Global Health: An Interdisciplinary Overview

Antoine Geissbuhler, Louis Loutan, Slim Slama, Didier Wernli and Rafael Ruiz De Castaneda, University of Geneva

This course proposes an overview of current global health challenges drawing on the insights of several academic disciplines including medicine, public health, law, economics, social sciences and humanities. This interdisciplinary approach will guide the student into seven critical topics in global health.

Course coordinators: Prof. Antoine Geissbuhler, MD, Prof. Louis Loutan, MD, Dr Slim Slama, MD and Dr Didier Wernli, MD, MA
Course director: Dr Samantha Battams, PhD
Course assistant: Dr Rafael Ruiz de Castaneda, PhD

Our globalised world has posed new challenges for global health. Infectious diseases have the potential to travel quickly and spread widely across countries (e.g. due to increased international travel). The determinants of health (such as the food system) are across country borders, leading to a growing burden in non-communicable diseases in both developed and developing countries. Issues in traditionally non health sectors such as climate change or trade can have dramatic and worldwide effects on health and health systems.

These short examples illustrate what Global Health is about:  issues that not only cross national boundaries but also disciplinary territories. In our interdependent world, more and more health issues cannot be addressed by a country nor by a sector alone and require collaboration, coordination and integration.

The course will draw from academic personnel working across disciplines and the wider community in international Geneva (e.g. international organisations, NGOs). It will utilise an ecological or 'systems' perspective, along with a social determinants and human rights approach to health.


Week 1. Introduction to global health concepts
Week 2. Emerging trends in global health: Infectious diseases
Week 3. Emerging trends in global health: Non-communicable diseases, mental disorders and disability
Week 4. Governance for global health, health systems and financing
Week 5. Foreign policy, trade and health
Week 6. Research, development, innovation and technology for global health
Week 7. The environment, sustainable development and health
Week 8. Summary and Assignments

Recommended Background

No background is required; all are welcome!

Course Format

This course consists of the course guide, including discussion forum activities and assessments (multiple choice questions to complete every week and a final peer assessment), along with video lectures (10-20 min in length) by a range of presenters. Your enjoyment and benefits from the course will above all depend on your participation within this course, and we very much look forward to your participation through the discussion forums and peer assessment activities.


Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class activities and final assessment will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructors. However, no credits will be awarded.

  • 7 October 2013, 8 weeks
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb


No reviews yet. Want to be the first?

Register to leave a review

More on this topic:
Download?download_frd=1&verifier=3uqqut1v6zvtirqlgoxc9nsgjbvxe0ssat8qqy2m One Health One Medicine
One Health, One Medicine: A Global Health Approach is a course for anyone interested...
Violence_chalkboard Understanding Violence
Violence is among the top three leading causes of injury and death in the US...
Pcd-001-logo Programmed cell death
Billions of cells in the body die every day. How and why do these cells die...
7-013s13 Introductory Biology (Spring 2013)
The MIT Biology Department core courses, 7.012, 7.013, and 7.014, all cover...
First-year-composition-icon600x340-_002_ First-Year Composition 2.0
First-Year Composition 2.0 will help you to develop a better process and gain...
More from 'Medicine & Health':
Regular_f248644b-1c0b-4e9c-b294-ef066289b2d1 Dysphagia: Swallowing Difficulties and Medicines
This course will enhance the knowledge of any person involved in the administration...
Regular_1b2f4f87-858c-431c-83ba-1fe09b565b3e Anatomy: Know Your Abdomen
Discover the human abdomen and how it works.
Regular_8970ea82-f91f-4d2d-ab83-4f43ce1f464f Exploring Cancer Medicines
Explore the use of medicines in treating cancer and take your first steps towards...
Regular_0e66a282-fa62-4a03-9b9f-f9805b704cc4 Caring for Older People: a Partnership Model
As our lifespans increase, more and more of us are faced with the question:...
Regular_8bbfddb5-8092-41d9-9161-f8095e9cb2e7 Discovering Science: Medicinal Chemistry
What role does chemistry play in healthcare and our ability to diagnose and...
More from 'Coursera':
Success-from-the-start-2 First Year Teaching (Secondary Grades) - Success from the Start
Success with your students starts on Day 1. Learn from NTC's 25 years developing...
New-york-city-78181 Understanding 9/11: Why Did al Qai’da Attack America?
This course will explore the forces that led to the 9/11 attacks and the policies...
Small-icon.hover Aboriginal Worldviews and Education
This course will explore indigenous ways of knowing and how this knowledge can...
Ac-logo Analytic Combinatorics
Analytic Combinatorics teaches a calculus that enables precise quantitative...
Talk_bubble_fin2 Accountable Talk®: Conversation that Works
Designed for teachers and learners in every setting - in school and out, in...

© 2013-2019