Global Health and Infectious Diseases MSc, PgDip, PgCert, PgProfDev (Online Learning) The University of Edinburgh
This postgraduate programme aims to address the challenges posed by infectious diseases by developing your expertise in the surveillance, prevention, and control of infectious diseases.
You will explore and address local and global health challenges related to infectious diseases and their impact on public health. The programme explores the parallels that exist between infectious diseases such as malaria, influenza, TB, Covid-19, and neglected diseases such as leprosy and brucellosis. You will develop the skills to apply scientific research to help develop and implement strategies and programmes to help manage infectious diseases better.
What will you study?
Year 1 of the programme aims to develop your understanding of the transmission of infectious agents and their survival strategies, as well as look at strategies for disease control of the host. You will also explore the impact globalisation has had on our modern world and the challenges related to globalisation, such as population movement, food security, and disease surveillance.
In year 2 we offer a range of optional courses in the programme, providing you with the opportunity to specialise in areas of interest, including:
- Emerging infectious diseases
- GIS and spatial data
- Neglected tropical diseases
- Newborn and child health
- Project management of development aid
- Reproductive and Maternal Health
- Water and sanitisation
- Zoonotic diseases
Year 3 gives you the opportunity to research original and creative responses to a challenge of your choosing in the form of a dissertation project.
Studying online allows flexibility in where and when you choose to study and means you can work at your own pace.
How does online learning work?
Online programmes are delivered through the University's Virtual Learning Environment, LEARN. Our award-winning, online learning technology is fully interactive and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.
Our online students not only have access to the University of Edinburgh’s excellent resources but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.
During term time, you should be prepared to spend an average of 20 hours a week engaged in course materials, be that reviewing lecture notes and case studies, interacting with fellow students and the programme team on the discussion board, researching areas of interest or preparing assignments. As there are no set times for study, to be successful you will need to be self-motivated and determined.
Although the programme involves independent study, you will also have the opportunity to become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from all over the world. Indeed one of the most important aspects to successful online study is the ongoing support and sharing of information achieved through interactive discussions and input from expert tutors.
What to expect at the University of Edinburgh
As a student within the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, you will join more than 7,000 students studying a range of postgraduate programmes. Following the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, our vet school and our medical school were both among the UK top five, ranked by research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions REF 2021).
Your postgraduate experience here will be supported and enhanced by the wealth of resources and opportunities we offer. We are committed to delivering high-quality, innovative teaching. The latest report from the Quality Assurance Agency awarded us the highest rating possible for the quality of the student learning experience.
The University of Edinburgh is currently ranked 15th in the World in the QS World University Rankings 2023.
On successful completion of the Global Health and Infectious Diseases MSc a student will be able to:
- Demonstrate extensive detailed critical knowledge in global health and infectious diseases informed by evidence-based learning.
- Apply knowledge, skills, understanding and research in a wide and often unpredictable variety of global health contexts.
- Develop and evaluate original and creative solutions to problems and issues faced in response to the infectious disease challenges in global health.
- Communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise.
- Work in peer relationships to critically reflect on relevant experiences and build on and address these within a scientific context.
This is a professional postgraduate qualification for biomedical, medical, public health, and veterinary personnel who want to develop their scientific knowledge of the spread and management of infectious diseases.
This programme has been designed to help you fulfil leadership roles in international and national organisations that manage health and disease issues. A number of students have also raised their academic profiles through the publication and dissemination of their final year research.
You will develop an extensive knowledge of global health and infectious diseases informed by scientific research, and learn to apply this knowledge in a wide, and often unpredictable variety of global health contexts. Throughout the programme you will learn to develop and evaluate creative solutions to better manage your response to the infectious disease challenges in global health. In addition to having more confidence in their role, and boosting career prospects, many of our graduates find that these skills have significantly enhanced their ability to communicate and influence public policy and decision makers.
Our optional course in Project Management of Development Aid will enhance your leadership and management skills, while courses in GIS and spatial data analysis will significantly enhance your ability to analyse and present data – skills that are vital in addressing the challenges of infectious diseases and global health.
Each year we recruit students from a wide range of professions from around the world, providing you with an insight into the challenges and solutions of healthcare systems in other countries. Our graduates find these insights invaluable in developing their understanding of global health, and identifying new ways to address common challenges.
The programme normally takes three years (when studied part-time), beginning with a series of courses and followed by an individual project or dissertation.
Year 1 (certificate)
You will take courses that include:
- Global Health: Fundamentals
- Understanding Infectious Diseases
And you will choose one from the following two options:
- a single course in Applied Epidemiology and Public Health
- a course each in Global Citizenship and Globalisation and Health
Year 2 (Diploma)
You will choose sixty credits from a range that may include:
- Global citizenship
- Project managing development aid
- Transdisciplinary policy approaches for addressing the public health and development challenges of the 21st century
- The Nexus of Food Security and Global Health
- Neglected tropical diseases
- Emerging infectious diseases
- Travel medicine and infectious diseases
- Globalisation and health
- Public health systems in high, low and middle-income countries
- The communication of disease control
- Technological advances in diagnostics
- Water and Sanitation
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Newborn and child health
- Zoonotic diseases in a global setting
- Global health: mortality
- Zoonotic disease
- Introduction to GIS and spatial data analysis
- An introduction to vaccinology
- Reproductive and maternal health
Year 3 (MSc)
You will conduct a written reflective element of 10,000-15,000 words.
Intermittent Learning (ICL)
The programme is also available for intermittent learners, this differs from the part-time structure as students have up to 6 years to complete their MSc. Further, there is no assumption of sequential study, students inform the programme teams of the courses they wish to study, and enrolment is made following this instruction. Invoices are generated with each course enrolment.
Please note, that while this study pattern does introduce more flexibility, courses are available based on the academic timetable – the timetable and assessment deadline are fixed. The compulsory elements of our exit awards must be met, although the order in which these courses are taken is no longer fixed.
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Master, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit.
Alternatively, after one year of taking courses, you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Master, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout the year you may only start a Master, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Master, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
How will you learn?
Learning is delivered through:
- Weekly materials, written notes, recommended reading, organised discussions with other learners, tutors and course organisers. Recorded lectures or podcasts may also be available for you to watch or listen to in your own time.
- Opportunities to connect regularly with your course organiser and programme team to address concerns and monitor progress.
- Individual assessments including essays, data presentations, proposals and presentations that will reinforce what you have learnt.
- Group assignments and online discussions with your peers will expose you to different perspectives and new ways of thinking about a problem or topic.
- Independent study and reflection.
Scholarships and Funding
The University of Edinburgh offers a small number of scholarships to outstanding candidates. These are very competitive. We publish data on the success rate for scholarship applications to help you understand the level of demand.
UK government postgraduate loans
If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.
The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:
- your programme
- the duration of your studies
- your tuition fee status