School of Public Health

Global Health - BSc

  • Woman sorting through rubbish


Global health has been defined as “health problems, issues, and concerns that transcend national boundaries, may be influenced by circumstances or experiences in other countries, and are best addressed by co-operative actions and solutions” (United States Institute of Medicine)

Despite major improvements in health, there are still large disparities in some parts of the world.  Since 1960, average global life expectancy has increased from 50 to 67 years, but a child born in Swaziland will only live to an average of 32 years, compared to one in Japan which has an average life expectancy of 82 years.

As the world gets smaller through international travel and migration, health issues are not confined to national borders.  An outbreak of SARS in China in 2002 rapidly spread across the globe and within 8 months involved 8422 probable cases and 916 deaths in 29 countries.

These are just a few issues that need to be tackled when working to improve health.  Future physicians should be prepared for existing as well as emerging global challenges, such as the effects of climate change on health and the global chronic disease epidemic.

During this one year degree 4th year medical students will gain a global perspective on the distribution, determinants of and variation in health, disease, healthcare, and medical practice. 

The course was launched in September 2010.


Applications for the intercalated BSc degrees are completed online. For further details, please see the BSc page.

External  Students

If you are studying in another UK medical school, you may obtain your BSc at Imperial via a one-year course in Year 4 of the Imperial MBBS course. The main eligibility requirements for undertaking an intercalated BSc at Imperial are that you:

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Virtual tour Student testimonials


"This is the ideal course for anyone with an interest in global public health. The lecturers are inspiring and the passion for their work is contagious. The modules are well structured with the right balance of lectures, seminars, debates and self-directed learning. My fellow students were the highlight of the course; all were approachable, sociable and genuinely enthusiastic about global health "

  • Joseph Fitchett, BSc Global Health graduate