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Edinburgh Global Health Academy

Online learning


  1. Who can apply to this programme?

  2. What is the application procedure?

  3. What are the Fees - Bursaries / Scholarships?

  4. What are the computer requirements?

  5. What is it like being a distance learning student?

  6. How do I access the course?

  7. What about plagiarism?

  8. How is the course assessed?

  9. How will I benefit from joining this programme?

  10. What is the course duration and expected study commitments?

  11. Concurrent study

Who can apply to this programme?

Applications for this programme are welcome from anywhere in the world.

Prospective students are required to be biomedical, medical, public health and veterinary personnel or have a 2.1 honours degree in a relevant bio-science topic. Applicants who fall below the University of Edinburgh entry requirements but have relevant work experience may be considered on a case by case basis.  The postgraduate Certificate and Diploma in Global Health and Infectious Diseases may appeal to a wider audience, including persons with appropriate experience from working within the human or animal health sectors.

All courses are taught in English, therefore it is important that students have an adequate command of English in order to benefit fully from their postgraduate study. If English is not your first language you must provide evidence that your spoken and written English are adequate to enable you to cope with your studies.

What is the application procedure?

The online MSc programme in Global Health and Infectious Diseases is now open to applicants. Details on how to apply online can be found at:

The University of Edinburgh online postgraduate prospectus also contains information relating to the applications process, this includes details on Scholarship Funding and Finance for postgraduate students ( ). You may also find the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine guide for prospective postgraduate students helpful.

Before submitting your application please be prepared to upload the following documentation:

  • Upload your Degree Certificate or Formal Letter from your university if you have yet to graduate (any offer of a place would then be conditional on providing final documentation following graduation)

  • Upload a final Degree Transcript (or Interim Transcript if not yet graduated)

  • Upload one acaemic reference; this document must be on headed paper, dated and signed by the referee). If it is a while since you graduated you could request a work-related reference; your line manager would be an appropriate referee in this situation. Further details and document templates can be are provided here:

  • If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of proficiency in English eg. IELTS or TOEFL - see further at this URL:

If you experience problems uploading your documents please try to keep documents small to improve processing time and close all other internet programmes.  It would be helpful if you would name all documentation appropriately e.g. Transcript, Reference 1. If documents fail to upload (e.g. page not found message returned) it is likely to be the result of your local internet connect capabilities.

In addition, you can upload up to two additional documents that are relevant to your application and not specified above e.g. if you hold more than one degree you may upload an additional degree certificate. If you have any problems with your application, please contact a member of the programme team:

What are the Fees - Bursaries / Scholarships?

Both home and overseas students will pay this same flat fee. The 2017-18 fee rates applied to all students who commenced a new year or other period of study on or after 1 August 2017. Fees are subject to annual revision and are typically increased by approximately 5% per annum.

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees increase every year. This annual increase should be taken into account when you are applying for a programme.

Payment of tuition fees is dealt with by the Finance Department; details of how payment can be made can be found at their website:

If you need to discuss payment of fees you can reach the Income Section on +44(0)131 650 9214 or email them at

Scholarship information is available from the Scholarships and Finance office ( and on our scholarships webpage.

What are the computer requirements?

The MSc in Global Health and Infectious Diseases is an online course, as such the programme is accessed over the internet through the University of Edinburgh web site. Therefore students will need to have access to a PC and the internet.

We will be assuming that students have the following:

  • Access to a PC and a familiarity with the operating system

  • Access to the internet through an up-to-date web browser. Students are expected to log on a minimum of 3 times a week, courses will be designed so that materials are accessible irrespective of the speed of the modem and the Internet Service Provider.

  • Familiarity with the internet (the ability to search, access and navigate through web pages).

  • For full access to all feature of the Learn9 virtual learning environment a version of the Java Runtime Environment is also required to be installed; for example, the Java 2 Runtime Environment version 1.4.3 or 1.5 (except 1.5.0_02) from Sun Microsystems. This software can be downloaded for free from the Sun Microsystems site (

What is it like being a distance learning student?

As a postgraduate student at Edinburgh University you will have access to excellent resources and be able to take advantage of the University’s academic tradition which values and promotes individuality and independence of thought within research.

As a distance learning student your overall learning experience will be enhanced and more flexible as a result of the unique course design and its delivery via the internet. During term time, you should be prepared to spend an average of 20 hours a week engaged in course materials, be that reviewing lecture notes and case studies, interacting with fellow students and the programme team on the discussion board, researching areas of interest or preparing assignments.

The programme is designed in such a way that, with access to a computer with an internet connection, you will be able to study at the times and in the places which suit you best. Although the programme involves independent study, you will also have the opportunity to become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from all over the world. Indeed one of the most important aspects to successful online study is the ongoing support and sharing of information achieved through interactive discussions and input from expert tutors.

Postgraduate students are blogging about their current research, public engagement work, activities away from University and life as a student in Edinburgh; Kiki Oluwarore is one of our GHID students, sharing her experiences as an online student.

Read Kiki's blog

Kiki Oluwarore: I'm an online Masters student in Global Health and Infectious Diseases; and thanks to the Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship for helping me get started. Simultaneously, I’m a Health and Development professional based in Nigeria and I love reading, writing, travelling, playing board games and lots of music! Scroll through my notes to get a glimpse of my Edinburgh online journey.

How do I access the course?

All courses are taught by distance learning, using the virtual learning environment Learn9 as the delivery platform. Each course combines independent study, online peer discussion, reflective learning, interactive tutorials, written assignments and critical reviews to develop an understanding of the important concepts and principles of Global Health and Infectious Diseases.

Students access courses in Learn9 using the MyEd student portal – the gateway to web based services for students including access to the library, email and your online course in Global Health and Infectious Diseases . Course materials are protected by secure username and password access.

A demo of MyEd is available at:

More information about MyEd can be found at:

What about plagiarism?

"Plagiarism is the act of copying or including in one's own work, without adequate acknowledgement, intentionally or unintentionally, the work of another, for one's own benefit."

Plagiarism is a serious disciplinary offence and even unintentional plagiarism can be a disciplinary matter.  Plagiarism is therefore taken very seriously the University of Edinburgh.

In order to deal with this problem, many schools within the University use the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) plagiarism detection software. The plagiarism detection service is an online service hosted at that enables institutions and staff to carry out electronic comparison of students' work against electronic sources including other students' work. The service is managed by The University of Northumbria on behalf of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and is available to all UK tertiary education institutions by subscription.

The plagiarism detection service works by executing searches of the world wide web, and extensive databases of reference material, as well as content previously submitted by other users. Each new submission is compared with all the existing information. The software makes no decisions as to whether a student has plagiarised, it simply highlights sections of text that are duplicated in other sources. All work will continue to be reviewed by the course tutor. Once work has been submitted to the system it becomes part of the ever growing database of material against which subsequent submissions are checked.

The software is used as a tool to highlight any instance where there is a possible case of plagiarism. Passages copied directly or very closely from existing sources will be identified by the software and both the original and the potential copy will be displayed for the tutor to view. Where any direct quotations are relevant and appropriately referenced, the course tutor will be able to see this and will continue to the next highlighted case. There is an on-line demonstration of the system available at or alternatively a description of this service is available as a PDF at the following URL

The Global Health and Infectious Diseases programme provides all students with access to a self-directed learning course on plagiarism, to help our students understand and overcome the pitfalls of plagiarism.

How is the course assessed?

Assessment in the first and second year will be based upon written and online work.

Formal summative written assessment will constitute 60% of the student’s grade for both core and elective courses. These written assessments will not only test the student's understanding and assimilation of the taught course content but will also focus on supporting and furthering a variety of translational skills such as presentation and scientific writing.  

Online assessment will incorporate a variety of activities; including discussions in both a synchronous and asynchronous environment of set assignments such as a journal club, group work or real time simulation exercises.  Students may also be required to keep an online reflective personal portfolio.  The performance in these activities will constitute 40% of their overall course grade and is taken to represent a formative assessment of learning throughout the programme. Progression on the programme is dependent on satisfactory performance at each level of award.

The degree of MSc will be awarded following successful submission and examination of the written reflective element of this programme; this is an assignment of 10-15,000 words. The University of Edinburgh's postgraduate common marking scheme will be used (assessment of dissertation component).

Candidates gain the given number of credits required for a degree award incrementally in each academic year. Credits required are as set out in the Scottish Qualifications Framework and incorporated into University’s Curriculum Framework. Progression on the programme is dependent on satisfactory performance at each level of award.

Students may choose to graduate after one year with a Postgraduate Certificate in Global Health and Infectious Diseases (60 credit points comprising two compulsory 20 credit courses plus two 10 credit elective courses. It is also anticipated that some students will wish to exit the programme at the completion of the taught components and prior to the written reflective element (120 credits entitle the candidate to a PG Diploma).

How will I benefit from joining this programme?

The greatest benefit of distance learning is that students are able to learn and develop essential knowledge and skills without disruption to their careers and the costs of studying away from home. Students who enrol in this postgraduate programme will graduate with a qualification from an internationally recognised institute, the University of Edinburgh.

The courses are open to students world wide thus the learning potential of interaction between yourself and the other professionals who enrol in this programme cannot be underestimated. We aim to develop a world wide virtual e-community through which discourse and ideas can be exchanged, enriching the study and understanding of Global Health and Infectious Diseases and enhancing the careers of those involved.

The aim of this programme is to provide advanced qualifications for biomedical, medical, public health, and veterinary personnel.  The course is designed to instruct students in the practice of formulating and implementing strategies and programmes aimed at renewing and strengthening scientific knowledge development and building human capital.

Cross programme contact with other online students is encouraged through commonly themed events and online conferences.

Course duration and expected time commitments

The programme in Global Health and Infectious Diseases is a part time postgraduate course, with completion to MSc level within 3 years. During term time, you should be prepared to spend an average of 20 hours a week engaged in course materials, be that reviewing lecture notes and case studies, interacting with fellow students and the programme team on the discussion board, researching areas of interest or preparing assignments.

More information on course duration can be found within the course information section of this web site.

Concurrent studies

With the exception of those to whom special permission has been granted by both the College and the relevant committee of Senatus to pursue studies with a view to obtaining a professional qualification, candidates must not, during the period of their registration, take courses or pursue studies in this or in any other institution with a view to obtaining any degree, diploma or professional qualification other than the one for which they are registered in this University.


The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.