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LSHTM launches a new postgraduate programme in Global Health Policy – LIDC interviews the course director

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has just launched a new Masters and Postgraduate Certificate by distance learning in Global Health Policy, due to start in September 2011. LIDC talked to Dr. Justin Parkhurst, the course director.
LIDC:  Justin, congratulations on launching this exciting new programme. Could you tell us more about the rationale for creating a programme in Global Health Policy?
JP: Sure. Nowadays there is increasing emphasis on global health issues - new diseases emerge and the global health landscape is changing with the emergence of new actors, e.g. foundations. LSHTM wants to address this growing interest in global health and policy issues. Currently there is no such programme offered via distance learning, so there is definitely a gap to fill.
LIDC: What will students learn during the programme?
JP: Core courses will cover various aspects of global health policy: economics, politics, environmental change and cross-cutting issues. In addition, students will be able to choose from a range of electives, for instance modules on specific health conditions such as malaria, HIV/ AIDS and TB, or on particular health policy issues.
LIDC: LIDC has recently released a report on the importance of distance learning in training health professionals. Do you think this course, because of its distance learning nature, can help medical professionals based in developing countries improve their skills and knowledge? 
JP: Definitely. This course is perfect for learners based outside London or outside the UK. It will cover many aspects relevant to medical professionals based abroad, such as planning, decision-making and policy, in the global context.
LIDC: Who should apply and what are the entrance requirements?
JP: You mentioned the medical profession earlier, but actually the course is aimed at a wide range of candidates who are interested in global health policy and decision-making. Some of them will have health or medical backgrounds, but others will have backgrounds in international relations or international policy.

Detailed entry requirements can be accessed via our website, but in short: we are looking for a good honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in a relevant subject (we interpret this quite broadly), interest in global health policy and a minimum of one year of relevant professional experience - and again, we are quite flexible in what constitutes ‘relevant’ experience.

LIDC: Thank you.