Global Population Health

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 not available as an outside option.


No pre-requisites is 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 both, high income countries as well as low and middle income countries from a multidisciplinary approach including social sciences, epidemiology, demography and public health. Topics addressed in this course include the relationship between health and economic change such as the effect of recession; different trends in Western European and former USSR states; social support, social capital and health; policy responses to inequalities in health; prospects for mortality and morbidity change; urbanisation and its 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 for health of populations; emerging and current infectious diseases (incl. HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria); the global burden of mental disorders; priorities for health improvements in low income countries.


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

The ST lecture will be a revision lecture.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT and 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

This course has two formative evaluations. The first one is in the form of a formative essay given on a topic or topics derived from either the lectures or seminars, or both. Students are expected to argue pro and against a research question, similar to the way the exam questions are organised. Detailed feedback and a mark are given to students and are discussed in one to one basis with their seminar leaders/lecturer. The second formative evaluation is organised in the lent term as a mock exam in order to replicate the final exam conditions. Again, feedback and a mark are given to students and they could discuss them with their seminar leaders/lecturer. Both these formative essays help students prepare for the formal evaluation of the course.

Indicative reading

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

Berkman L. F., Kawachi, I. and Glymour, M. M. (2014) Social epidemiology (2nd ed.); Oxford University Press; Oxford; New York.

Wilkinson, R.G. and Pickett, K. (2009) The spirit level: why more equal societies almost always do better; Bloomsbury Press; London; New York.

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

Murray, C.J.L. A.D. Lopez (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 University Press: Cambridge.

Walley, J. and Wright, J. (2010) Public Health: An action guide to improving health: Oxford University Press; Oxford; New York.  


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Controlled access 2016/17: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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