DV444      Half Unit
Global Health and Population Change

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Arjan Gjonca CON.7.08


This course is available on the MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Global Health Policy, MSc in Health and International Development, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Political Economy of Late Development and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Places will be allocated with priority to ID and joint-degree students. If there are more ID and joint-degree students than DV444 can accommodate, these places will be allocated randomly.  Non-ID/Joint Degree students will be allocated to spare places by random selection with the preference given first to those degrees where the regulations permit this option.


No pre-requisites are required for this course.

Course content

This course aims at looking at the relationship of population change and global health. This course brings together the key issues on the social and environmental determinants of population health in low and middle income countries from a multidisciplinary approach including social sciences, demography, development studies 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, through different transitions such as demographic, epidemiological, and nutritional transition.  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; the dynamics of HIV/AIDS and future developments; population growth, environmental challenges and the impact on health; priorities for health and mortality improvements in low and middle 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 summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2018/19: 23

Average class size 2018/19: 10

Controlled access 2018/19: No

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