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Study information

Frontiers of Global Health

Module titleFrontiers of Global Health
Module codeCSC4013M
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor William Gaze (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

A global perspective of health and medical provision is becoming increasingly important when considered in the context of increased global travel, immigration and environmental change. We will focus on health and wellbeing challenges that are trans-national and are associated with climate, change, pollution and changes in human demographics and behaviour. Many of these issues concern infectious diseases that can spread rapidly, and are related to zoonoses (diseases that can be passed from animals to humans). The “slow motion” pandemic of antimicrobial resistant infections will also be discussed. In addition, the underlying drivers of many chronic diseases will be examined, which are now increasing in low and middle income countries (LMICs) with increased life expectancy and lifestyle changes. 

We will examine emerging issues in this field using specific examples from a range of nations in the context of international efforts to improve world health as measured by life expectancy, quality of life and childhood mortality. The international healthcare workforce, its effectiveness and sustainability will be studied along with the changing lifestyle, environmental change, epidemics and disease control. 

This is an optional module suitable for all Biological Science / Environmental Science / Geography / Human Sciences students and has no pre-requisites.

Module aims - intentions of the module

In this module data and case studies relating to global trends in the distribution of infectious diseases, including person-to-person contact, emergence from wildlife reservoirs and zoonoses originating in livestock will be examined. The drivers of emergence of AMR in human pathogens will also discussed from a One Health perspective. The module will include aspects of ecology, virology, pathogenesis, bacterial genetics; human geography, economics and policy. In addition, you will study urbanisation and economic development that have led to an increase in non-communicable disease such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The role of the WHO, UNICEF and other international bodies in Global Health will also be examined alongside developments in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Issues that are of global origin or are exacerbated by international movements of people and food will become increasingly commonplace in the UK. Already UK society is confronted by infectious agents that have evolved abroad under unfamiliar conditions eg. SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. This module will give insights into globally important trends in health and wellbeing and the relationship with our environment, which will be valuable to anyone intending to follow a career involved in managing the global challenges that are becoming the major issues of our time


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically evaluate the drivers of emerging infectious diseases in developed and developing countries
  • 2. Through an understanding of the key determinants of population health, hypothesise where health inequalities are most severe and what can be done to alleviate them
  • 3. Show detailed understanding of current trans-national efforts to manage emerging infectious diseases on a global scale though analysis and reporting
  • 4. Evaluate global drivers of chronic and non-communicable diseases
  • 5. Discriminate between national and international health challenges

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Evaluate complex socio-economic, ecological and biological data in an integrated manner.
  • 7. Demonstrate the linkage between the increasing incidence of diseases resulting from global urbanisation.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the importance of risk assessment.
  • 9. Consider problems in a holistic way, noting of the drivers of health and wellbeing
  • 10. Critically engage with research evidence drawn from sources such as books, journals, and the internet.

Syllabus plan

This module will cover study of zoonoses and infectious diseases, emerging global health and wellbeing challenges, chronic and non-infectious disorders, urbanisation, people and food movements, pharmaceutical and biotech industries and also include dry and wet laboratory sessions. Lab sessions will include work on antimicrobial resistant bacteria isolated from polluted natural environments

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled teaching / learning sessions11Lectures (in person or virtual depending on distancing scenario)
Scheduled teaching / learning sessions4Field Trip (if COVID-19 distancing precludes, this will be replaced by online tutorials and / or an invited speaker).
Scheduled teaching / learning sessions5Laboratory practical session (this is a computer based exercise and can be done as a group activity or individually).
Guided independent study129Preparation for data analysis session exam revision and practical. Background reading.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities1Module induction and feedback

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practical report on field trip outcomes and data analysis of antimicrobial resistance exposure risk assessment500 word1, 5, 8 Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Assessed essay702000 word essay1-10Written
Individual poster production and presentation3010min including Q&A 1-5, 8Written and oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Assessed essay (70%) 2000 words2000 word essay on key elements of the module1-10Ref/Def
Individual poster production and presentation (30%) 10 minute including Q & A Individual poster production and presentation (10 min including Q&A)1-5, 8Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Oxford Textbook of Zoonoses. Biology, Clinical Practice, and Public Health Control. Second Edition: S.R. Palmer, Lord Soulsby, Paul Torgerson, and David W. G. Brown.


Global Change and Health by Kelley Lee and Jeff Collin

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Web based and electronic resources will be available

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

An up to date reading list of journal articles will be provided

Key words search

Zoonoses, infection, globalisation, chronic disease

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date