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University of Geneva

Global Health: An Interdisciplinary Overview

University of Geneva via Coursera


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.


  • Introduction
    • Welcome to Global Health: An Interdisciplinary Overview! This course consists of the course guides, including discussion forum activities and assessments, along with presentations by a range of presenters, from the University of Geneva, The Graduate Institute, WHO, UNDP, WTO, IUCN, Medicines Patent Pool, among others. You will benefit from the insights and perspectives of multiple contributors involved in global health research, teaching, policy and practice across disciplines and sectors. 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. Enjoy the course!
  • Introduction to Global Health concepts
    • This module will introduce the concept of global health. Global health is a relatively new field and there is currently some debate over its definition.
  • Emerging Trends in Global Health: Infectious Diseases
    • There are 7 parts to module 3. Lessons 3 & 4 are both introductory sections that describe key concepts necessary to understand infectious diseases and how we deal with them. Lesson 5 constitutes the core lesson of module 3. This lesson focuses on the current global situation and future challenges for the most prominent infectious diseases of the world. In lessons 6-9 we discuss neglected tropical diseases, re-emerging infectious diseases and epidemics/pandemics. Finally, lesson 10 and 10b summarize module 3 in a set of key conclusions.
  • Emerging Trends in Global Health: Non-Communicable Diseases and Disability
    • In this module we consider the rise of non-communicable (NCDs) diseases across countries, along with mental disorders and disability.
  • Governance for Global Health, Health Systems and Financing
    • This module is concerned with the global health system (which refers to responses to health conditions or the prevention of these) and the management of this system through global health governance.
  • Foreign Policy, Trade and Health
    • Health policy has undergone profound changes during the last few decades. Although health has for a long time been an issue in international relations, it was for most of the 20th century perceived as a national and technical matter. This meant that solutions to health problems were seen to require primarily scientific and technological collaboration rather than political commitment. Along with the dramatic changes associated with globalisation, health is increasingly seen as a higher priority on international political agendas. In Module 6, we discuss what triggered this political ‘revolution’ and its implications.
  • Research, Development, Innovation and Technology for Global Health
    • This module addresses the lack of attention to research and development for medicines and technologies for diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries and all the issues related to drug development and intellectual property rights.
  • The Environment, Sustainable Development and Health
    • In this module we consider the relationship between the environment, sustainable development and health.

Taught by

Rafael Ruiz De Castañeda and Antoine Flahault


4.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at Coursera based on 470 ratings

Start your review of Global Health: An Interdisciplinary Overview

  • David Yinger
    The lectures are very interesting, as are the instructors. However, passing the quizzes is not an easy feat; many questions are "select all that apply" without partial credit and without helpful feedback. So, while it was interesting, thick accents make understanding difficult and the quizzes are very frustrating.
  • This is an impressive and comprehensive overview of a certainly-grand topic and field. I highly recommend this course to those who want to pursue graduate studies and work in this discipline. The quizzes are quite challenging and appropriately demand your full attention to the lectures.
  • Anonymous
    Loved it. If you're interested in global health, this course offers a deep yet easy to understand review of this multidisciplinary subject.

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