MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine | University of Oxford
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MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine

About the course

The MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine is a full-time one-year multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programme examining major challenges to the health of populations in resource-limited contexts. The course is embedded within the Oxford Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine.

The course aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the major global health problems in resource-limited settings and their potential solutions; knowledge and skills in research techniques applied in the analysis of global health problems, including quantitative and qualitative research methods, with opportunities for training in additional specialist fields; capacity to critically appraise evidence in global health; skills and practical experience in researching specific health problems in resource-limited contexts.

The first term will consist of core topics on research methods, an overview of some major global health challenges, and topics related to the research and practice of global health. Core modules include:

  • Paradigms and Tools for Global Health (including epidemiology, statistics, health economics and social sciences for health)
  • Challenges and Change in International Health
  • Global Health Research and Practice

Core material will be assessed by two unseen papers in Week 0 of Trinity term.

During the second term, in addition to some continued core content, you can select two of the following six module options for further study:

  • Advanced Topics in Tropical Medicine
  • Vaccinology
  • Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
  • Field Epidemiology
  • International Development and Health
  • Health, Environment and Development

You will submit two 3,000- to 4,000-word essays in 0th Week of Trinity term in relation to your chosen optional modules.

The third term will involve a funded eight week placement with a global health project in a resource limited setting. Projects represent the range of subjects covered in the course. The department has established a series of projects to choose from, hosted by the Oxford Tropical Network in various geographic regions. The research project will form the basis of a 10,000-word dissertation to be submitted eight weeks after return from placement.

Graduate destinations

MSc students are expected to eventually assume leadership roles in global health - be that in governments, non-governmental organisations and/or academic institutions. A series of career events will be made available throughout the year and skills-building activities integrated in the curriculum to support the various trajectories you may pursue.

An alumni network and virtual learning environment will be established to continue support of MSc graduates beyond their time in Oxford.

Related courses

Changes to the course

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. For further information, please see our page on changes to courses.

Entry requirements for entry in 2017-18

Within equal opportunities principles and legislation, applications will be assessed in the light of an applicant’s ability to meet the following entry requirements:

1. Academic ability

Proven and potential academic excellence

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in a relevant field. Relevant fields include all allied health professions degrees, any basic science, international development, international relations, human geography, anthropology.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC).

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other appropriate indicators will include:

Supporting documents

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview(s)

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.  

The interview panel will comprise three senior academics and the interview will last no longer than 30 minutes. All shortlisted applicants are interviewed via Skype.

Publications

Publications are not required.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

Experience of global health issues including at least one year's experience in a resource limited  context; The one year's experience may include all work related to global health including work with government and non-governmental organisations.

2. English language requirement

Applicants whose first language is not English are usually required to provide evidence of proficiency in English at the higher level required by the University.

3. Availability of supervision, teaching, facilities and places

The following factors will govern whether candidates can be offered places:

  • The ability of the Nuffield Department of Medicine to provide the appropriate supervision, research opportunities, teaching and facilities for your chosen area of work
  • Minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to Oxford's research and taught programmes.

The provision of supervision, where required, is subject to the following points:

  • The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Nuffield Department of Medicine and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff
  • Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include sabbatical leave, maternity leave or change in employment.

4. Disability, health conditions and specific learning difficulties

Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Decisions on admission are based solely on the individual academic merits of each candidate and the application of the entry requirements appropriate to the course.

Further information on how these matters are supported during the admissions process is available in our guidance for applicants with disabilities.

5. Assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgment of at least two members of academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and additionally must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent departmental persons or bodies).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

6. Other information

Whether you have yet secured funding is not taken into consideration in the decision to make an initial offer of a place, but please note that the initial offer of a place will not be confirmed until you have completed a Financial Declaration.

Resources

The MSc International Health and Tropical Medicine is embedded within the Oxford Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine in the Medawar Building on South Parks Road. Teaching takes place within the Medawar Building.

In addition to the core curriculum, you will benefit from communication training including preparation of policy briefs to be presented at the Houses of Parliament, debate training and a public debate at the Oxford Union, leadership training and team building workshops. In addition, a series of sessions will be organised with senior, internationally-recognised figures in global health. Sessions will be outside the structure of lectures and seminars for core modules, intended to provide stimulating materials to integrate global health thinking and perspectives. In addition, you will have the opportunity to attend research seminars across the University.

All students enrolled on the MSc will be provided with a laptop and specialised software for the duration of the course and will receive membership of the Oxford Union.

You will have access to the Knowledge Centre, the Cairns Library and the Radcliffe Science Library. The Knowledge Centre on the Old Road Campus provides a wide range of papers and electronic resources in international health. The Cairns Library at the John Radcliffe Hospital, in addition to providing a wider range of journals, books and electronic resources also provides dedicated courses in evidence-based practice, search skills and learning support materials for library users. Finally, you will have full access to the Radcliffe Science Library.

Funding

There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available across the University, and these cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs. If you apply by the relevant January deadline and fulfil the eligibility criteria you will be automatically considered. Over two thirds of Oxford scholarships require nothing more than the standard course application. Use the Fees, funding and scholarship search to find out which scholarships you are eligible for and if they require an additional application, full details of which are provided.

Full funding opportunities are available for all Medical Sciences Graduate School programmes, whatever your nationality. The Medical Sciences Graduate School website provides further details of these, as well as information about external funding opportunities.

You may also be interested in departmental funding opportunities. Further details can be found on the department's website. 

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2017-18

Fee status

Tuition fee

College fee

Total annual fees

Home/EU
(including Islands)
£13,545£3,021£16,566
Overseas£31,935£3,021£34,956

The fees shown above are the annual tuition and college fees for this course for entry in the stated academic year; for courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Tuition and college fees are payable each year for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay tuition and college fees).

For more information about tuition fees, college fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our dedicated webpage for details on the impact of the result of the UK referendum on its membership of the European Union.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees and living costs.  However, as part of your course requirements, you may need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Please note that, depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your tuition and college fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2017-18 academic year, the range of likely living costs is between £1,002 and £1,471 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our Living costs page.

How to apply

It is not necessary to contact a potential supervisor or other academic staff before you apply.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

CV/résumé

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Personal statement:
Up to one page

In your statement you should describe why you are applying to this course, how your past studies and work are relevant to the course, what specific aspects of the course interest you and how this MSc will be important for your future career.

You should also demonstrate experience working both in the field of global health in a resource-limited context and in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.

This will be assessed for your reasons for applying.

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, academic preferred

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

References should usually be academic, though professional references are also acceptable.

Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation to work in a resource-limited context, ability to work in a group.