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In the first term, the course provides an introduction to the breadth of topics in, and methods applicable to global health. The second term offers options ranging from international development to vaccinology. The third term provides students with the unique opportunity to apply their skills and gain first hand experience in a global health project in a resource limited setting. Students will then produce a 10,000 word dissertation related to their third term project.

Michaelmas Term:

The first term will consist of core topics on research methods, an overview of some major global health challenges, and topics related to the research and practice of global health. Core modules include:

  1. Paradigms and Tools for Global Health (led by Prof Caroline Jones and Dr Eric Ohuma): This module will cover epidemiology, statistics, health economics, social sciences for health and health policy and systems analysis. Methodological paradigms in the health and social sciences will be introduced and basic tools provided for each. Upon completion of this module, students will be able to critically review published literature covering a wide range of global health topics and can opt to further their application skills through the third term placement project.
  2. Challenges and Change in International Health (led by Prof Sarah Rowland-Jones): This module will cover some of the key health challenges found in resource limited contexts. Topics will include: water and sanitation; land use, population and migration; climate change; nutrition; vector borne diseases; vaccine preventable diseases; neglected tropical diseases; maternal and child health; non-communicable diseases; accidents and injuries. Upon completion of this module, students will have a broad awareness of the kinds of factors affecting international health, their challenges, solutions that have worked and current efforts to affect change.
  3. Global Health Research and Practice (led by Prof Kevin Marsh): This module highlights some of the important considerations in the research or practice of global health. Topics covered include global health governance, global health research ethics, challenges to research in global health, data management and governance, health impact evaluation, design of disease prevention and health promotion programmes, health programme evaluation, and outbreak investigation.

Hilary Term:

During the second term, in addition to some continued core content, students can select two of the following six options for further study:

  1. Vaccinology (in collaboration with the Jenner Institute) (led by Prof Adrian Hill and Prof Andy Pollard) is for those with an interest in the application of more basic science. The module will examine the science of vaccine development and the challenge of its application in real world contexts. The content will cover advances at the cutting edge of vaccine development.
  2. Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: This option (in collaboration with NDOG) (led by Prof Stephen Kennedy and Dr Sophie Janet): addresses in more depth the persisting challenges faced by mothers, infants and young children in resource limited settings. Topics will engage with the current challenges, discuss viable solutions and address the obstacles to implementation.
  3. International Development and Health: This option (led by Dr Proochista Ariana), offered jointly to MPhil students in Development Studies, aims to introduce students to the important linkages between processes of development (political and economic) and health. The module challenges conventional health thinking and compels a broader consideration of the inter-related factors affecting the health of populations.
  4. Development, Environment and Health: This innovative option (led by Dr Proochista Ariana and Professor Katrina Charles) brings together students (and teachers) from Geography, Development and Global Health to engage with a series of cases illustrating the intersection between processes of development, environmental changes and human health.
  5. Case Studies in Field Epidemiology: This module, led by Prof Harold Jaffe and Dr Mary Chamberland, aims to familiarise students with the principles of field epidemiology by lectures and discussions of outbreak investigation case studies.
  6. Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases: Led by Prof Lisa White and Assistant Prof Wirichada Pan-Ngum, this module provides basic practical skills which establish a foundation for further research or facilitate critical appraisal of mathematical modelling appearing in the scientific and grey literature.

Trinity Term:

The third term will involve a funded eight week placement with a global health project in a resource limited setting. Projects represent the range of subjects covered in the course. We have established a series of projects hosted by the Oxford Tropical Network in various geographic regions. Students, with advice from their academic advisers, may choose from the placements available or propose their own placement (providing it meets course guidelines). The placement project will then form the basis of an independent 10,000 word dissertation to be submitted eight weeks upon return from placement.

Available placements

Bangkok, Thailand
Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), Bangkok
Mathematical and Economic Modelling (MAEMOD), Bangkok

Mae Sot, Thailand
Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU), Mae Sot

Oxford, UK
The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford
WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN), Oxford
Infectious Disease Data Observatory (IDDO), Oxford

Kemri-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) – Kilifi, Kenya
Kemri-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) – Nairobi, Kenya

Geneva, Switzerland
World Health Organisation (WHO) – Initiative for Vaccine Research, Geneva
WHO/TDR – Special Programme for Research & Training in Tropical Diseases, Geneva

Vientiane, Laos
Lao-Oxford Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Trust Unit (LOMWRU-IDDO), Vientiane

Yangon, Myanmar
Medical Action Myanmar and Myanmar Oxford Clinical Research Unit (MAM/MOCRU), Yangon

Siem Reap, Cambodia
Cambodia Oxford Medical Research Unit (COMRU), Siem Reap