Sustainable Health Care


This module will explore the intersection between health care and climate change. It will introduce students to the impact of climate change on global health (bringing in conversations about climate justice and the Global North-South divide) and the impact of health care provision on climate change and the environment. Students will have the opportunity to discuss interventions that aim to tackle issues at this intersection, through critical appraisal of the research literature, real world case studies, and classroom discussion and debate. On completion of the course, students will have developed a global perspective on the issues relevant to health care and climate change. They will be able to confidently apply their learning to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions aimed at delivering health care that is sustainable for people and the planet.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 23rd May 2025. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

Course Aims

This module will cover the following:

  • History of climate change, and intersections between climate and health
  • Global perspectives, including across Global North and South
  • Climate literacy, through carbon footprint modelling, including case studies (e.g. of surgical products)
  • Development and use of Sustainability in Quality Improvement projects in health care
  • Case studies in health systems, including e.g. energy use, waste management
  • Health systems and global supply chains
  • Environment and community health
  • The role of digital technology in the search for increased sustainability
  • The translation and spread of innovations in the context of health care and climate change

Programme details

The first two weeks of this module are spent working on introductory activities using a Virtual Learning Environment. A week is then spent in Oxford for face-to-face teaching and group work (on the dates advertised on this web page). There are then a series of extended Post-Oxford activities (delivered through the VLE) over the following 4-6 weeks which are designed to support you in the preparation and delivery of the practical elements of your assignment. You will be required to submit your written assignment electronically (usually on a Tuesday at 14:00 UK Local Time).


Description Costs
Continuing students on MSc Translational Health Science £2475.00
New students enrolled on MSc Translational Health Sciences £2750.00
Short Course in Health Sciences £3175.00


Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on our financial assistance page.


If you are an employee of the University of Oxford and have a valid University staff card you may be eligible to receive a 10% discount on the full stand-alone fee. To take advantage of this offer please submit a scan/photocopy of your staff card along with your application. Your card should be valid for a further six months after attending the course.


Prof Sara Shaw

Module Coordinator

Prof Sara Shaw is a Professor of Health Policy & Practice at the University of Oxford and Senior Fellow at Green Templeton College.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module we expect students to be able to:

  • Appreciate the ways in which the climate emergency differentially impacts on health and how health systems impact on climate
  • Give a critical account of the main concepts and theories relevant to developing and adopting sustainable health care in a range of health systems and settings
  • Explain, with reference to empirical evidence and relevant theoretical frameworks, why efforts to bring about sustainable health care are challenging, and propose measures to maximise success
  • Give a critical account of the multiple interacting influences at practitioner/patient, organisational and policy and system levels that variably contribute to responses to climate change and its impacts on health

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on participation in a group presentation and submission of a written assignment which should not exceed 4,000 words.

Academic Credit

Applicants may take this course for academic credit. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for this course. Participants attending at least 80% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.

Applicants can choose not to take the course for academic credit and will therefore not be eligible to undertake the academic assignment offered to students taking the course for credit. Applicants cannot receive CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points or equivalence. Credit cannot be attributed retrospectively. CATS accreditation is required if you wish for the course to count towards a further qualification in the future.

A Certificate of Completion is issued at the end of the course.

Applicants registered to attend ‘not for credit’ who subsequently wish to register for academic credit and complete the assignment are required to submit additional information, which must be received one calendar month in advance of the course start date. Please contact us for more details.

Please contact if you have any questions.


This course requires you to complete the application form and to attach a copy of your CV. If you are applying to take this course for academic credit you will also be required to provide a reference. 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 which appear when you click on the symbols as you progress through the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application.

Selection criteria

Admissions Criteria:
To apply for the course you should:

  • Be a graduate or have successfully completed a professional training course
  • Have professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field
  • Be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices of translational health sciences within the work place
  • Have a good working knowledge of email, internet, word processing and Windows applications (for communications with course members, course team and administration)
  • Show evidence of the ability to commit time to study and an employer's commitment to make time available to study, complete course work and attend course and university events and modules.
  • Be able to demonstrate English Language proficiency at the University’s higher level


Accommodation is available at the Rewley House Residential Centre, within the Department for Continuing Education, in central Oxford. The comfortable, en-suite, study-bedrooms have been rated as 4-Star Campus accommodation under the Quality In Tourism scheme, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

IT requirements

Please ensure that you have access to a computer that meets the specifications detailed on our technical support page.