Wednesday, June 24, 2009


A new online distance learning programme - launching October 2009 - applications open February 2009

Non communicable diseases are one of the key health challenges of the 21st century. They disproportionately impact on the poor and vulnerable within all societies, they threaten socioeconomic development, and destroy the health of millions. A small group of risk factors cause this massive burden: tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise. All of these risk factors are preventable

AIM: This new MSc will provide a knowledge platform for clinicians, policy makers, health planners, donor agencies and NGOs to understand the global burden of non-communicable disease, and to share promising and effective practice in managing risk factors, and in promoting innovative practices in treatment and care. It will equip participants with the skills to measure the local burden of diseases, and to formulate and implement local strategies to address these.

Programme outcomes - enabling professionals to:
• contribute to raising the priority accorded to non communicable diseases in development work at global and national levels

• learn together and work together to promote interventions to tackle the risk factors

Course participants will be able to engage with, and feel connected to a global community of practice of learners, practitioners and teachers maximising the opportunities to promote partnerships for the prevention and control of non communicable diseases.

Non communicable diseases
Non communicable diseases which include diabetes, mental illness, cardiovascular conditions (mainly heart disease and stroke), cancers, and chronic respiratory conditions) account for about 60% of all global deaths, 80% of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries. Without concerted action it is estimated that some 388 million people worldwide will die of one or more non communicable disease in the next 10 years. WHO estimate that “the greatest increase will be seen in the African region (27%) and the Eastern Mediterranean region (25%). The highest absolute number of deaths will occur in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia regions”

The MSc International Health: Non Communicable Diseases seeks to provide some of the tools to put into practice the WHO 2008-2013 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases.

WHO 2008-2013 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases
• map the emerging epidemics of noncommunicable diseases and analyse their social, economic, behavioural and political determinants

• reduce the level of exposure of individuals and populations to the common modifiable risk factors
• strengthen health care for people with noncommunicable diseases by improving access to essential standards of care and developing guidelines for cost-effective interventions projects


Programme structure
Online and part-time, this programme is designed for working professionals. Participants learn part-time over 3 years towards the MSc; with 3 terms per year. Terms are 11 weeks long, split into two blocks of 5 weeks with 1 week in between for independent study. Study commitments amount to 15-20 hours per week during the term. This framework is designed to fit in with the part-time nature of this course.

Further information More details of the programme will be available from the Graduate School Website at

To find out more about the programme, including scholarship availability visit

The programme commences in September 2009. Interested applicants must apply by 24 July. In the first instance please contact the MSc Programme Director Dr Liz Grant for further information or


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