"Today, good and evil are inseparable because we know about both. But is it enough simply to be informed? Are we condemned to be largely spectators? Can we affect the course of events?” Sebastião Salgado. 2001.
Everyone involved with medicine will come across some aspect of international health in their career, whether they will recognise it as such is less certain. This degree can benefit anyone going into medicine, whether, for example, they intend to pursue a career in surgery in the UK or wish to work at an international level. The course will introduce you to the great breadth and depth of international health, though it cannot hope to cover all that makes up international health. This might fuel a career in international health, some time working abroad, or it might just make you a better doctor in this country.
Why study this course
The course is designed to equip you with researcher skills for the future as well as developing your knowledge of the topic of international health.
Semester one in the autumn consists of three specialist modules covering international health with one larger module covering research methods (both theoretical and applied). Semester two involves a research project that can be conducted anywhere in the world. This will be devised in semester one and written up for the end of semester two.
All students will be provided with at least one nominated academic supervisor to support their research activity and will also have access to research and statistics support through dedicated research clinics.
We have attracted students from all over the country to study in Birmingham for this year long course. Equally, we have had students undertake an extremely diverse range of work in countries all round the world, including the UK.
On completion of the degree students should have knowledge and understanding of:
•the definition of international health and the range and depth of topics important to the subject
•key topics in the area of international health such as healthcare organisation, the role of pharmaceutical companies, the effects on health of migration and conflict etc.
•commonly used research methods and data analysis techniques within health and medicine
•how research methods are applied to inform on the health of the population (epidemiology) and the management of international health issues
•an understanding of the practicalities of conducting research in a range of settings
•the legal and ethical frameworks of medical research
In addition to enhancing knowledge and understanding, we believe our teaching methods, with emphasis on feedback and easy access to support, strongly support development of the following skills and attributes:
•the ability to critically read and appraise research evidence
•the ability to produce scientifically valid research
•the ability to manage a research project from conception to completion with enhanced project management skills which will be transferable to other aspects of your career
•the ability to effectively communicate your ideas or scientific findings through a range of commonly used presentation mechanisms including oral presentation, poster presentation, production of a journal article and essay writing
•enhanced independent learning skills
•greater awareness of team working and skills to support this in clinical and academic settings
•improved ability to think logically and broadly about a range of problems, drawing on a variety of disciplines to support arguments
“The guest lecturers have been so varied and completely widened our horizons”
“..it was one of the most rewarding things that we have ever done”
“Your enthusiasm and obvious love for teaching has made the course both challenging and incredibly inspirational”
“There should be more International Health sessions in the [main] course”
“All sessions have been great”
“The range of speakers was fantastic”
“This is a great course, I have learned a lot, but most of all it has been incredibly interesting”
“I still feel there is more I could have learnt”
“I’m sad it’s over”
This is a full-time course running for one academic year. The programme requires completion of 120 credits as follows:
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods
International Healthcare Organisation and Finance
Communicable diseases in International Health
Non communicable diseases in International Health
International Health Research Design
International Health Research Project
This is the module list for 2012, but the programme continues to evolve and you should check the website regularly for any changes for next year.
Fees and funding
Standard Fees Apply
All students are entitled to reclaim up to £500 project expenses for conduction of their research. Claims must be accompanied by original receipts. Further to this students who incur travel costs are eligible to apply for an Arthur Thompson Travel Award (up to £500). Applications for these awards will be considered at the end of the programme of study and are not guaranteed. These sources of funding are available to all students irrespective of their primary University of study.
All students who are registered on the MBChB or Dental Programmes at the University of Birmingham are eligible to apply for a bursary to support them during their period of study. The intention to apply should be indicated on the application form and students expressing an intention will receive further information. Bursaries are currently set at £3,000 and are limited. Students with an overall mean mark of <65% in year 2 of their programme of study are unlikely to be awarded a bursary.
Our funding sources mean that we are unable to offer bursaries to students from outside of Birmingham.
The College usually receives an invitation each year from the Royal College of Physicians to submit a limited number of applications for their Wolfson intercalated programme. The deadline for this is usually the end of March which means the programme needs to shortlist by mid-March. Bursaries are up to £5000 and are nationally competitive. Our students have a very good record in securing such awards. Any student interested in applying needs to contact the Admissions Tutor (Dr Lesley Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 31st of January in the year in which they plan to apply.
Eligible students should:
Demonstrate a consistent and outstanding academic track record (an overall mean mark >70% in year 2 and consistently high marks in other years. N.B. Because of the need to show consistent academic achievement it is expected that students will be in year 3 or 4 at the time of application. A second year applicant who can demonstrate excellence may be considered but should contact the admissions tutor at the earliest opportunity to discuss this).
Be applying for an intercalation in one of our science programmes (International Health, Psychological Medicine or Public Health and Population Sciences). As this bursary relates to science projects students on humanities programmes (Health care ethics and law and History of Medicine) should not apply (but should make contact with the relevant programme lead to enquire whether there are any discipline specific bursaries currently available nationally).
Have a research focus or area of interest (Support will be given during February to develop this into an application).
Be prepared to work on their application (including designing a research project) during February and early March.
All eligible students who express an interest will have the opportunity to meet with the Admissions Tutor to discuss the application and receive guidance in drafting an application. Further to this there will be the opportunity to submit one draft application by the 28th February for comment. All students will then be required to submit their application by the specified deadline (varies annually but likely to be mid-March). Students will be informed if their application has been selected for submission to the Royal College within 2 weeks. Any student submitted will receive an early and unconditional place on the programme. Unsuccessful applicants will be able to use their work in their application for an internal bursary.
Applications for this programme will be accepted from students wishing to intercalate after year 3 or 4 of their medical studies.
Applications From Students Not Currently Registered at Birmingham
We are happy to consider applications for any of the programmes within the Population Sciences and Humanities subjects from students from other institutions. We have a strong track record over recent years in supporting these students and facilitating integration into their new institution.
Applications from students from other universities should be made on our standard application form| and must be accompanied by a transcript of marks from your current institution. Should an offer of a place be made to you further admission forms will be sent from the University via our Course Administrator.
We are always happy to discuss our programmes with students from other universities. If you have any queries or wish to discuss the opportunities available to you in Birmingham please contact us.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply