Global Health Academy

Global and Planetary Health at the University of Edinburgh

The different ways in which the Global Health Academy is leading and supporting work to advance Global and Planetary Health.

Person wearing medical gloves holding a globe


Delivering Future Health

The Global Health Academy believes that the future health of the world will be determined by:

  • Investment in community and a shared sense of a global common humanity;
  • The value base and outworking of our social and economic systems – the ways in which these systems promote equity and challenge the ways which systems create, cause, drive and sustain inequalities;
  • The way in which we collectively develop and share health information, science and data in an ethical way;
  • Local, national and global investments in the systems that provide and promote health and healthcare; 
  • The security of food and water, and the environmental impacts of food production, distribution and waste management;
  • The capacity to reduce and prevent the loss of our biodiversity and the rise of antimicrobial resistance;
  • The healthiness of our living spaces, cities, clean air and water, sustainable transport, and access to exercise;
  • The ability to adapt and mitigate against acute and long-term health impacts and implications of extreme weather events;
  • The drive to net-zero carbon emissions and addressing the impact of climate change on health including emerging new infectious diseases, zoonosis, non-communicable diseases, mental health, maternal and child health, migration and aging;
  • The reduction of environmental waste such as plastics, and toxins on land, air and sea and people.

Being Change-Makers

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that health is understood, and brought a new urgency to global and planetary health work.

Through the Edinburgh Conversations, the University and our global partners set out our shared commitment to Future Health – including distilling a ‘Declaration of Principles’ to support the development of a new paradigm.   

We recognise the power of the University community in driving research, education, innovation and engagement to tackle the global syndemic instigated by SARS-CoV-2. Over these next 5 years our Global Health Academy will deliver to the ambitions laid out in this declaration.  

With our student body we will also enact the principles identified by student action – which are needed to bring about a new way to work towards health in the future. 

Above all, we commit to achieve equity in health across the globe, with a shared understanding that the health of all living things and the health of the planet are indivisible. We cannot survive as a people or a planet unless both are healthy.

Supporting Global and Planetary Health

The Global Health Academy supports our University’s 2030 Agenda to advance Global and Planetary Health in three key ways:

1. Education

We offer innovative learning programmes and positive student experiences which empower global professionals to engage with the world’s health challenges.

Degree and professional development programmes in public, primary and planetary health offer flexible training opportunities with part time, online, cross and interdisciplinary study options.

They are designed to promote an understanding of the breadth, the interconnectedness and the complexities of  the causes, drivers and determinants of health and wellbeing of humans, animals and the planet.

Our popular Summer School is delivered each year (in Uganda or Rwanda) as an opportunity for students from across our MSc portfolio to gather in person for learning and exchange.

Learn more about our Programmes: Study with Us

2. Research

We offer impactful research with a focus on local impact.

Our research draws on knowledge and ideas generating from many disciplines across all three University Colleges. An interdisciplinary approach is vital to explore the big questions and the optimal ethical solutions to challenges about the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the planet.

We prioritise research that is delivered with and alongside local partners, so that local needs and insights shape new knowledge and global change-making.

Visit our Research page

3. Relationships

We support global and local partnering and networks to deliver maximum impact.

These partnerships enable us to support the translation of our teaching, research and activities into sustainable practices which are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals.  Through our broad cross-disciplinary networks and alliances we engage with local communities, with partners in industry, academia and the third sector to better understand and deliver the future health.  

A list of some of our partners across the world

Making the world a better place

As a University, we want to address the greatest challenges and make the world a better place.

By focusing on interdisciplinary approaches to education, research and partnerships, the Global Health Academy is able to support and help enable this vision. We promote the role of the University of Edinburgh as a global leader in tackling health challenges and shaping the future of health across the planet.  

To deliver these ambitions, we work closely with colleagues across the University, including:

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