Postgraduate study

Integrated Global Health (Online Learning) MSc, PgDip, PgCert

Awards: MSc, PgDip, PgCert

Study modes: Part-time

Online learning

Global health is essential. The pandemic has shown us that we need to work together across disciplines to respond effectively to global health emergencies.

This innovative and highly relevant programme will equip you with the knowledge and collaborative skills to enable you to respond to global health challenges, now and in the future.

Watch a six-minute overview video by Dr. Ruth McQuillan, one of the programme co-directors:

Integrated Global Health video

Who the degree is aimed at

We recognise the broad range of skills needed for effective and sustainable global health action. Therefore, we welcome students from a wide range of backgrounds who are interested in using their skills to contribute to and lead global health change.

When we think of global health, we might think first of medicine and nursing. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Many others have crucial roles to play:

  • biomedical scientists
  • social scientists
  • engineers
  • community development specialists
  • policy experts
  • economists
  • ecologists
  • town planners

If you’re interested in a career in global health – whether or not you have a healthcare background – this online part-time programme is for you.

The MSc in Integrated Global Health will allow you to build on your existing knowledge and skills to become the kind of well-rounded, flexible, and imaginative professional that the interconnected global health world of the 21st century demands.

Employers are increasingly looking for professionals who can supplement their technical skills with a broad knowledge of global health issues and the capacity to move effectively between disciplines and settings.

By studying with us you will:

  • integrate your existing knowledge and expertise with a deep understanding of current global health issues
  • develop the skills and confidence to work effectively across disciplines
  • learn to tackle some of the most urgent and intractable problems we face as a global community
  • gain access to global health expertise across disciplines as diverse as global health policy, epidemiology, food security and nutrition, and public health
  • be able to customise your study to suit your specific needs, choosing from more than 70 elective course options

View our range of course options

You can study a one year postgraduate certificate, two year diploma or three year master’s degree.

This programme will benefit experienced or new practitioners and researchers from any discipline or interest in the field of global health. You will develop your skills and knowledge to understand, contribute to, and foster relationships within the complex and fascinating world of human global health.

What our Programme Directors say

A key thing we have learned from the pandemic is that we have to do things differently next time. Teamwork, collaborating effectively across disciplines and recognising and using different expertise are key preparedness skills that this programme will help you to develop. Dr. Ruth McQuillan, Programme Co-Director, MSc Integrated Global Health

Why Edinburgh

By choosing to study Integrated Global Health at the University of Edinburgh you will:

  • join one of the top 20 universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2021)
  • study a degree delivered by the Usher Institute (part of the University of Edinburgh), a world-leader in global health that is well recognised for its contribution to the COVID-19 response
  • become part of our vibrant, evidence-led and cross-disciplinary community of academics and researchers
  • be able to tailor your learning experience to your interests thanks to our flexible programme
  • enjoy access to the University’s excellent resources, including our modern, intuitive virtual learning platform that delivers a powerful learning experience on any device with an internet connection
  • have opportunities to interrogate and analyse real-world data, which can be applied to any area of global health
  • connect with other students from a diverse range of professional and academic backgrounds

Getting in touch

This page has more details on the programme, including how our online learning works, the programme structure and learning outcomes. If you are interested in the degree but need more information to decide if it’s a good fit for you please get in touch with us.

Online learning is a way for you to study an internationally recognised qualification without needing to attend classes on campus. It is ideal if you wish to study for a postgraduate qualification alongside work or other commitments.

Online programmes are of equal value to on-campus programmes. The only difference is that the programme is delivered online, rather than on campus.

Study commitment

The programme is part-time, with 10-15 hours study commitment per week. We run one course per teaching block so you can learn at your own pace and maintain a healthy and manageable family and work/life balance.

Resources and equipment

As an online student you have access to the University's excellent resources. We use the latest in educational technology tools and systems. We are experienced at guiding students to get the most from studying online and using our resources.

You don’t need any specialist equipment. We do recommend you have reliable and regular access to a computer with internet connection and speakers or headphones to allow playback of recorded presentations.

How you’ll be taught

We deliver teaching through a variety of means, including pre-recorded lectures that you can view at times that suit you.

You will study alongside and share your knowledge and experience with students from around the world.

You will communicate these ideas through active discussion boards, blogs, group work and videos.

The programme is flexible and there are no specific times you need to attend class. It is designed to complement the work and family commitments and the diverse geographical locations of our students.

How you’ll be assessed

Assessment of the programme is through a mixture of coursework and online participation.

Assessment methods include:

  • essays
  • projects
  • online activities
  • blogs
  • group work
  • tests

The assessments are designed to fit with the learning outcomes of each course.

Supporting your learning

During your time studying with us, you will:

  • be assigned a personal tutor to provide pastoral and generic academic support during your time studying with us.
  • be assigned a mentor who can help provide guidance in making appropriate choices from a wide portfolio of courses
  • have access to a full range of online support services within the wider university, including careers, IT Support, support for disabilities and counselling

Find out more about studying an online degree by visiting our Online Learning webpage.

For this online part-time programme you can choose to complete:

  • a one year postgraduate certificate
  • a two year postgraduate diploma
  • three years of study to receive a Master’s degree

Year 1

Your core subjects will be:

  • Global Health Challenges: An Introduction (20 credits)
  • Principles and Practice of Research Design for Global Health (10 credits)
  • Data Visualisation: Knowledge transfer and exchange (10 credits)
  • From Research Ideas to Transformative Action: An Integrated Approach to Global Health Projects (20 credits)

Year 2

You will build your own customised pathway by choosing courses worth a total of 60 credits from our unparalleled suite of options.

You have flexibility to weight your choices in your interests but you must pick at least 10 credits of courses from each of lists A, B and C.

Your choices will be subject to availability and timetabling constraints. Courses also run according to demand, so some courses may not run each year.

We offer more than 70 elective options across the three lists. We have included some examples from each list below.

List A

Examples of option course on List A include:

  • Introduction to Epidemiology and Statistics (20 credits)
  • Data analysis for Epidemiology (10 credits)
  • Statistical Modelling for Epidemiology (10 credits)
  • Intermediate Epidemiology (10 credits)

List B

Examples of option courses on List B include:

  • The global burden of mental illness (10 credits)
  • Public policy for health (10 credits)
  • Evaluation of global health and development programmes (20 credits)
  • Epidemiology for Public Health Practice (10 credits)
  • Migration and health (10 credits)

List C options

Examples of option courses on List C include:

  • Neglected tropical diseases (10 credits)
  • Emerging infectious diseases (10 credits)
  • Zoonotic diseases in a global setting (10 credits)
  • Food Policy (10 credits)
  • Sexually transmitted infections (10 credits)
  • Water and Sanitation (10 credits)

Year 3

After successfully completing the taught courses you will complete a 60 credit dissertation.

Semester dates for the academic year 2021-2022

These are key dates in the academic year, which vary slightly year to year. For your programme these are:

  • Welcome Week: 13 – 17 September 2021
  • Term 1: 20 September - 3 December 2021
  • Term 2: 10 January – 25 March 2022
  • Term 3: 11 April - 24 June 2022

On completion of this programme you will:

  • be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of current issues in global health
  • be able to integrate your own professional or disciplinary knowledge and expertise within a broader understanding of alternative approaches and perspectives
  • have planned and executed a significant investigatory or research project
  • have developed new or creative understandings of complex issues by integrating approaches or perspectives from more than one discipline
  • be confident in using, analysing and presenting data to critically evaluate, investigate, and illustrate global health issues

You will also have developed strategies for:

  • planning or undertaking complex initiatives at the intersection of different professional/disciplinary boundaries
  • making informed judgements on issues not clearly addressed by current professional/disciplinary codes or practice

Our graduates will be suitably qualified to pursue a range of careers across multiple sectors, including in:

  • academia
  • research
  • government
  • NGOs
  • charities and other health-related professions

The programme will equip you with extensive knowledge in global health and can be shaped to meet your career goals and aspirations.

The Usher Institute (within The University of Edinburgh) has well-established strong connections nationally and internationally.

This programme can also offer a good basis for further study in the form of a PhD or Professional Doctorate.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.

Students from China

This degree is Band D.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Usher Institute of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences
  • Old Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Usher Institute of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences
  • Old Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG