to critically analyse and combine a range of information to make safe and effective decisions in unpredictable situations, demonstrate leadership qualities and contribute to improvement science in your placement setting.
  • Benefit from a blended learning environment with delivery ranging between practical scenario-based training in the field, lectures and seminars, and supported distance learning.
  • Take advantage of a collaborative educational partnership between local NHS services, higher education, clinical services and experts including the military.
  • Enhance your learning with our established links to the British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit, Diving Diseases Research Centre, THET Health Links Partnerships, and the South West Global Health Collaborative.
  • Choose to study full-time – this is particularly suitable if you are undertaking an intercalated degree from medicine or dentistry. Taught modules will be delivered in the autumn and spring terms, and your MSc will be completed over the course of one year.
  • Join the programme if you're an intercalating medical student and have successfully completed your fourth year, or have already completed an undergraduate course.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • During this programme you’ll have the opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of remote medicine and of the distinct environmental, physical and psychological factors associated with working as a remote clinical practitioner. You will plan, research and complete the dissertation associated with the masters programme. The dissertation is designed to enable you produce a project under supervision, and to demonstrate project design, development, evaluation and synthesis skills.

    Core modules
    • DIS731 Dissertation

      This module is the dissertation associated with the Masters programme and is designed to enable students to produce a project dissertation under supervision, and to demonstrate project design, development, evaluation and synthesis skills.

    • PDD721 Project Design, Development and Knowledge Transfer

      This module will provide students with the knowledge and skills associated with the project design, development and knowledge transfer process. Students will gain practical experience of multi-disciplinary team working through problem identification and problem solving to encourage innovation and creativity in project design, development and knowledge transfer.

    • REM711 Remote Practitioner

      This module provides students with an opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of remote medicine and of the distinct environmental, physical and psychological factors associated with working as a remote clinical practitioner.

    • REM713 Global Health

      The Global Health (GH) module comprises of a one week taught module encompassing lectures, debate and overseas telemedicine links. Similar to any university Masters module, 300 hours is the amount of time that should be allocated to complete a module (30 credits) and achieve your potential in the assignment. Approximately 40 hours of this is during the taught component in October. The remaining hours are for your own pre reading and study required for the week and for researching, working on and completing the assignment. (Please see below for GH module timetable and curriculum.)

    • REM714 Remote & Global Placement Medicine

      This module provides students with an opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of remote medicine and global health, and of the distinct environmental, physical and psychological factors associated with working in resource-constrained health environments.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc GRH FT PT 4647

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Please note that the deadline for those wishing to apply for this programme as an intercalating masters student starting in September 2018, is 31 March 2018. 

Normally a recognised first degree or equivalent will be required. Entrants who have acquired experience through work or other means that enables staff responsible for admissions to be confident of the candidate’s ability to succeed in the programme may also be considered, in line with QAA guidance.

If your first language is not English you will be required to provide evidence of competence in English language. To check your requirements for IELTS and PTE Academic, please visit our entry requirements for international students page.

Accreditation of prior certificated learning (APCL) and accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) refer to the process by which previous formal certificated learning and informal non-certificated learning can be awarded credit towards modules within the sphere of Higher Education. Credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential, may count towards the requirements for the named award. The maximum amount of credit for prior learning (certificated or experiential) claimed towards the award is 120 credits.  To qualify for the award of a Masters degree, your dissertation must be completed at Plymouth University. If you are seeking credit (whether certificated or experiential), you will normally be required to apply for such credit on receipt of an offer of a place on the programme. Requests for APCL if you are already on a programme will be considered provided that you submit the request in the session before you would normally begin the module/stage for which you are seeking credit. In the case of requests for APEL, this would be at least six months prior to the beginning of the session before you would normally begin the module(s)/stage against which you are seeking credit.

Plymouth University is committed to providing equality for all irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity (including race, colour and nationality), gender, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity and will work to ensure that all students, employees and visitors, as well as those who apply or seek to apply to work or study at the University, are treated fairly and are not subjected to discrimination by the University on any of these grounds (University Equality and Diversity Policy, Revised April 2011).

The Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry welcomes applications from people with disabilities who will be considered on the same academic grounds as other potential students. Considerations about individual needs arising from disability will be made separately, and we will strive to meet an individual disabled student's needs wherever possible and in consultation with Disability Services.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU To be confirmed To be confirmed
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £2,640 £3,150
Part time (International) £5,370 £6,300
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 60 credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

Make sure you meet the entry requirements for this programme.

Before you apply

Make sure you have all your supporting documents. Documents required usually include:

  • Evidence of qualifications (certificates or transcripts) to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • Evidence of English language ability, if English is not your first language
  • Two references
  • Two passport photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae or résumé, if required
  • Proof of sponsorship, if applicable

When to apply

Applications for postgraduate programmes of study can usually be made throughout the year. When applying for a taught postgraduate programme, please check for any submission deadlines with the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry Admissions team (contact details below). For full-time programmes, you may be invited for interview.

Check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.

Please note that the deadline for those wishing to apply for this programme as an intercalating Masters student, is 31 March during the year of entry.

Apply for this course

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our online admissions policy for taught programmes. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

What happens after I apply?

For more information contact the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry Admissions team.

If you would like to speak to one of our course information advisors, please contact us:

Plymouth University

Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
The John Bull Building
Research Way
Plymouth Science Park

Tel: +44 (0)1752 437333
Fax: +44 (0)1752 517842

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Information team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. The Doctoral College is also available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office.


Global health is defined as 

"the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide"*

This programme will introduce you to the concepts of global health at a policy and grass roots level. We will support you in exploring current global health challenges, and the importance of global health issues – their economic, environmental and social consequences – and the policies and strategies to mitigate these.

In our increasingly interconnected world, global health and the health of populations is a major challenge. This module provides you with the knowledge and expertise to critically examine the multi-sectoral nature of global health problems and global policy responses required to protect and promote the health of populations in both a local and global environment.

*Koplan JP, Bond TC, Merson MH, et al. (June 2009). "Towards a common definition of global health". Lancet. 373 (9679): 1993–5. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60332-9


Learning in the field is a vital component of being an effective remote practitioner. 

We focus this module on scenario based learning in the field, to allow you to understand more effectively the physiological and logistical challenges of working in austere environments. Remote healthcare is as much about team working and leadership as pathophysiology and treatment of illnesses and the human dynamics will be a main focus of this module. 

We use faculty with direct wilderness and expedition experience in altitude, heat, cold, maritime and jungle environments to guide you in pushing your own learning experiences to the limits. 

Whether your focus is summiting mountains, spending 18 months in Antarctica or providing health care in remote clinics of Mongolia we will provide you with the skills to approach remote healthcare challenges in the field.

  • @ Examine the global policies that affect health and healthcare and the social factors of health and healthcare practice within the context of globalisation.
  • @ Study the worldwide improvement of health and the reduction of inequalities and protection against global threats that disregard national boundaries.
  • @ Designed for clinicians who wish to advance their knowledge, skills and understanding of the delivery of healthcare in remote, wilderness and/or hostile environments.
  • @ Advance your specialist clinical skills and decision-making capability in complex and unpredictable situations.
  • @ Prepare yourself for a leadership or specialist role in remote and global healthcare.
  • @ Explore the complex dynamics that make up contemporary globalisation, with a focus on the global factors that contribute to inequalities in health and healthcare and of the steps that can be taken to address these.

Module highlight

The Plymouth University Global Health Curriculum includes:

  • Definition of Global Health and its evolution over time
  • Structure, politics and governance of GH with key International, national and local players and their power
  • GH policies and key concepts such as the Global Burden of Disease, Millennium Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage and Health System Strengthening
  • Examples of neglected areas of global health, for example, global surgery, trauma and mental health, will be focussed on 
  • Exploring the need for a multi-sectoral approach to global health is strongly recognised in this course with experts from the media, ethics, environment, ecology and cultural communication delivering sessions and signposting to key resources
  • Understanding the different conditions (environmental, social, economic) under which people are born, live, work and die
  • Discussion surrounding how cultural practices, health-related beliefs and health seeking behaviours impact on health and health systems and how these highlight the importance of implementation research
  • Retaining a locally global approach is paramount in our curriculum. We focus on local global health such as Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups and socially deprived communities in Plymouth including refugees and asylum seekers
  • Case studies are included with interactive sessions on the experiences of clinical practice in a global context, research, fundraising and creating partnerships, Experts describe their experiences with their partnerships and highlight strengths and pitfalls of these. You will discover a range of potential GH opportunities, which may guide your choice for your global placement as part of your studies 

Lectures are delivered by a variety of expert speakers and come in a wide range of formats. All are interactive. There are also some debating sessions and a ‘world café’. An online journal club and discussion forum will be run on your digital learning environment pages. 

Speakers include experts from; three local Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) large grant award winning international partnerships, military and British Antarctic Survey personnel, The Horizon Centre for innovation, education and research, GPs who work with local BME / refugee/ Asylum seeker communities and researchers currently undertaking large international trials. 

"At a time of rapid globalisation and global instability, global health is emerging as an important concept and has been adopted as a key policy theme by the UK government."

Quote from The All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, 2016)

"The NHS has skills and experience that other countries could learn from, and a clear role to play as a global employer of doctors, nurses, other health professionals and managers. This is two way. The UK and its professionals also have a great deal to learn and gain from people in developing countries, particularly in the context of international health challenges."

Quote from Tony Blair in the Nigel Crisp Report, 2007

"After gaining my medical degree I completed my foundation medical training years in North Wales. I wanted to take some time out before speciality training to pursue my interest in remote medicine, while completing my mountain leader qualification and travelling as an expedition doctor. I remember looking at the Plymouth programme initially because I was interested in finding out more about the different options within the field of expedition medicine. The global health element made it even more inviting, as was the part-time option to be flexible and do some of the learning and assignments remotely.

On completion of the programme I will have gained some significant learning experiences within this field, both research-based and practically, and worked with a variety of leaders within this area of medicine. The links that the University have with the British Antarctic Survey mean that some of my colleagues on the programme will be undertaking medical jobs at remote stations for prolonged periods of time, so it has been fascinating to hear from them about some of their experiences. I particularly enjoyed learning about some of the issues surrounding climate change and the concept of locally global healthcare during the global health module, and practising casualty evacuations outside next to our lecture room!

Plymouth has been a great and friendly city to get to know, especially when commuting by bike! Both the medical facilities and teaching are excellent and have close links with exciting projects worldwide, including the Masanga link hospital in Sierra Leone. 

In addition, I have enjoyed getting to know the surrounding area, with beautiful Dartmoor on the doorstep, and plenty of great sporting facilities to try."

Joanna Byers
MSc Global and Remote Healthcare student

Global Health Collaborative

Created in 2016, the Global Health Collaborative (GHC) represents the coming together of individuals and organisations with an interest in global health issues.

Watch this video to find out more information about Global Health Collaborative

Visit the Global Health Collaborative webpage

Intercalated degrees at PU PSMD

Visit our faculty intercalation page - intercalated degrees with the Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry - to find out more about our wide range of masters and undergraduate intercalation opportunities.

Take a year out from your core degree to obtain a further qualification at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Find out more about intercalated degrees

Dr Lucy Obolensky, Programme Lead

My advice to any doctor looking to make a contribution overseas is to go for it – it makes such a difference to the communities we work with, ourselves as professionals and, indeed, our patients back here in the UK.

Lucy has recently supported Sir David Attenborough as a medic in the hot air balloon for the opening scene of Planet Earth II.

Read about Lucy's involvement in the BBC Planet Earth II series