Masters level online courses in Global Health: PGCert, PGDip and MSc

Study online for one, two or three years to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Master’s in Global Health from the University of Manchester.

Bursary/Scholarship application deadline: Friday 31st July 2020 (23:59 UK-GMT)

Start date:  Monday 21st September 2020

The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at The University of Manchester is proud to collaborate with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to deliver these world-class, online programmes in Global Health. Working closely with IFRC we have been able to incorporate their rich source of practical insights into the course content thus providing students with real life case studies from one of the world's largest social movement.

The fully online programme has been developed for people working in the humanitarian sector or for those wishing to enter this field. It enables students to obtain the highest quality postgraduate education whilst maintaining full time employment anywhere in the world. All credits earned by students will be transferrable to other academic institutions.

The programme covers issues related to the worldwide improvement of health, the reduction of disparities, and protection against global threats that disregard national borders and is unique in bringing together the study of emergency medicine, disaster management, community health, anthropology and sociology of health and illness in an online format. As such it offers both a practical means of study and an inclusive approach which mirrors the reality of health interventions within a humanitarian context.

Period of study

This course has three phases. Students can undertake all three phases, or conclude their studies after phase one or two:

  1. First phase: Completing a total of 60 credits (15 per module) will allow you to graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Global Health.
  2. Second phase: Completing a total of 120 credits (15 per module) will allow you to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Global Health.
  3. Third phase: Complete 180 credits, including a 60 credit dissertation, will allow you to graduate with an MSc in Global Health.

In the final year of the MSc, students undertake a dissertation. Students are allocated an individual Dissertation Supervisor, and are able to write their dissertation on a topic of their choice – or on one of the topics/themes proposed by the IFRC. Topics in these proposed areas will help the IFRC fill some of the research gaps in the area of Global Health.

Course outline

The programme has been designed to recreate a classroom learning environment in an online format. Students will be able to engage fully with the programme content, and with their peers, via lectures, discussion boards, group work, online chat, question and answer sessions with the tutor, and through the provision of peer to peer feedback and assessment. Students can be in contact with their Dissertation supervisors through a variety of forums including those previously mentioned, in addition to telephone and Skype.

This course covers the following topics, and is delivered through a dedicated online platform:

  • Risk, vulnerability and resilience
  • Health systems and markets
  • Community approaches to health
  • Ethics, human rights and health
  • Disaster and trauma in developing countries
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Management and leadership in health and humanitarianism
  • Diseases and trauma in developing countries: understanding an ongoing global burden of disease
  • Research methods in global health
  • Dissertation in global health

Year 3, students should also be able to:

  • Demonstrate your capacity for self-managed learning through planning and conducting research on a topic related to your studies and field of interest
  • Develop your knowledge of a relevant body of literature, understanding of relevant theoretical perspectives and powers of critical reasoning

Practical information

Who can apply

  • Red Cross Red Crescent National Society staff and volunteers working on health and resilience programmes
  • IFRC and ICRC staff
  • Other professionals who need to employ global health knowledge and expertise, or would like to work in the area of global health
  • RCRC/IFRC/ICRC staff and volunteers who would like to work in the area of global health


HCRI honours its partnership with the IFRC by offering a number of competitive scholarships and bursaries for the PG Cert in Global Health, including a bursary to which only members of the Red Cross Red Crescent Societies may apply.

  • HCRI bursary for Red Cross Red Crescent members (first year of the MSc: PG Cert) 

Deadline for application: Friday 31st July 2020 (23:59 UK-GMT). Value: Half PG Cert fees £2,100.

  • HCRI PGCert Global Health Bursary (first year of the MSc: PG Cert) 

Deadline for application: Friday 31st July 2020 (23:59 UK-GMT). Value: Full PG Cert fees £2,100.

In addition we have a number of fee bursaries for the highest performing students on the PG Cert (first year of the MSc) and PGDip (second year of the MSc).

  • PGCert Progression Bursary

Value: Half fees, £1,050 - for students progressing onto PG Dip (second year of the MSc)

  • PGDip Progression Bursary

Value: Half fees, £1,050 - for student progressing onto MSc (final year of the MSc)

These bursaries are allocated based on academic performance and therefore there is no deadline for application.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is English


The course fees for 2020 are £2,100 (pounds sterling) per participant, per phase.

The overall course fees for the full MSc in Global Health (all three phases) are £6,300 (pounds sterling) per participant.

HCRI honours its partnership with the IFRC by ensuring course fees are the same for UK and international students.

The first instalment of the fees is due once you have been accepted on the course. The remainder of the fees can be paid in a further two instalments over the course of the year. This is repeated for each phase.

More information

Further information can be found on:

If you have a specific enquiry, please address it to and it will be forwarded to the most appropriate person.