Prevention Strategies for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Course summary

Prevention Strategies for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)


Presented by The British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention, Nuffield Department of Population Health and the Department for Continuing Education, this accredited short course is designed to:

  • Increase understanding of the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), their risk factors, determinants and prevention
  • Develop specific skills in designing and evaluating prevention strategies
  • Provide a forum to share knowledge and experience with participants and faculty

The British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention is a collaborating centre with the World Health Organization.




Exploring critical strategic challenges facing those working towards the prevention of NCDs, this six-day rich and intensive programme will be delivered by internationally renowned experts through keynote lectures, fora, group sessions and one-to-one tutorials covering the following themes:

  • Problem definition: burden of NCDs and risk factors
  • Solution generation: NCD prevention strategies and their development
  • Implementation and capacity building with individuals, communities and systems for NCD prevention
  • Evaluation and case studies
  • Policy development and implementation issues in Low and Middle Income Countries

The programme is designed for an international audience, and there is an option for academic credit.

Please note that this programme is subject to change.

Map showing previous participants by country

Map showing where previous delegates were resident when applying.

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge










Comments from previous participants:

"The course was of great benefit to me, as it was more of providing practical solutions on how to tackle the burden of NCDs. The knowledge I have gained will help me and my organisation to further devise effective, efficient, and cost effective solutions to reducing the burden of the disease in my country and globally."
Olatunde Ojo, Programme Manager, Nigerian Heart Foundation

"Great mix of participants, very good speakers and well organized time table. It was great to have individual meetings with speakers in the afternoons and discuss ideas and current issues in NCD prevention. It was also a fantastic opportunity to network with people from all over the globe, and learn from their experience."
Komal Bhatia, Student, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

"Fantastic teachers and fellow students, unparalleled in my experience. A great melting-pot for exchanging and gaining ideas."
Erik Eriksson, Graduate Student, Uppsala University

"The course was fantastic. Great mix of highly-motivated participants, very great speakers, well-structured time-table. I especially enjoyed the one-to-one sessions in the afternoons to hear ideas and thoughts on my work, that was of great benefit to me."
Masako Kikuchi, Associate Expert, Health Team 3 (South East Asia and the Pacific Islands), Japan International Cooperation Agency

"Coming to this course was truly a life transforming event as this 6 days has totally challenged my thinking on approaches of combating and mitigating against NCDS using a policy approach for population impact. The course was highly impactful with opportunities for ongoing collaboration and mentorship as we were taught by an unparalleled array of faculties drawn from all over the world with great practical experiences in this field."
Ogonna Nwankwo(MD), Department of Community Medicine, University of Calabar teaching hospital, Nigeria

"The speakers were excellent, the week was very well thought out and I leave with a much fuller picture of the global NCD landscape."
Dr Luke Allen, Harvard School of Public Health

Programme details

Teaching sessions will comprise keynote lectures, fora, group sessions and one-to-one tutorials.

Sessions include:

Introduction (12 March 2017)

  • Conceptual framework for NCD prevention: Mike Rayner (University of Oxford)
  • Keynote address: speaker to be confirmed
  • NCDs and development: Kremlin Wickramasinghe (University of Oxford)

Problem definition: burden of NCDs  and risk factors (13 March 2017)

  • Burden of NCD risk factors: Temo Waqanivalu (World Health Organization)
  • Role of modelling in estimating the burden and planning strategies: Peter Scarborough (University of Oxford)
  • Screening and surveillance: Nick Townsend (University of Oxford)
  • Social, cultural, political and economical determinants: Prachi Bhatnagar (University of Oxford) and Aaron Reeves (London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • Problem definition NCD prevention and control: Denis Xavier (St. John's  National Academy of Health Sciences, India)
  • NCD burden in marginalised groups: Emma Plugge (University of Oxford)

Solution generation: NCD prevention strategies and their development (14 March 2017)

  • NCD prevention strategies: Mike Rayner (University of Oxford)
  • Solution generation: Gauden Galea (WHO Europe)
  • Development of multi-sectoral NCD action plans: Ruitai Shao (World Health Organization) and Kremlin Wickramasinghe (University of Oxford)
  • Prioritising prevention options in complex environments: Steve Allender (WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Deakin University)

Implementation and capacity building with individuals, communities and systems for NCD prevention (15 March 2017)

  • Implementation of strategies with multiple stakeholders: Simon Capewell (University of Liverpool)
  • Capacity building for NCD implementation research: Brian Oldenburg (University of Melbourne)
  • Capacity building for NCD prevention: (Representatives from CDC, Atlanta)
  • Pressure from industry, government etc: Harry Rutter (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
  • Knowledge in to practice  to improve treatment: Pablo Perel (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Evaluation and case studies (16 March 2017)

  • Programme evaluation: Charlie Foster (University of Oxford)
  • Multi-sectorial approach and health policy change in combating NCDs in the LMICs: Prasad Katulanda (University of Colombo)
  • NCD prevention strategies and programmes: Alison Barret and Charlie Foster (University of Oxford)
  • Role of civil society and NGOs: Simon Gillespie (British Heart Foundation) and Modi Mwatsama (UK Health Forum)

Policy development and implementation issues in Low and Middle Income Countries (17 March 2017)

  • Different stakeholders for NCD prevention: Bente Mikkelsen (World Health Organization)
  • Advocacy for NCD prevention in LMICs: Dylan Collins (University of Oxford) and Celina Gorre (Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases)
  • Halving premature death: Richard Peto (University of Oxford)


This course can be taken with or without academic credit. All participants who satisfy the course requirements will receive a Certificate of Attendance. Those opting to take the course for credit and submit an assignment will also receive 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 7 (postgraduate). Credit points are recognised by employers and universities in the UK and internationally.

The pdf sample linked to above is an illustration only, and the wording will reflect the course and dates attended.


Accommodation will be at Rewley House, which has been rated as 4-Star Campus Accommodation under the Quality In Tourism scheme.


Non-residential fee: £2090.00
Residential fee: £2615.00


Residential fee (£2,615) includes:

  • Attendance at all sessions
  • Full board accommodation at Rewley House (five nights from 12 March 2017), with breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Morning and afternoon tea and coffee
  • Drinks Reception and Gala Dinner
  • Prevention Strategies for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Resource Pack
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Access to Oxford Libraries electronic learning resources
  • Internet access in study-bedrooms and at Rewley House

Non-residential fee (£2,090) includes:

  • Attendance at all sessions
  • Morning and afternoon tea and coffee
  • Lunch
  • Drinks Reception and Gala Dinner
  • Prevention Strategies for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Resource Pack
  • Certificate of attendance
  • Access to Oxford Libraries electronic learning resources
  • Internet access at Rewley House


Professor Mike Rayner


Mike Rayner is Professor of Population Health at the Nuffield Department of Population Health and Director of the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention..  The Centre, which Mike founded in 1993, is a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and carries out research in two main areas: the burden of cardiovascular disease and the promotion of healthier diets and increased levels of physical activity. ...more

Associate Professor Charlie Foster


Associate Professor Charlie Foster is Deputy Director of the Research Group and the WHO Collaborating Centre on Population Approaches to Non-Communicable Disease Prevention. He leads two British Heart Foundation funded programmes of research on physical activity and obesity. The aim of both programmes is to improve the quality of the evidence base for basic epidemiology, measurement, correlates, interventions and policy. ...more

Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe


Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe is a researcher in the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for NCD Prevention (BHF CPNP), Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford. Kremlin joined BHF CPNP in 2009 to work on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated risk factors. He also collates and produces statistics for regular publications for the British Heart Foundation.  The BHF CPNP was awarded the status of World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention in 2013 and Kremlin is the Co-Director of the Collaborating Centre ...more

Professor Steven Allender


Professor Allender has an ongoing program of research on the burden of disease and obesity prevention. Recent work has seen a particular interest in the emerging burden of chronic disease in developing countries and the possibilities for using complex systems methodologies in community based interventions. Further work is in the development and understanding of community based approaches to chronic disease prevention ...more

Dr Prachi Bhatnagar


Dr Prachi Bhatnagar's research interests are in the social and environmental determinants of physical activity and diet, particularly in how the two determinants combine to influence health behaviours. The aim is to use this research to address health inequalities at a population-level, with a particular focus on physical inactivity in ethnic minority populations. Prachi also has extensive experience in cardiovascular disease epidemiology, publishing reviews and writing annual reports on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. ...more

Professor Simon Capewell


Simon is valued as a public health “generalist”, with expertise that spans the clinical, health service, population and policy aspects of health and disease, notably around preventing non-communicable diseases.

He contributes to policy development and service work locally, nationally and internationally, including recently ...more

Dylan Collins


Dylan Collins is a Rhodes Scholar reading for a Doctor of Philosophy in Primary Health Care, based in the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine. His specific expertise and interest is in primary health care and non-communicable diseases, focusing on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in resource-limited settings...more

Dr Aiden Doherty


Dr Aiden Doherty is a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford. His research interest is in the development of computational methods to extract meaningful health information from complex and noisy sensor data in very large health studies.  This builds on experience at Microsoft Research, Dublin City University (both in computing departments) and the University of Oxford (population health and biomedical engineering). Aiden leads a research group at Oxford's Big Data Institute ...more

Dr Gauden Galea


Dr Gauden Galea is a public health physician who has worked for WHO since 1998. He has held posts as regional adviser on noncommunicable diseases in the Western Pacific Region, and as coordinator of health promotion in WHO headquarters. Dr Galea has been Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion at WHO/Europe since January 2011. He has a special interest in health promotion, in the social determinants of noncommunicable diseases, and in the links between these diseases and the development agenda ...more

Mr Simon Gillespie


Simon Gillespie joined the British Heart Foundation in 2013, following seven years as Chief Executive of the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society. He has a family connection with heart disease, and fundraises and volunteers for the BHF.

His early career was in the Royal Navy, including command of HMS Sheffield and advising government ministers. From 2000 to 2004, he was Director of Operations at the Charity Commission. He then moved to become Head of Operations at the Healthcare Commission, where he was responsible for the inspection of NHS and independent healthcare facilities in England. ...more

Ms Celina Gorre


Celina Gorre is the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases. In that role, she heads up the GACD Secretariat team based at UCL in London. Previously, Celina was the Managing Director of the Foundation for the United Nations Global Compact where she headed up the private sector funding team of the UNGC and lead the overall development and management of the NewYork-based 501(c)3 non-profit. From 2007-2009, Celina was in the field with UNFPA and UNICEF in Angola as a Senior HIV/AIDS Advisor, advising the government of Angola on its HIV strategy, child survival and nutrition programmes, and companies on their social and community investments...more

Dr Prasad Katulanda


Dr Prasad Katulanda is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo ...more


Dr Bente Mikkelsen


Dr Bente Mikkelsen is Head a.i. of the Global Coordination Mechanism on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (GCM/NCD) secretariat, responsible for leading the secretariat and the overall work of the programme. Dr Mikkelsen also coordinates the ‘one WHO’ work programme on NCDs across the three levels of the organization, including the cross-category work on NCDs. She is the cluster focal point for Gender Equity and Human Rights and for non-State actors.

Dr Karen Milton


Karen Milton has been a researcher within the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Centre on Population Approaches for NCD Prevention since January 2015. Prior to commencing this role she worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in public health at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Karen has over 10 years’ experience in physical activity and public health, across measurement, interventions, evaluation, and policy. Her primary research interest is in population ...more

Modi Mwatsama


Modi Mwatsama is a Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) and Director, Global Health, at the UK Health Forum and leads the UKHF’s work on non-communicable diseases and global health ...more


Professor Brian Oldenburg


Brian Oldenburg is Professor of Noncommunicable Disease Control and Director of the Centre for Health Equity in the School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia. He is a behavioral scientist and an expert in the prevention and control of chronic conditions. His research program focuses on health policy, global health and the prevention and control of diabetes, heart disease and mental health conditions in many different countries, most recently, in Asia and Africa ...more

Professor Sir Richard Peto


Sir Richard Peto, FRS, is currently Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, and co-director (with Professor Sir Rory Collins) of the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1989 for introducing meta-analyses of randomised trials, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1999 for services to epidemiology, and received in 2010 and 2011 the Cancer Research UK and the BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award...more

Dr Emma Plugge


Emma Plugge is the Course Director for the MSc Global Health Science and a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Public Health, University of Oxford. She graduated in medicine from the University of Cambridge and after practising as a clinician in the UK and overseas she obtained her doctorate in Public Health from the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the health of marginalised groups, particularly in Europe where she is a member of the expert group on the stewardship of prison health, Health in Prisons Programme, WHO. She is currently working on projects examining the burden of non-communicable diseases in drug users in the community and the general prison population, and assessing effective interventions for these populations. She is also investigating the health of men and women in immigration detention across the UK ...more

Dr Aaron Reeves


Aaron Reeves is an Associate Professorial Research Fellow in the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His current research is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of social and economic inequality across countries. Aaron is a sociologist with interests in public health and political economy, examining how policy, politics, and economics affect health through a number of different lenses and using a variety of methods. Prior to joining the LSE, Aaron was a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford, as well as a Research Fellow at Nuffield College, and worked briefly at the University of Cambridge. He completed his PhD (2013) in Applied Social & Economic Research with the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex. ...more

Dr Harry Rutter


Harry Rutter is a public health physician based in Oxford, England. He is a senior clinical research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a senior strategic adviser to Public Health England, an honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford, an adjunct professor of public health at University College Cork, and was the founder director of the National Obesity Observatory for England ...more

Associate Professor Pete Scarborough


Dr Pete Scarborough is a University Research Lecturer in the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention, University of Oxford. He is programme leader of the Environmental Sustainability Programme, and joint leader (with Gill Cowburn) on the Diet and Nutrition Programme ...more

Dr Ruitai Shao


Since September 2001, Dr Shao has been working at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva as a high-level expert. His areas of work include: policies, plans and strategies for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases; integrated NCD prevention and control; capacity building and NCD research for improving implementation in countries; coordinating the development of the WHO Tool and checklist for developing, implementing and evaluating the national multisectoral action plan for NCD prevention and control and providing technical support for developing, prioritizing and costing national multisectoral action plan in many developing countries. 

Dr Nick Townsend


Nick is the lead on the British Heart Foundation (BHF) funded cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology research programme. Research within this programme includes modelling the future burden of CVD, investigations into regional, social, ethnic and temporal trends in CVD and improving estimates of the incidence and other aspects of the burden of CVD ...more

Dr Temo Waqanivalu


Dr Temo Waqanivalu is currently the Program Officer, Surveillance and Population Based Prevention (SPP) Unit in the Prevention of NCD Department (PND) in WHO HQ, Geneva. The focus of the work is on providing technical guidance and support to member states on population based prevention in the areas of diet (salt reduction, obesity prevention, marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children) and physical activity.

Prior to joining WHO HQ he was Coordinator of Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) and Health Promotion of the WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support (DPS) of the Western Pacific region located in Suva, Fiji. From 1994 after graduation from Fiji School of Medicine, he worked in the Ministry of Health of the Fiji Islands and progressed through the ranks of Public Health and last held the post of National Advisor NCD before moving to WHO in December 2005 as the Technical Officer Nutrition and Physical Activity. He progressed through work in WHO to the position of Coordinator NCD and Health Promotion, the position he last held, overseeing and coordinating WHO support and providing direct technical advice in areas of NCD (including mental health) and Health Promotion and general public health to the 22 Pacific Island Countries and areas. He has also held part-time lecturer positions at the Fiji School of Medicine.

Dr Denis Xavier


Denis Xavier MD, MSc (Clin Epi, Canada), is Professor and Head, Pharmacology at St. John’s Medical College, and Head of the Division of Clinical Research and Training at St. John’s Research Institute, Bangalore, India. With Prof. Prem Pais he set up the Clinical Research Division at St. John’s in 1999 and built collaborations in about 200 Centers in India.

This collaboration is conducting observational studies and large clinical trials evaluating different drugs including polypills and the impact of non-medical health workers in prevention of CVD. To date, in 16 years the collaboration has recruited about 65,000 patients in over 30 projects with plans to recruit over 30,000. The studies include several large observational studies and multi-centre clinical trials involving anticoagulants, lipid lowering agents, anti-hypertensives, antiplatelet agents, polypills and the impact of non-medical health workers in cardiovascular prevention.

He was Principal Investigator of the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA) and UH Center of Excellence to counter chronic diseases (2009-14) in developing coutries. This includes 3 large knowledge translational studies in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and a nation-wide stroke registry. He runs courses in Health Research Methods, Biostatistics and Evidence Based Medicine. His present focus is innovative health systems research in low-income settings in heart disease and strokes.

He has published in Journals such as the Lancet, NEJM, JAMA, Circulation, European Heart Journal, Heart, American Heart Journal, Nature Cardiovascular, Indian Heart Journal etc. He reviews for the Lancet, European Heart Journal, American Heart Journal, Translational Medicine and the Journal of Experimental Biology. He is on the Editorial board of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and Nature Cardiology. He reviews for the Indian Council of Medical Research and for the Drugs Controller General of India.

Course aims

The aim of this short course is to improve the knowledge and skills of participants to strengthen prevention strategies for NCDs. The focus will be on both developed and developing countries, and there is an exchange of knowledge and experience with participants and faculty.

The course aims to help participants:

  • Increase their knowledge of the burden of NCDs, their determinants, risk factors and prevention through:
    • Discussing the current and future impact of the burden of NCDs
    • Understanding the social, cultural, political and economic determinants
    • Familiarising themselves with national and global prevention strategies
    • Analysing successful and unsuccessful case studies of programmes with the aim of preventing NCDs
    • Identifying how to strengthen healthcare and other systems to prevent NCDs
  • Developed specific skills in NCD prevention. They will have begun to learn how to:
    • Develop a national level prevention strategy
    • Develop a research proposal related to the prevention of NCDs
    • Evaluate a prevention programme
    • Set up a surveillance and monitoring system
    • Initiate a population level awareness campaign 

Teaching methods

The course will include the following types of session:

Lecture and discussion

A presentation from a member of the faculty or an outside speaker followed by a discussion.


Three or four experts will be invited to share their knowledge and /or experience. Each panel member will make a short presentation of 10 – 15 minutes, which will be followed by an interactive session with comments and questions from the audience.

Group work

Participants will be divided in to five groups. Each group will be given a case scenario or a topic to discuss. Each group will make a five minute presentation to share their conclusions with the wider group.

One-to-one faculty consultation

Faculty consultation time slots will be available on a daily basis. Participants can use this time to meet with their personal tutors or other members of the teaching team to discuss their individual projects and clarify any issues in their fields of expertise or to get advice, comments and support for new project ideas. These one-to-one sessions provide a unique opportunity for participants to meet speakers individually.

Individual projects

Each participant will be asked to select one of the following five specific skills that they would like to develop:

  • Develop a national level prevention strategy
  • Develop a research proposal related to the prevention of NCDs
  • Evaluate a prevention programme
  • Set up a surveillance and monitoring system
  • Initiate a population level awareness campaign

Participants will be assigned to a personal tutor according to the selected skill and will begin to develop a document under the guidance of that tutor.


We strongly recommend that you download and save files before completing to ensure that all your changes are saved.

This course requires you to complete the application form and the additional information form below, and submit them alongside a copy of your CV. If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also need to complete section two of the reference form and forward it to your referee for completion. Please note that if you are not applying to take the course for academic credit then you do not need to submit a reference.

Please ensure you read the guidance notes before completing the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

Level and demands

This course will be suitable for researchers, practitioners, policy makers, postgraduate students and other early career level professionals working in the field of NCDs.

Selection criteria

Applicants will need to:

  • be a graduate, and have some first-hand knowledge and/or experience of studying, researching or working in the field of NCDs;
  • satisfy the minimum required English language criteria set by the University;
  • meet the IT requirements for this course.