DV421      Half Unit
Global Health and Development

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Philipa Mladovsky CON.6.13


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Health and International Development. This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in African Development, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Global Health Policy, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Urbanisation and Development and Master of Public Administration. 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; legacies of colonialism in global health; 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 and universal health coverage. Case studies are drawn mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia. 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, with a focus on governments, NGOs and bilateral and multilateral donors.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

There will be an additional 1.5 hour lecture and 'question and answer' session on essay writing in week 11 of the LT.

There will be a reading week in Week 6.

Formative coursework

At least one class presentation. Submit one essay plan due 5pm on 15th February 2019 (1,000 words). Essay questions released 28th January 2019.

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 international development, public health and epidemiology, health systems, public policy, demography, sociology, philosophy, and anthropology, political science and economics among others. Readings will also include case studies of disease prevention and control efforts in various countries and reports, papers and articles published by international organisations, think-tanks, and a variety of other sources.

Key text books for this course include:

Farmer, P., Kim, J.Y., Kleinman, A. and Basilico, M., 2013. Reimagining global health: an introduction. Univ of California Press.

Biehl, J. and Petryna, A. eds., 2013. When people come first: critical studies in global health. Princeton University Press.

Merson, M., Black, R.E. and Mills, A. eds., 2012. Global health: diseases, programs, systems and policies. Jones & Bartlett Learning.


Take-home essay (100%, 3,000 words) due 5pm on 5th April 2019. Essay questions released 15th March 2019

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 14.3
Merit 70.7
Pass 14.3
Fail 0.7

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2017/18: 47

Average class size 2017/18: 12

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Lecture capture used 2017/18: 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

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 100%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


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