DV421      Half Unit
Global Health and Development

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Philipa Mladovsky


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MSc in African Development, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Global Health, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Health, Community and Development, MSc in Health, Population and Society, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Population and Development, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course is concerned with inter-relationships between challenges to human health and health systems in the developing world and their socio-economic, cultural, historic and political context. Both the causes of health threats and their consequences are examined. The approach of the course is to discuss specific (re-)emerging health threats, and to critically assess their determinants and impacts, and policies and interventions to address their spread. A wide range of topics is covered, including: the relationship between health, population and development; the demographic and epidemiological transitions; biological, behavioural, socio-economic, cultural and environmental influences on health outcomes; the causes and consequences of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs); non-communicable diseases; mental health; and, local and international health intervention efforts and policies, with a focus on health systems. By the end of the course, students should be able to: understand the complex relationships between health and poverty / inequality in and across low and middle income countries; evaluate multi-disciplinary evidence on a range of global health issues and interventions and apply this evidence to policy analysis and development; and understand how politics, power and moral frameworks influence global health policy.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

There will be a ninety minute revision session in late LT or early ST.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare at least one class presentation and submit one essay.

Indicative reading

A detailed weekly reading list will be provided at the first lecture. The readings for this course are from journals and select book chapters in the fields of public health and epidemiology, health systems, public policy, demography, sociology, philosophy, and anthropology among others. Readings will also include case studies of disease control efforts in various countries and reports, papers and articles published by international organizations, think-tanks, and a variety of other sources.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 18.2
Merit 64.6
Pass 14.1
Fail 3

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2014/15: 63

Average class size 2014/15: 16

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 82.4%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)