POPLHLTH 715 : Global Public Health

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores global health from a public health perspective, with a strong emphasis on health and its determinants in developing countries. Topics covered include the global burden of risk and disease, global environmental challenges to health, international health governance, international healthcare financing and international health promotion.

Course Overview

This course is an introduction into the key health governance institutions that are central to decision making and actions in the field of global health. We are fortunate to be able to draw upon local and international expertise across a range of key global health topics. Each year the course is reconfigured to reflect current priorities in global health while preserving emphasis on the core principles. Now we turn our attention towards establishing the foundation for why global health is New Zealand's business, examining the linkages between major global health concerns (e.g. climate and obesity) as well as examining the mechanisms for ensuring accountability for the effective use of scarce resources to benefit the health of all populations.

The course occupies four full days spaced at approximately monthly intervals. Although the course outline indicates that there will be lectures, seminars, and required coursework components, underpinning this is an educational philosophy that you and your fellow classmates have a valid and valuable contribution to make to our collective learning. We, therefore, encourage your contribution to debates, in-class activities, and online discussions. This teaching style reflects our view that effective learning occurs when students are active participants rather than passive observers. The approach combines lectures, case studies, and discussions drawing on the experience of students and guest speakers. Small group sessions are used to carry out specific exercises and for discussion purposes. Students are also required to present prepared material in class.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Course Coordinator
Professor Judith McCool 
Associate Professor
Email: j.mccool@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 2372
Course Administrator
Mrs. Jessica Buxton
Group Services Administrator
Email: jessica.buxton@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 9015

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Master of Public Health

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and describe the globally distributed determinants of risks to health, including those that lie outside the health system. (Capability 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8)
  2. Analyse and compare the various frameworks that underpin global health, including the right to health, health equity and the SDGs (Capability 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8)
  3. Understand and critically evaluate the roles played by the various global health governance organisations, including the World Health Organization, non-governmental and philanthropic organisations; (Capability 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  4. Discuss the complex systems that underpin the delivery of global health initiatives, including for example, global health governance, financing and global priority setting. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  5. Understand and explain the difference in distribution of the global burden of disease (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Critical Review 25% Individual Coursework
Viewpoint 40% Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Group Coursework
Synopsis 15% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Critical Review

Workload Expectations

For this course, you can expect 30 hours of lectures, and tutorials are set up as required by students. 

It is suggested for this course that three to four hours be set aside to prepare for each session. Overall, a 15 point postgraduate course is estimated to require 10 hours a week over a 12 week semester, including campus attendance, reading, assignments, study and exams.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at all scheduled activities to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including seminars will not be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events including group discussions.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The core textbook for this course will be notified to students at the time of enrolment for the course.
Students are provided access to online course pages in CANVAS which is the University’s online Learning Management System. These pages give the course outline, objectives for each session and recommended reading. All PowerPoint presentations and additional course materials are available through CANVAS.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Suggestion to add depth not breadth in the topics covered.
Start each day with foundation then add case studies.
Add content on demography and population / over population.
Suggest make the course 5 days (shorter) than 4 days.
Support for IT in the room.
More closely link assessments to course content.
Edit Canvas page.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.