Taught course

Global Health, Law and Governance

Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry · Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry

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Entry requirements

You will normally need at least a 2.1 honours degree or GPA 3.2/4.0 or GPA 3.4/5.0 or equivalent in a relevant subject, such as medicine, the health sciences, nursing or the social sciences. We also welcome applications from those who have studied a less directly related subject at undergraduate level, but who can demonstrate interest and motivation in this area.

Months of entry


Course content

Decisions made at the global or international level, including those related to trade, aid, conflict and climate change, can have a profound impact on health at the national and local levels.

For example, when the International Monetary Fund, US government and Harvard-trained economists such as Jeffrey Sachs, encouraged former Soviet Union states to undertake a rapid transition to capitalism in the early-1990s, the subsequent economic “Shock Therapy” caused mass unemployment and seven million people died prematurely from so-called diseases of despair related to increased alcohol consumption.

Another example is the ten to twelve million people with HIV/AIDS who died unnecessarily because patent-holding pharmaceutical companies, with the support of US and European governments, used international law to obstruct the sale of low cost generic antiretroviral drugs to poor people in sub-Saharan Africa.

The MSc in Global Health Law and Governance encourages students to critically analyse the manner in which global and international institutions, instruments, and policies influence public health. Students will examine the role of the World Health Organization, and other key global health actors. This includes: international organizations including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization; philanthropic actors such as the Gates Foundation; private companies including Big Pharma and Big Tobacco; and global health partnerships such as GAVI and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Students are taught from a multidisciplinary perspective by medical doctors, public health consultants, lawyers, economists, political scientists, sociologists, geographers, and anthropologists.

In the first semester, students take core modules that provide a thorough grounding in key concepts and research methods: Epidemiology and Statistics; Evidence, Policy and Global Health; Health Inequalities and Social Determinants of Health; Health Systems, Policy and Practice.

In the second semester, students gain a more detailed understanding of global health law and governance. They take specialist modules in Global Health, Governance and Law, and Human Rights and Public Health. In addition, students choose elective modules that reflect their interests and write a dissertation on a subject chosen with the help of their supervisor.

The programme will appeal to potential students with an interest and/or experience in the way politics, law and economics impacts on health at the global, national and local level. This includes healthcare practitioners, civil servants, lawyers, social and political scientists, and NGO workers, amongst others.

We integrate different types of teaching delivery including small group seminars and participation in public health conferences, so students will develop debating and discussion skills, and have plenty of contact with academics. Over the year, students will develop skills and knowledge that will help them to pursue a career related to global health and international development. This includes working in health and public policy at local, national, or international level, as well as in governmental and international bodies and NGOs. Our students have gone on to further postgraduate research both with the Global Public Health Unit at QMUL and other universities.

The MSc in Global Health Law and Governance is led by Dr Jonathan Kennedy. It forms part of a wider programme of study in critical global health within the Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry that is directed by Professor David McCoy, and taught by a multidisciplinary team of clinical and non-clinical academics from the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Blizard Institute
+44 (0)20 7882 5511