Study online for one, two or three years to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Master’s in Global Health from the University of Manchester.

The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at The University of Manchester is proud to collaborate with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to deliver these world-class, online programmes in Global Health. Working closely with IFRC we have been able to incorporate their rich source of practical insights into the course content thus providing students with real life case studies from one of the world’s largest social movement.

Accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), this course has been developed for people working in the humanitarian sector or for those wishing to enter this field. It enables students to obtain the highest quality postgraduate education whilst maintaining full time employment anywhere in the world. All credits earned by students will be transferrable to other academic institutions.

The programme covers issues related to the worldwide improvement of health, the reduction of disparities, and protection against global threats that disregard national borders and is unique in bringing together the study of emergency medicine, disaster management, community health, anthropology and sociology of health and illness in an online format. As such it offers both a practical means of study and an inclusive approach which mirrors the reality of health interventions within a humanitarian context.

Period of study

This course has three phases. Students can undertake all three phases, or conclude their studies after phase one or two:

  1. First phase: Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Global Health (1-year). This takes place over a year (from September 2017 to August 2018) and comprises 4 x certified Masters-level 15 credit rated course modules.
  2. Second phase: Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Global Health (Comprising PGCert + 1-year PGDip). This takes place over a year (September 2018 to August 2019) and comprises 4 certified Masters-level 15 credit rated course modules.
  3. Third phase: MSc Dissertation in Global Health (Comprising PGCert, PGDip + 1-year Dissertation). This takes place over a year (September 2019 to August 2020) and comprises a certified Masters-level 60 credit dissertation

In the final year of the MSc, students undertake a dissertation. Students are allocated an individual Dissertation Supervisor, and are able to write their dissertation on a topic of their choice – or on one of the topics/themes proposed by the IFRC. Topics in these proposed areas will help the IFRC fill some of the research gaps in the area of Global Health.

On completion of the course students should be able to show a critical understanding of:

  1. Key issues and debates related to the practices of global health programming. Students will show familiarity with different theoretical approaches, practical problems and an appreciation of the diversity of policies at international and national levels;
  2. The range of social science topics which influence global health (including political, historical, anthropological understandings). Students will become familiar with the methodological and normative underpinnings of these disciplines;
  3. The analytical and policy literature concerning the related issues of global health, including economics, governance structures and institutions, the role and perspectives of the state, multilateral and bilateral agencies, international and domestic NGOs and other civil institutions;
  4. An understanding of local approaches to global health, including an awareness of the problems and critiques associated with ‘bottom up’ approaches;
  5. The development of a range of academic and professional/transferrable skills through both independent and group-based work.

In addition, completion of the dissertation will:

  • Provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity for self-managed learning through planning and conducting a programme of research on a topic related to their programme of studies;
  • Further develop students’ knowledge of a relevant body of literature, their understanding of relevant theoretical perspectives and their powers of critical reasoning;
  • Allow students to seek new research findings which, in some cases, add to the existing body of knowledge on a particular subject area;
  • Enable students to engage in a limited programme of primary data collection or to reinterpret material already available in the public domain;
  • Fully develop students’ knowledge of, and competence in, an appropriate range of research methods, including the development of a study hypothesis, an appreciation of the research methodology and analytical techniques to be utilised, the undertaking of a specific research study, the synthesis and evaluation of findings, and a clear statement of conclusions and recommendations;
  • Develop students’ writing, presentation and bibliographic skills, which involves skills in the planning and management of a long document;
  • Develop students’ experience of developing and managing a specific programme of work.

Course outline

The programme has been designed to recreate a classroom learning environment in an online format, and this course will incorporate the above perspectives in a unique online curriculum. Students will be able to engage fully with the programme content, and with their peers, via lectures, discussion boards, group work, online chat, question and answer sessions with the tutor, and through the provision of peer to peer feedback and assessment. Students can be in contact with their Dissertation supervisors through a variety of forums including those previously mentioned, in addition to telephone and Skype.

This course covers the following topics, and is delivered through a dedicated online platform:

  • Risk, vulnerability and resilience
  • Health systems and markets
  • Community approaches to health
  • Ethics, human rights and health
  • Disaster and crisis management
  • Management and leadership in health and humanitarianism
  • Diseases and trauma in developing countries: understanding an ongoing global burden of disease
  • Research methods in global health
  • Dissertation in global health

The programme will begin with an online induction session that explains how the course will progress and how students can fully engage with the curriculum and the online classroom environment. It will set out the key contacts and what each student can expect. Academic & pastoral support will be offered on-line with each student having a personal tutor who will be responsible for monitoring their progression through the programme.

A dedicated programme administrator will be responsible for dealing with day to day enquiries. Students are allocated an individual Dissertation Supervisor in their final (third) year of study.

Practical information

Who can apply

  • Red Cross Red Crescent National Society staff and volunteers working on health and resilience programmes
  • IFRC and ICRC staff
  • Other professionals who need to employ global health knowledge and expertise, or would like to work in the area of global health
  • RCRC/IFRC/ICRC staff and volunteers who would like to work in the area of global health


HCRI honours its partnership with the IFRC by offering a number of competitive scholarships and bursaries for the PG Cert in Global Health, including a bursary to which only members of the Red Cross Red Crescent Societies may apply.

  • HCRI bursary for Red Cross Red Crescent members (first year of the MSc: PG Cert)

Deadline for application: Friday 16th June 2017 (23:59 UK-GMT). Value: Half fees £1,050.

  • HCRI PGCert Global Health Bursary (first year of the MSc: PG Cert)

Deadline for application: Friday 16th June 2017 (23:59 UK-GMT). Value: Full fees £2,100.

In addition we have a number of fee bursaries for the highest performing students on the PG Cert (first year of the MSc) and PGDip (second year of the MSc).

  • PGCert Progression Bursary

Value: Half fees, £1,050 – for students progressing onto PG Dip (second year of the MSc)

  • PGDip Progression Bursary

Value: Half fees, £1,050 – for student progressing onto MSc (final year of the MSc)

These bursaries are allocated based on academic performance and therefore there is no deadline for application.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is English


The course fees for 2017 are £2,100 (pounds sterling) per participant, per phase.

The overall course fees for the full MSc in Global Health (all three phases) are £6,300 (pounds sterling) per participant.

HCRI honours its partnership with the IFRC by ensuring course fees are the same for UK and international students.

The first instalment of the fees is due once you have been accepted on the course. The remainder of the fees can be paid in a further two instalments over the course of the year. This is repeated for each phase.

Award received

Awarded by the University of Manchester:

  • On completion of first phase: Postgraduate Certificate in Global Health (60 UK Masters Level credits)
  • On completion of second phase: Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health (120 UK Masters Level credits)
  • On completion of the three-year programme: Master of Science in Global Health (180 UK Masters level credits


Course details
Launch date: 18 September 2017
Additional information
  • Bursary/Scholarship application deadline: 16th June 2017
  • Application deadline: 15th September 2017
National Society