Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Global Health and Management
MSc/PgDip Global Health and Management

Programme Details

Are you seeking postgraduate training that focuses on your employability, equips you with knowledge and skills to address complex and multidimensional global health issues, and enables you to make professional contributions towards positive health and social change?

On the MSc Global Health and Management programme, you will gain knowledge and understanding of established and emerging concepts, issues, theories and practices in global health and management studies. You will develop appreciation of how these intersect with broader social, economic and political factors, and develop skills to critically engage with these debates. The aim is to develop multidimensional views for more complete impacts in the field.

You will learn about health and social research methods, global health and global citizenship, health systems and policy, and management studies. You will have opportunities to work in professional environments in the health and development sector in the UK an overseas applying taught content in real world settings and conducting projects of practical significance. With supervision from world-class research active academics, students also develop deepened knowledge into current research and methodological development in selected area(s) in a world-class research environment.

MSc 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time | On-campus learning | September start

Why Choose Aberdeen?

  • We are recognized internationally for global health research within the Institute of Applied Health Sciences and for management studies at the Business School. Our range of expertise means that you get training that is broad, multi-disciplinary and current.
  • You will receive teaching and supervision from world-class research-active academics, enabling you to develop specialised interdisciplinary skills and knowledge relevant to career goals.
  • World-leading researchers and qualified clinicians will teach you on-site and you will experience studying within the one of the top 10 medical schools in the UK.
  • Our programme is rich in hands-on practical sessions, where you work directly with senior academics, practitioners, communities, patients and fellow students to analyse data, and develop both technical and generic skills essential for a career in global health and management.
  • Teaching on the programme is integrated with our other programmes, meaning that you benefit from structured training in transferable skills and have access to a range of elective courses.
  • Our links and research networks are extensive. Internationally and in the UK, you will benefit from having access to leaders in global health research and management studies, which will provide you with insights into the field and employment market. There will also be opportunities to build a network of contacts.
  • We strongly believe in inter-disciplinary learning, which is reflected in our collaborations with other universities, research institutions, governments and non-governmental organisations globally.

Work-based placements

As part of the programme, we offer an elective Work-Based Placement (WBP) course in which students have opportunities to work with external health and development organisations in the UK and overseas.

The placements aim to enhance employability, workplace relevant skills, and facilitate longer-term partnerships and collaborative opportunities between health and development organisations and academia.

Read more in our Placements Information Booklet

Student perspective - Eunice Vere:

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PICTURE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: A young girl walks through the dump side of Mae Sot, Thailand. The population of the dump side is approximately 350 with 70 scrap huts for shelter. © 2009 Jose Luis Molina Cruz, Courtesy of Photoshare


[Jump to: Assessment | Teaching | Teaching Team]

The curriculum is designed with an integrated approach to teaching and learning. Students participate in formal lectures, small group work, seminars, student presentations, and discussion groups. Throughout, the programme also provides training in mobile and digital technologies and social media.

Stage 1: September to December (60 credits)

Core Courses

Preparing for Work Based Placements (0 credits)

This course provides students with skills for career development and an introduction to the field of global health using digital technologies and social media. At the end of the course, students opting for the second stage elective PU5521: Work Based Placements apply for placement opportunities. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Generic Skills (0 credits)

This course will improve your employability through a bespoke online resource to help identify strengths and areas needing improvement. Self-assessment allows you to identify development areas for employability skills such as communication, IT and numeracy skills and personal attributes like creativity, organisation and timekeeping, flexibility, team working. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Epidemiology (15 credits)

This course in applied epidemiology gives an introduction to disease measurement at a population level, basic epidemiological study design and analysis, and provides an understanding of key methodological issues needed to apply when designing - or critically appraising - an epidemiological study. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Applied Statistics (15 credits)

This course intends to develop the student's awareness of the fact that statistical techniques are integral to scientific research. Researchers must be able to specify a precise research question in statistical terms and then select an appropriate study design in order to carry out an effective research project. They must also be able to assess the adequacy of the research presented in scientific or medical literature. This course equips the student with knowledge of statistical principles and statistical methods. In addition, the student will gain experience of analysing, presenting and interpreting numerical information. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Elective Courses

Health Economics (15 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the application of economics to health care. Students acquire a knowledge and understanding of the key themes of economic theory as applied to health care, some of the main techniques of health care evaluation and the main arguments concerning alternative systems for organising and financing health care. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Health Behaviour Change (15 credits)

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of how behaviours (such as smoking, diet, adherence to medication, etc) can protect, promote or damage health; the key drivers of (un) healthy behaviours; and the psychological basis for techniques to change health behaviours. Read full details in our course catalogue

Fundamentals of Research Design (15 credits) (On-line)

This on-line course provides a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of health research study design. The course includes both quantitative and qualitative study designs enabling the student to plan ethical research in a health context. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Evidence Based Health (15 credits) (On-line)

This on-line course provides a fundamental understanding and application of evidence based health at an individual and population level. The course follows the steps of protocol development for a systematic review including developing a search strategy, critical appraisal, data extraction and synthesis/analysis. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Stage 2: January to April (60 credits)

Core Courses

Global Health (15 Credits)

This course provides students with knowledge and understanding of global health and the skills to critically appraise the debates. Students learn about established and emerging topics in global health, how these intersect with broader social, economic and political factors, and how research can make credible contributions in this context. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Health Policy and Systems Research (15 Credits)

The course aims to instil knowledge and stimulate thinking about the major challenges within different health systems and the options for the health services management. It takes a global perspective on health care, providing knowledge of different health care systems and encouraging comparison and critique. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Elective Courses

Work-Based Placements with Health and Development Sector Organisations (15 Credits)

This course offers students professional placements with public, civic, voluntary, development sector organisations and government agencies. Students gain a unique practical experience, a ‘real-world’ practical relevance to their work, a range of transferrable skills, professional connections and a stand-out CV. The placements are subject to availability and offered on a competitive basis. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Internationalisation (15 Credits)

This course is based upon the analysis of globalization and the process of internationalisation from comparative business and socio-economic perspectives. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Human Resources Management (15 Credits)

Managing human resources well is important for survival and prosperity of organizations and economies, and has implications for individual attitudes and well-being.  This module explores the key concepts underpinning the management of human resources and their practical application in organisations today. Read full details in our course catalogue

Qualitative Health Research (15 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the values and practicalities of undertaking qualitative research. The course is delivered by a range of experienced qualitative researchers. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Values and Ethics in Public Health (15 credits)

This course challenges you to engage robustly with questions about what is good and right (and why) in public health policy and practice. You will develop your ability to critique and debate what matters – and what is morally justified - in efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of communities and populations as you examine a range of real-world health problems and strategies for addressing them. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Systematic Reviewing (15 credits)

This course is designed to provide a guide on how to perform, critically appraise and synthesise research evidence. The course is interactive with lectures and practical ‘hands on’ sessions, delivered by public health researchers, information specialists, medical statisticians and practitioners/clinicians. Read full details in our course catalogue.

Stage 3: May to August (60 Credits)

Global Health Research (Thesis) Project (60 Credits)

In this course, students develop deepened knowledge into current research and methodological development in selected area(s) in a world-class research environment. With supervision from active academics, students develop research ideas into rigorous designs and conduct data collection, analysis and interpretation according to accepted codes of practice and professional conduct. Read full details in our course catalogue.

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Each course has its own continuous assessment criteria based on the progress of practical and course work as well as a written degree examination. Progression to a research project is dependent on performance in the individual courses. The MSc project is assessed with the submission of a thesis and via examination.

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The overall curriculum is designed with an integrated approach to teaching and learning in mind. Students participate in formal lectures, small group work, seminars, student presentations, and discussion groups. Throughout, the programme also provides training in mobile and digital technologies and social media. External experts are also regularly invited to provide specialist expertise. Many lectures are recorded and can be viewed again whenever they are needed.

The MSc makes the most of hands-on learning to enable repeated exposure to evidence-based practice using real life examples. Some of the teaching methods employed in the programme include:

  • Inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary learning
  • Exposure to leading academic and field experts
  • Research-led teaching taught by key opinion leaders
  • Insight into real-life situations and examples
  • Real life learning in professional environments

The University’s dedicated, interdisciplinary team of experienced researchers tutor you and provide on-going support. Peer support will develop throughout the course(s) as engagement with students from other countries and disciplines is actively encouraged.

Much of the teaching on this course is participatory and students are expected to consolidate all taught content by completing related tasks and activities and engaging in independent study in their own time.

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Teaching Team

  • Professor Cairns Smith - leading academic in the global eradication of leprosy
  • Professor Wendy Graham - pioneering contributions to the improvement of maternal health in developing countries
  • Dr Hilary Homans - Director of the Centre for Sustainable International Development, focused on poverty alleviation, the environment and social inclusion
  • Dr Lucia D'Ambruoso - developing social and community approaches to routine health surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Dr Zoe Morrison - management experience as a leader and change agent across a range of sectors, including financial services, education and health
  • Dr Sean Semple - cutting edge work in Scotland and internationally on the links between environment and health
  • Dr Emmanuel Okpo - Consultant in Public Health Medicine specializing in sexual health and blood borne viruses.


We take a bespoke approach to your postgraduate education on this MSc programme. Students are understood as individuals and provided with opportunities to develop portfolios of work during the programme that relate to interests, strengths, previous training and experience, and future career aspirations. The underlying assumption is that finding personal strengths and areas of interest is the key to unlocking a rewarding career.

As part of the programme, we offer an elective Work-Based Placement (WBP) course in which students have opportunities to work with external health and development organisations in the UK and overseas. Our students have been placed in research, advocacy and clinical organisations in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, the UK and Zimbabwe. Placement students gain a unique experience, professional connections, a range of transferrable skills and a stand-out CV.

A short film on placements produced by one of our recent graduates can be viewed here.

Graduates of the MSc Global Health and Management programme establish careers in a range of health and development organisations and institutions, these include:

  • In governance in local/national/regional health policy and planning and administration;
  • In advisory and advocacy roles with donor agencies, multilateral and bilateral organisations, international and national non-governmental organisations, and civil society groups.
  • In research and academia in social and health sciences including epidemiological and health systems and services research, development studies, sociology and political science;
  • In monitoring and evaluation/technical assistance and consultancy roles

A second (2:2) class Honours degree or equivalent, usually in a health-related honours undergraduate degree (medicine, midwifery, nursing, public health, pharmacy). However, we will also consider applications from students with a pure science, social or management science first degree and who have a keen interest in health.

Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

In recent years we have had students from backgrounds including medicine, midwifery, nursing, public health, health/medical research, pharmacy, public administration, management.

Document requirements

For this application we need at least:

  • An official full Bachelor degree transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) so far (original & official English translation)
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated)
  • Academic reference letter OR a reference letter from your employer (if you have 2+ years of work experience in an industry relevant to the programme)
  • Detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
  • Ideally - current CV/resume

It is important when submitting an application that you ensure you have completed all the necessary sections and enclosed all the relevant documentation to ensure that your application can be processed as quickly as possible. Any missing document may result in delay.

English Language requirements

Even if you have been educated in the medium of English you must meet our English Language requirements (certain countries may be exempted from this requirement). Full details are available on our English language requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency.

University of Aberdeen offers also pre-sessional English courses that when successfully completed will remove language conditions for studying at the University of Aberdeen. Further details are available on the Language Centre website.


Tuition Fee Rates 2016/17 - MSc Global Health and Management

  • UK/EU students: £4,500
  • International students: £13,800

Further information about tuition fees and cost of living for both UK/EU and International students can be found on the Finance and Funding web pages.


Prospective students should visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

University of Aberdeen Alumni Discount Scheme

The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated with a degree from the University of Aberdeen. More Information can be found here.

(Please note this cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other scholarship award)


Related Information

General Information

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