Global Health MSc

Global Health PGT splash image

This programme offers a unique opportunity for you to develop a critical understanding of the key issues within health and medicine, health policy and health planning, and of the determinants of health and health inequalities from a social science perspective.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • You will examine health issues that arise for different population groups and across national boundaries, including social and cultural constructions of health, disability and chronic illness, and global and national health policies.
  • You will make a critical analysis of health and its determinants, and develop a deep understanding of the influence and role of equality/inequality, demographics and location on health.


  • You will study quantitative and qualitative social science research methods, and apply at least one of these in the completion of an original piece of research.
  • The University is a leading centre of applied and policy related research. This programme brings together expertise in health inequalities, health and wellbeing, disability, urban health, health economics and the history of medicine.
  • The degree is fully interdisciplinary in its structure and content, and is designed to allow you to focus your learning around the global health issues that interest you most.
  • You will be taught by experts from the following world-leading centres based at the University: Institute of Health and Wellbeing, MRC Social & Public Health Sciences Unit, Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research, Centre for the History of Medicine, Policy Scotland and Centre for Public Policy for Regions.
  • From the start of the programme you will be closely supported to build the skills, experience and networks that will open doors to you in your future career in Global Health.


Programme structure

You will take three core and three optional courses. Courses will be delivered via lectures and seminars. You will also undertake an independent research project focusing on an issue in Global Health that particularly interests you, and will submit this as a dissertation at the end of the degree.

Core courses

  • Global Health in social context
  • Improving health and social outcomes
  • Methods of social research.

Optional courses

  • Applied qualitative methods
  • Cultural, social & biological determinants of mental health
  • Epidemiology, evidence and statistics for primary care
  • Equality and human rights
  • Generalised linear models
  • Globalisation and public health
  • Health and culture
  • Health economics
  • Health technology assessment in a global context
  • Health technology assessment: Policy and principles
  • Improving access to mental health care in the global context
  • Mental health and disability: International law and policy
  • Mental health promotion across the life-span
  • Psychosocial approaches to public health
  • Qualitative methods
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Research design
  • Studies in the history of medicine before 1850
  • Studies in the history of medicine 1850-2000
  • The disabling society
  • Understanding health policy.

Background and aims

Health is one of the most important aspects of everyday life in the modern world and is one of the most important qualities of everyday life. Health is often taken-for-granted and only becomes important when it is threatened.  It is also an area where large resources are invested and health services and health care represent some of the largest sectors in most economies in the more affluent societies. There are a range of different approaches that the social sciences can employ engage with health and can contribute to our understanding of health, health care and health systems. 

The aim of this MSc is to provide students with a global understanding of health from the social sciences perspective. It adopts a multidisciplinary focus and provides students with the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of health and its determinants and healthcare. It brings together experts from across the social sciences and health service research and will provide in-depth and specialist analysis of a range of topics, marrying different theoretical and applied approaches. As well as taught courses, which are designed to give you the tools and understanding necessary to engage confidently with current issues and debates in the field, students will also have the opportunity to devise and carry out a sustained piece of research into an area or topic of their own particular interest. The programme will help you develop a number of research, writing, team-working and professional skills that will equip you for the workplace or doctoral study.


Guest speakers and events

The MSc in Global Health attracts students from around the world to develop a critical understanding of health and health inequalities from a global perspective. Students leave well-equipped to address and provide solutions to problems and issues in health and healthcare in their own countries and worldwide. There will be an opportunity to organise an event to bring together leading global health professionals and benefit from their experience of forging a successful career in this field.

The Your Future Career in Global Health event brings together students and professionals who have been successful in pursuing a career in global health nationally and internationally. It provides a valuable networking and professional development opportunity and helps to inform the decisions students will make as they move beyond the MSc in Global Health into employment. Here is what one of our students has to say about it.

Emily Payne'Although the students on this progrmme are from a range of geographical and professional backgrounds, they share an interest in wellbeing are all new to the Global Health field. Through the support of Emma Smith (Worl Related Learning Opportunites Coordinator) we had the opportunity to be involved in the development of an event designed to introduce us to the diverse range of careers in the field. This experience was invaluable and excited all those who attended. This included a range of undergraduate and postgraduate students from across the university.

The event not have been the possible if Emma hadn’t worked so hard on securing a range of fantastic speakers, while her organisational skills and experience helped the event run smoothly.  Comments from the group were of gratitude and interest as each of the presenters had spoken from a different angle within Global Health. The chance to discuss and meet with the speakers was an important opportunity to “get [your] foot in the door of Global Health”, which one student said they had been finding difficult throughout their study thus far. The MSc Global Health provides the knowledge and skills to embark on a career in Global Health and this event has added real life experience, inspiration and connections to further aid future employment.'

Emily Payne (2015-16)

What our students say

Katherine Turnbull, UK (2016-17)

Katherine Turnbull'I was pleased at how approachable all the staff have been - from the lecturers to the programmeorganisers. As a result, we have bonded closely as a group. I would absolutely recommend the University of Glasgow. I have had lots of helpful advice from the careers service and they have gone out their way to visit us in classes to help us with our future careers. It is nice to feel like they do truly care about helping us; I hadn’t received this level of help before at my undergraduate University. I even received one-to-one feedback on my writing from the student learning support. I have felt supported from the start, which has been incredibly comforting!'

Katie King, USA (2014-15)

Katie King‌'When deciding where to study Global Health, the most important things were finding a programme that offered high academic standards, a broad curriculum and, most importantly, an opportunity to travel abroad for my dissertation. The MSc in Global Health at Glasgow seemed perfect. I couldn’t have felt more supported in arranging my project (research on medical volunteering in Ghana) by the programme convenor, my dissertation supervisors and the administrative staff in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Every time I had questions I needed answered, the guidance and support was always readily available.'

Monika Buganska, Canada (2014-15)

Monika Buganska, Canada. Global Health 2015'My dissertation, investigating the mental health of prisoners, takes me to a Scottish prison, using the contacts the programme convenor has with the Scottish Prison Service. There I accompany prisoners who are involved in an outdoor conservation project. For me, this opportunity has been absolutely fantastic. I have felt fully supported in translating my ideas for my dissertation into reality, and the programme staff have been extremely positive, supportive and committed to doing what they can to help. The project will really open doors for me in future, by giving me experience and understanding of how to work with  under-served and high risk population groups to identify interventions that appeal to them and have real potential to improve their physical and mental health.'

Career prospects

Throughout your time at Glasgow you will have the opportunity to be closely supported in preparing for your future career in Global Health. Early in the programme, you will be given advice on career pathways and how to achieve them, and how to use social media to enhance your career prospects. There will also be an opportunity to organise an event that brings together leading global health professionals and benefit from their experience of forging a successful career in this field. Our students have gone on to careers as health care professionals and health care policy advisors, and to work in public health care systems, and the voluntary and third sectors. Others have opted to stay in academia and undertake a PhD.

Entry requirements

2.1 Honours degree or non-UK equivalent (e.g. a GPA of 3.0 or above) in social sciences, health sciences, medicine, nursing or other clinical subject. We will also consider applications from graduates from other fields, but you should submit a statement indicating why you are interested in changing fields. We will also take relevant work experience into account.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18


Home and EU
Full time fee£7250
Part time 20 credits£806
Full time fee£16000

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MSc. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Postgraduate Admissions
Marketing, Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2017 
  • UK and EU applications: 25 August 2017

Classes start September 2017 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now