College of Medicine, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, has introduced a new Master of Science degree in Global Health Implementation (MSc-GHI). The MSc-GHI is a two-year programme housed within the department of Health Systems and Policy. The programme aims to provide learners with a greater understanding of the global interconnectedness of health problems and to equip them with knowledge and skills to analyse and address the key challenges of global health delivery. The programme also puts much emphasis on ‘local’ experiences that resonate globally in the case of Malawi. These include the influence of poverty and social change on health.
The MSc-GHI programme is designed for individuals from a wide range of disciplines and professions such as health practitioners, policy makers, health systems planners, programme managers and researchers. This multi-disciplinary inclusion of participants will enhance the classroom discussions.
The programme will run on block-release modular basis every 6-8 weeks and will adopt a multidisciplinary approach that integrates health and social science perspectives to analyse, design, implement and evaluate health programmes and policies within a global context. Learners will further be exposed to implementation science theories, frameworks and designs so that they can apply the methods to promote the integration of research findings and evidence into healthcare policy and practice.
Teaching methods include seminars, case studies, debates, problem based learning and lectures. The learners will also spend 6-8 weeks within one of the possible placement sites. During this time, it is expected that the learners will identify a global health problem, review the evidence, synthesize and provide recommendations to the host institution.
Learners in this MSc-GHI programme are expected to complete all core modules (105 credits), some elective modules (15 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). The dissertation may take one of the following formats: a) Research project: The learner may choose to conduct either a quantitative or qualitative research project (or both), where they will use rigorous research methodology to assess gaps in global health implementation; b) Intervention project: Alternatively, the learner can identify a problem, formulate a workable solution, implement an intervention and evaluate the changes that result from it; c) Policy analysis: The learner may focus on the provision of scientific evidence based advice targeted towards policy makers to help guide appropriate course of action.
However, learners who do not complete their dissertation may be allowed to exit the programme and will be awarded qualifications of Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) or Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) in Global Health Implementation accordingly.
In order to ensure maximum support to meet the learners’ needs, each learner will be allocated an academic supervisor and a dissertation supervisor who will work hand in hand with the programme Tutor and Coordinator to help guide the learners throughout the duration of their training.
The school of Public Health and Family Medicine has adequate infrastructure and has attracted renowned Global Health faculty from diverse specialities and expertise to adequately support the teaching, research and management of the MSc-GHI programme, and in particular CoM has strengthened its collaborations with international organisations allowing for research placements, data for dissertations and uptake of the learners.