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Global Health: Human Health and the Environment

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Global Health: Human Health and the Environment


The closing date for applications to start this course in September 2024 is 31 July 2024. Further detail here.

Course options

Key information

Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees*: £10,600

International/EU fees**: £20,500

Key information

Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees*: £10,600

International / EU fees**: £20,500

View this course

The course

Global Health: Human Health and the Environment (MSc)

The Global Health masters curriculum addresses existing and emerging health challenges of the modern age and offers two pathways, a social-science focused MA as well as a data, natural and physical sciences focused MSc as an exit route. Both will equip you with sound knowledge and understanding to navigate to a career that will intersect with healthy environments and healthy people and shape our shared future.

The Global Health: Human Health and the Environment MSc course promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the challenges of the Anthropocene: environmental change, climate instability, urbanisation, shifting geopolitics, changing demographics, sustainability, biodiversity and development.

You will work collaboratively to examine fundamental challenges and cover the role of environmental factors and international agencies, including via our strong links to partners in the Global South. With a choice to focus either on post-industrial societies of the Global North or on developing societies of the Global South, and to the realisation for all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), your studies will help to define and shape a more sustainable future for all.

You will study at our biodiverse campus in Surrey, and undertake fieldwork and hands on practical time to develop the skills needed for your chosen career, from opportunities to undertake research projects with partners around the world, to undertaking placements with policy, NGO, business and overseas academic partners.

One Commonwealth Shared Scholarship is available to an eligible student studying this masters covering full tuition fees, maintenance and travel, terms and conditions apply. Application deadline Thursday 14 December, 4pm. Find out more

The Department of Health Studies is a hub for world-leading research, knowledge exchange and public engagement and you will be taught by international research leaders across a broad range of topics, with options to acquire real-world experience through projects and placements as part of an embedded approach to developing your employability and transferable skills.

You will benefit from individual attention, stimulating teaching to inspire and challenge you, and the flexibility to explore your own interests.

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Core Modules

Term 1 and 2
  • Key skills and research methodology for global health
  • Key concepts in global health: (un)healthy space of the Anthropocene
  • Global Health Systems
  • Food security and basic human needs
  • Sustainability of the Environment
  • From examining global patterns in food production, global agricultural policy and the impact of business and economics, our students will gain a rounded view of food security in the 21st century. Students will then focus on scientific developments in food production including seed science, novel crops, plant breeding, genomics and agri-tech including robots, AI, machine learning and use of drones within agriculture.(30 credits)

  • Advanced skills: science communication, presentation and writing
  • Human rights and research ethics
  • This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.


Term 3
  • Global Health Dissertation

A programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and independent learning, both online and in-person will include a strong presence from visiting lecturers and guests from professions and the Global South, combined with practical experience and peer-group learning. You will be encouraged to work together in small teams from the beginning of the course to plan joint projects and to develop as both an individual, as a team researcher and as a project manager.

Throughout your studies you will develop career-focused skills such as preparing and presenting verbal and written briefings, visualising results, summarising key findings, project planning, advocacy and tactics for communicating with the public, media and policymakers.

The course has a project element which will involve students undertaking primary data collection outside of the classroom, when our team-oriented approaches will ensure that those for whom such activities are challenging, due to mobility or other physical challenges, family commitments or working patterns are not excluded.  Secondary data analysis and desk-based research will be equally valued and will provide opportunities to hone skills that are valued by employers.

Your final research project in term 3 will be an opportunity to conduct independent research, supervised by experts from Royal Holloway and our international partners. This will be written up in the style of a scientific paper, policy brief or business plan, with the potential to be published in an academic journal or by an internationally renowned think tank. You will present your findings at a conference with other students and supervisors at the end of the course. 

We invite students from a wide range of scientific, social science and humanities backgrounds to be considered, whether they are coming from an undergraduate degree or relevant work or volunteering experience (at least five years in a relevant field preferred).

Eligible backgrounds include Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Conservation Science, Earth Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geography, Health Science, Horticultural Science, Plant Science, Soil Science, Epidemiology, Genetics, Medicine and Healthcare.

Applicants coming straight from undergraduate studies will be expected to possess, or be expecting to attain, a UK 2:2 (Honours) degree or international equivalent in subjects listed above.  Applicants coming back to education from a career or volunteering experience should have at least 5 years’ work experience in a related field. Applicants with experience in other subjects, such as social sciences and economics, should contact the Course Lead to be considered, especially if they can demonstrate relevant training and/or professional vocational experience.

International & EU requirements

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
  • Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C
  • TOEFL iBT: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
  • Duolingo: 120 overall, 135 in Literacy, 135 in Production and no sub-score below 100.

This exciting new masters has been designed to equip a new generation of global health practitioners with the skills to address social science and environmental challenges locally and globally.

A masters in Global Health develops a wide range of employability skills. They include:

  • Communication skills: through writing essays, project and laboratory reports, and the final dissertation, as well as modules on communicating science to the public, media and policymakers.
  • Presentation skills: from your participation in field trips, to presenting your ideas at seminars and tutorial groups, responding to questions and framing questions.
  • Analytical skills: developed through your engagement with a range of materials including scientific evidence, government reports, and academic literature and media sources.
  • Research skills: interpreting and locating sources from books to field environments around the UK and further afield, and using appropriate methodologies whether it is interviewing, data analytics or measuring biodiversity.
  • Time management skills: organising your studies, working under pressing and fulfilling work-related commitments as part of your masters course.
  • Team working: developed during field trips and collaborative projects
  • Worldly experience: as a student of global health, you will gain extensive experience of different cultures and environments.

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £10,600

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £20,500

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis in the academic year 2024/25. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.

Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase all postgraduate tuition fees annually, based on the UK’s Retail Price Index (RPI). Please therefore be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration), and that this also means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. For further information, please see our terms and conditions.

** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more 

*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

One Commonwealth Shared Scholarship is available for this course, apply by 14 Dec - find out more here.

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