SA4D2      Half Unit
Key Population Health Issues in Low and Medium-income countries

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Arjan Gjonca OLD.2.45


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Population Health. This course is available on the MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Global Health, MSc in Health and International Development, MSc in Health, Community and Development, MSc in International Health Policy, MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics), MSc in Population and Development, MSc in Social Policy and Development, MSc in Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


No pre-requisites are required for this course.

Course content

This course brings together the key issues on the social and environmental determinants of population size and structure and population health in low and middle income countries from a multidisciplinary approach including social sciences, epidemiology, demography and public health. The course does not only take a theoretical approach, but it is also evidence based.  This relationship between population change and health will be analysed in its dynamic.  Another important aspect of the course is that it will focus on what will happen in the future of global health as a result of anticipated population changes.

Some of the main topics covered are: urbanisation and implications for health, poverty, population change and inequalities; maternal and child health; achievements and setbacks?; the double burden of disease and its consequences: the roles of nutrition and obesity; emerging and current infectious diseases (inc. HIV/AIDS); the global burden of mental disorders; priorities for health improvements in low income countries.


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

Formative coursework

One 1,500 word formative essay in MT.

Indicative reading

Merson, MH, Black, ER, Mills, AJ. (2012) Global Health: Diseases, Programmes, Systems, and Policies, London: Jones & Barlett Learning; Caldwell JC.

Murray CJL and Lopez AD (1996). The global burden of disease: a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020, Cambridge, MA;

McMichael T (2001) Human Frontiers, environment and disease.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;

Montgomery MR. (2008) The health of urban populations in developing countries. New York, New York, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division;

Popkin, BM. (2001) The Nutrition Transition and Obesity in the Developing World. THE JOURNAL OF NUTRITION 131(3).


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 8.8
Merit 64
Pass 25.6
Fail 1.6

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2016/17: 53

Average class size 2016/17: 13

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 89%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


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