Peninsula Medical School

MSc Global Health

The pandemic has taught us that health is indeed global and anyone working in the health sector needs to have an awareness of how key global health issues such as climate change, pandemic preparation and management, and health inequalities impact the local health contexts. The global health programme is designed to develop knowledge and skills as innovators, leaders, strategists, advisors, facilitators and medics in global health.

Careers with this subject

This programme can contribute to professional development for senior positions as a medical doctor or for any allied health professional. The MSc prepares you for roles across the globe, either short-term partnerships through your NHS setting or for longer stints with organisations such as VSO, MSF, the British Antarctic Survey, or any work within a global health or remote or rural environment. There is a strong leadership component which will stand you in good stead for all career pathways applicable to your chosen field. 

Key features

  • This programme is targeted towards all healthcare professionals, sustainable development professionals and graduates with a specific interest and/or career trajectory in global health development initiatives and systems strengthening. A part-time (7587) route is also available for this programme.
  • Supported by leading experts who have considerable experience of living and working in lower and middle income countries and remote and rural regions; leading expedition teams; supporting humanitarian response; working with complex local and international health systems and initiatives.
  • Offering a blended learning delivery including: online, classroom and field trip opportunities to demonstrate learning within a global or remote/ rural practice setting.
  • All students will become members of the Global Health Collaborative at the University of Plymouth, benefiting from collaborative educational partnership between local NHS services, higher education with staff drawn from the University, clinical services within partner organisations and experts spanning the local and international.
  • Benefit from our links to the British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit (BASMU) based at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and the Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC) adjacent to the headquarters of the Faculty of Health.
  • Choose shared optional modules and teaching with other postgraduate programmes including: MSc Healthcare Management, Leadership and Innovation and MClinEd Clinical Education to facilitate cross-programme learning from a broader sphere of faculty specialists and to enable students to pursue clinical education or leadership interests in global health.
  • Choose from two distinctive modes of study: Standard (blended) delivery mode, available on both a part-time and full-time basis, and Distance learning delivery mode, taught exclusively online, available on both a part-time and full-time basis from 2024-25.
  • The global health programme at the University of Plymouth is widely recognised for its interactive engagement, collaborative learning approaches, and applied subject matter.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Research Methods in Healthcare (CLE721DL)

      This module aims to provide the students with increased understanding and knowledge of the research methods and statistics, to enable them to critically evaluate, synthesise and reflect on research evidence, to practice. Students will be introduced to a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods, primary and secondary research methods, equipping them with a basic understanding of the underlying principles of quantitative and qualitative research.

    • Research Design and Development (CLE731DL)

      This module provides an introduction to the research design, development and knowledge transfer process. You will be supported in generating a research idea and developing it into a coherent and achievable research proposal for a Masters dissertation.

    • Research Project Dissertation (CLE732DL)

      This module is the dissertation associated with the Masters programmes (ClinEd, HMLI, GRH, HIPS) and is designed to enable students to produce a project dissertation under supervision, and to demonstrate project design, development, evaluation and synthesis skills.

    • Introduction to Global Health (GH711DL)

      This module will unpick the phrase Global Health and the key issues and philosophies within it. It will consider the scholarship of an emerging field through time and look to the future requirements for global health leadership.

    • Primary and Public Healthcare: Global Health (GH712DL)

      This module will offer insights to the impact of the environment, culture, perceptions, health education and preventative health strategies to form the foundations of health and a functioning health care system.

    Optional modules

    • Contemporary Issues in Clinical Education (CLE713DL)

      This module will explore current issues, drivers and challenges in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing clinical education, and will draw widely on contemporary educational research and scholarship. You will be encouraged to reflect on your role as a clinical educator, and to investigate the impact of culture and policy on your practice.

    • Design and Development of HealthCare Education (CLE723DL)

      In this module, we explore design and development of HealthCare Education in a range of settings. You will critically engage with the scholarly literature related to curriculum development, and plan a scheme of work related to your educator role.

    • Technology Enhanced Teaching and Learning (CLE722DL)

      This is a completely online module and provides students with a broad overview of educational technologies and their associated pedagogical affordances. Participants will learn about a comprehensive range of educational technologies and will also critique their relevance to practice. Students are expected to engage with the online content and keep a reflective journal on the development process for the duration of the module.

    • Leadership in Global Health: Health Systems Strengthening (GH713DL)

      This module draws together an overview of key Global Health system strengthening concepts and leadership theory, ethnography and critical reflection. It will consider ways in which you can engineer and facilitate systems strengthening through effective leadership of local and global initiatives in dynamic and complex environments.

    • Health in Humanitarian Emergencies (GH715DL)

      This module explores the management models of healthcare provision in response to humanitarian emergencies, resulting from both natural and human-induced crises. By evaluating the history of the humanitarian movement and factors affecting the current delivery of national and international aid programmes, this modules aims to review potential strategies for implementing sustainable healthcare programmes in LMICs.

    • Management in Healthcare: Theory and Practice (HML714DL)

      Learners will acquire an increased understanding and knowledge of theories, tools and strategies for management in healthcare environments alongside an appreciation of their role within teams and complex systems. Learners will analyse, critique and reflect on real world scenarios to develop a confident and competent management approach to achieve personal and effectiveness in practice.

    • Organisation Development and Change (HML715DL)

      This module complements the modules in management and leadership in healthcare and comprises an in-depth study of organisations in the 21st century with a focus on health and care. Critical study of the structures, values and cultures of organisations will be incorporated along with theory from established and contemporary OD literature. Diagnostic and consultancy models will be studied with a view to critical application in practice.

    • Quality Improvement and Innovation (HML717DL)

      This module aims to provide the students with increased understanding and knowledge of tools and theories for quality improvement and innovation, to enable them to critically evaluate, synthesise and reflect on the applicability of these to past, current, and future healthcare challenges. Students will develop confidence and competence to lead and manage quality improvement and innovation individually and collaboratively.

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

This programme is applicable to public health and healthcare professionals who wish to pursue a career in public health or global health. It is also suitable for intercalating medical students between years 4 and 5 of their undergraduate course. A recognised first degree with a minimum of a lower second class/ 2:2 honours degree is required. This can be in public health / health promotion, health professions (medicine, nursing, paramedic science, dentistry, etc) or in a global health related topic (for example health management, forestry, veterinary care, biomedical science, media and communications). Applicants who have acquired global health experience working or volunteering with the health sector, Non-Governmental Organisations, Local Government or International Agencies (such as WHO or UN) will be considered if staff responsible for admissions are confident of the candidate’s ability to succeed in the programme, in line with QAA guidance.
If your first language is not English you will be required to provide evidence of competence in English language:
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in each category (speaking, listening, reading, & writing) will be required. Students with a first degree from the UK may still be required to take IELTS. 
  • Please visit our entry requirements for international students page for more information.
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 the University of Plymouth. 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.
The University of Plymouth 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 Faculty of Health 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 Additional support for students with an impairment, health condition or disability.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

A full MSc represents 180 credits. 
Student 2023-24 2024-25
Home NA £11,000
International NA £19,800
Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. 
Find out about funding your postgraduate studies with this helpful list of sources.
Find out about funding your postgraduate studies with this helpful list of sources.

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 (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • Personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in this course and outlining the nature of previous and current teaching experience. You can write this into the online application form, or send it as a separate attachment.
  • Two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course 
  • Two passport photographs
  • Curriculum Vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • 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 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.
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).
Once you have registered and logged in, please enter the ‘course code’ which can be found above into the search bar to begin your application. 
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 Medicine and Dentistry Admissions team.
If you would like to speak to one of our course information advisors, please contact us:
University of Plymouth
Faculty of Health
The John Bull Building
Research Way
Plymouth Science Park
Tel:  +44 1752 584024
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 the University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office.
We are not currently accepting applications for this programme. Please check back for further updates.
This course is subject to revalidation for September 2025 – please note that aspects of this programme will be undergoing change.