SA4K1      Half Unit
Global Health Policy: Institutions, Actors and Politics

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Mrs Clare Wenham


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Health. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

Globalization has not only impacted on the nature of emerging global health but the policy responses to these challenges. This module critically examines the transnational institutions and actors involved in global health policy and the interplay between them. The governance of global health issues has traditionally been carried out by states and various United Nations agencies (namely, the World Health Organisation), but given the transboundary nature of many global health issues (e.g., AIDS, SARS), a diverse range of actors, including the private sector, civil society organizations and national governments, are now integrally involved. The funding of global health programmes and policies, for example, has shifted from primarily bi-/multilateral donors to include private and public sectors and philanthropists in a global health governance mosaic.The module will use a number of case studies to examine the organisation and role of global health institutions, the challenges and opportunities presented by these governance arrangements, and their (intended and unintended) impacts on global health policy and practice. In doing so, the module will draw on contributions from a range of social sciences including sociology, political science and health services research.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

Ten one hour lectures and five two hour seminars.

Formative coursework

One seminar presentation per student during MT on a topic as discussed with the convener to fit in with the seminar themes

Indicative reading

Global Politics of Health, S.E. Davies, 2009

Global Health and International Relations, C. McInnes and K. Lee, 2012

Global Health Governance, S. Harman, 2011

Health Policy in a Globalising World, K. Lee, K. Buse and S. Fustukian (eds),

Innovations in Global Health Governance, A.F. Cooper and J.Kirton (eds), 2009

The Politics of Global Health Governance, M.W Zacher and T.J. Keefe, 2008


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the MT.

One extended essay (4000 words) will be due at the end of MT. Essay questions will be provided at the start of the course, or students are welcome to select an essay topic of their choice, with approval from the course convener.  

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2015/16: 26

Average class size 2015/16: 13

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills