Clearing 2021
Postgraduate Course

MSc Global Public Health

MSc Global Public Health


The details
Global Public Health
October 2021
1 year
Colchester Campus

Join us online on 17 August to hear more from our programme lead about this course, and to have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. You may also enjoy watching a recording of a webinar that took place earlier this year where the course leads of MSc Global Public Health and MSc Health Research discussed the value of these courses against the backdrop of the pandemic.

Society the world over is faced with mounting public health challenges, from pandemics to forced displacement, to rapidly depleting planetary resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the complex links between population health, and the wider economic, social, political, environmental, and commercial determinants that shape human and planetary health in the globalised world we inhabit. Our MSc Global Public Health will challenge you to investigate these intersecting issues, critically appraise health and public policies, and engage in innovative research to drive forward change that contributes to a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy future.

Globally, most nations have committed to the international human rights framework and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda pledge to “leave no one behind”. However, progress on these promises requires an understanding of the root causes of mounting global inequity as well as the role intersecting crises play in driving increased inequity and distracting from the necessity of structural reform. Developing a deeper understanding of interlinkages will help you develop a foundation from which you’ll explore the increasingly political role of multinational corporations and other powerful actors (such as charitable foundations) in influencing global and national decision-making. This course will equip you with the academic knowledge and skillset to analyse the impact of structural forms of discrimination including racism and colonialism, both in the UK and internationally, so that you can contribute to addressing the roots of the ensuing social injustice this discrimination perpetuates.

Through a combination of interactive lectures, intensive seminars with practitioners and leading experts, and our unique externship opportunities with research and policy institutions of global repute, this course will help you develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of:

  • what factors determine our health;
  • what drives decision-making and priority setting in global health?
  • who governs health, how (i.e. policies and mechanisms) and with what effects at individual, societal, national, and global levels;
  • how people, illnesses, and drugs/ therapies travel in a globalised world? How these movements relate to the movement of capital and trade?
  • how wider inequalities (based on class, gender, sexuality among others) and systems of oppression interact to shape people’s life chances and ability to thrive?
  • And importantly, what skills, approaches, interventions, actions can help resist the detrimental forces that undermine health and well-being and realise the promises of “health for all” and “leave no one behind” to achieve fairer, equitable, and healthier societies?

You’ll benefit from the opportunity to pursue this course through one of two specialist pathways. Each pathway will share some core modules but allow flexibility for you to select modules that are in line with your interests and employment. You can either opt to follow our ‘Policy and Systems’ pathway which has been designed with an emphasis on preparing you for entering the workforce with strong evidence-based research and planning skills, or our ‘Intersectional Inequalities and Determinants’ pathway which will advance your interdisciplinary skills in examining and tackling inequalities in the distribution of determinants of health and diseases.

Both pathways offer the unique opportunity to undertake a project-based ‘externship’ with selected UK or international policy-setting or research organisations to work on a specific health problem. The externships allow the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts to real-life public health challenges; helping to consolidate your learning, enhancing your ability to apply a range of research methods to answer important, relevant public health questions and build a network.

Why we're great.
  • You’ll gain practical knowledge and transferable research and evaluation skills necessary for pursuing a career in public health policy & practice, the health and social care sector, the humanitarian and development sector and/or academia in the UK or internationally.
  • You can opt to engage in an externship to enhance your research skills, apply theoretical & methodological learnings to real life public health challenges and develop your network.
  • You’ll develop the analytical and methodological skills necessary for applying an innovative intersectional lens to examine policy and health inequalities
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Essex is home to wide-ranging methodological, disciplinary, and subject area expertise. The degree will be located in the Interdisciplinary Research & Practice Division within the School of Health & Social Care. It will draw on eminent scholars from diverse subject areas within the School and across, including the renowned Human Rights Centre, the Law Faculty, and the ISER institute. You will also benefit from the dynamic networks of academic, policy, and practitioner communities that our staff work closely with, in the UK, Europe, and internationally.

Equality, social justice, and social activism are part of the DNA of the School of Health and Social Care here at the University of Essex. The course both builds on and extends these values offering distinct opportunities to contribute to these goals.

The programme is directed by Professor Kapilashrami, an Interdisciplinary social scientist of international repute with expertise in health policy and systems research, and a particular interest in the interface between equity, rights, and social justice. Professor Kapilashrami has longstanding research experience in the academia and the civil society/ development sector in the UK and internationally. Her current work focuses on advancing intersectional approach, conceptually and empirically, to examine health inequalities and structural determinants of contemporary health problems (including pandemics).

Professor Kapilashrami will be joined by other leading experts in the University (including Professor Ewen Speed, Professor Linsey McGoey, Dr Judith Bueno de Mesquita) and beyond with speakers representing diverse sectors and geographies.

Specialist facilities

The School of Health and Social Care is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend campus.

We have purpose-built nursing skills labs in both our Colchester and Southend campuses. We offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives, and other research materials.

Your future

This course will prepare you to evaluate and support the development and implementation of evidence-informed and rights-oriented local, national and global public health policies and programmes. It, therefore, is likely to be of interest to you if you are already working in or are keen to develop a career in: public health policy & practice; the health and social care sector; the humanitarian sector; the development sector, and academia.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 or above, or international equivalent, in any subject.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.


Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained


Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.


Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms



This final module consolidates your learning and equips you to take your career forward with a range of skills and knowledge relevant to your professional practice. It is an opportunity to undertake an independent research project relevant to your field of practice. You will formulate a research question, plan and carry out the project, analyse and write up the results. You can undertake primary or secondary research, or audit/service evaluation or a library based critical literature review research project. If you are undertaking the MSc in Health Research you will undertake a primary or secondary research project, engaging with empirical data.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory


Postgraduate Research Methods

To scrutinise the knowledge that informs evidence based practice, health and social care professionals need to be critical thinkers who are research-literate. This module explores the different ways that health and social research is carried out, with a focus on critical appraisal, research design, data collection and analysis. The module covers qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. This learning enables you to embark more confidently and creatively on your own dissertations, as well as helping you to engage more critically with the research of others.

View Postgraduate Research Methods on our Module Directory


Globalisation, Health Policy and Governance

The global health priorities established in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have helped bring the importance of global health governance to the fore of global health scholarship. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on global public health governance, exposing the systemic weaknesses in the global health architecture and demonstrating how power and resource imbalances impact on global health policy, global health equity and population health. The global health landscape is shaped by centuries old interactions and structures. The past few decades have brought dramatic change shaped by cross-border flows of capital, ideas, technology intermediated through the complex interaction between global, national and local actors and institutions. This module provides an introduction to the fundamentals of global public health governance by focusing on health-related issues that transcend national boundaries and the differential impacts of globalization on health. It introduces essential concepts from the social sciences, including political science, sociology and law. It includes critical scholarship on interactions between global and local actors to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for critically exploring key questions including who governs global health, which states, institutions and other entities finances global health, who sets priorities for global health and who is accountable for delivering on global health commitments. It provides an introduction to understanding the diverse social, economic and political forces which shape how and why some important health related challenges are addressed through global health policies, including the SDGs, and others are not.

View Globalisation, Health Policy and Governance on our Module Directory


Social Determinants of Health

The module will introduce you to the skills required for ethical practice in the context of safeguarding and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The module also aims to introduce you to the skills related to legislation and regulation including advocacy and legal research skills. You will have the opportunity to explore the process of ethical decision-making alongside students and tutors from the Law Clinic. Law, and Health and Social Care staff will be making use of the giving voice to values approach which focuses on empowering decision making for transformational leadership.

View Social Determinants of Health on our Module Directory


Global Health Epidemiology

This module introduces you to epidemiology as an essential science of global public health. It will contribute to your understanding of the fundamental importance of studying the determinants and distribution of disease frequency in human populations throughout the world to address global health issues. This module also challenges you to explore how and why evidence and data play a crucial role in informing public health policy, strategy, leadership, service provision and coordination of action for health. It examines the different ways in which data can be collected, analysed, and interpreted so you are better equipped to critique research and unpack hidden bias. The module will also help you to develop an understanding of which research methods are most appropriate for addressing specific research questions and global health issues by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of different types of data. Finally, it will guide you to develop the skills to assess the most suitable research methods for a given research question, understanding that the data collected has implications for the type of analysis that can be carried out and the types of question that can be answered with that data.

View Global Health Epidemiology on our Module Directory


HS186-7-SU or HS958-7-SP


HS856-7-SP or HS959-7-SP


Option from list

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee


International fee


EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 18, 2021
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021


You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Ask us a question
Ask us a question

Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.