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Unit information: Health Policy in a Global Context in 2015/16

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Unit name Health Policy in a Global Context
Unit code SPOL30055
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Payne
Open unit status Open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores key factors involved in the global distribution of health including differences in life expectancy, mortality and morbidity between and within countries. The unit examines relationships between health and policy, focusing on formal health systems and health finance, health worker migration, the role of intergovernmental organisations, the impact of globalisation and global restructuring on health policy. We look at the role of global health governance in addressing key variations in health and the determinants of health, and the impact of transnational companies on health. The unit also discusses theoretical frameworks to explain the persistence of global health inequality, the role and relevance of different intergovernmental and transnational actors, and the limitations of global health governance.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The key learning outcomes are follows. Students are expected to be able:

  • To understand the meaning of health policy and the various ways in which health services are delivered around the world
  • To identify the role of various global organisations in shaping health experience
  • To understand the relationship between changing patterns of health and illness and wider processes of global restructuring
  • To understand the major determinants shaping health care in different parts of the world
  • To draw on different theoretical perspectives in discussion and critique of global health governance

Teaching Information

Lectures and seminars.

Assessment Information

Assessment will be against the programme criteria defined for the appropriate level.

Formative assessment: One 2000 - 2500 word essay

Summative assessment: Level H – 3 hour unseen exam in January

Reading and References

  • Haynes, L. Legge,D. et al. (2013) Will the struggle for health equity and social justice be best served by a Framework Convention on Global Health? Health and Human Rights 15, 1, 111-116
  • Kent B, Hein, W and Drager, N. (eds) (2009) Making sense of global health governance : a policy perspective Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Kruk ME. (2012) Globalisation and global health governance: Implications for public health. Global Public Health 7: S54-S62.
  • Dodgson, R., Lee, K & Drager, N. (2002) Global Health Governance: A conceptual review. Centre on Global Change and Health, LSHTM & WHO
  • Global Health Watch (2012) Global Health Watch 3: An Alternative World Health Report
  • Prah Ruger, J. (2011) “Shared health Governance” American Journal of Bioethics, 11, 7.