Translational Science and Global Health


The importance of translational science for global health goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a global commitment to health. Much of the effort towards achieving improved health has been focused on universal health coverage, in particular in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).  However, the valuable progress made towards this goal does not necessarily improve health. Recent research suggests that more than half of excess deaths amendable to health care in LMICs are due to poor quality care, rather than to not accessing care at all.

This makes translational science central for achieving global health goals. Yet many health innovations are intended primarily for health systems of high-income countries. Even those innovations that are targeted at lower and middle-income countries often do not scale well beyond local projects, or are hindered by the lack of foundational elements of a well-functioning health system. Effective translation therefore depends on understanding and addressing the wider context for innovation implementation in specific countries and settings. The context for translation in low and middle-income countries is also particularly shaped by international organisations, including governmental institutions such as the World Bank and non-governmental organisations such as major donor charities.

Guest lecturers will include members of the Lancet Global Health Commission.

The last date for receipt of complete applications is 5pm Friday 11th April 2025. Regrettably, late applications cannot be accepted.

Course Aims

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

  • Give a critical account of translational challenges for health systems in low and middle-income settings

  • Build on other modules to set innovations in the social, cultural and systems context of specific countries and identify options for improved translation

  • Apply relevant frameworks to identify and analyse key factors for translation of health innovations for global health goals

 Research methods and techniques taught in this module:

  • Qualitative: ethnographic and interview approaches to capturing the country-specific contexts of health innovations

  • Quantitative: metrics and indicators for measuring and comparing performance within and between LMIC health systems

Examples of case studies to be discussed in this module:

  • Initiatives to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five

  • Healthy ageing in a global context

  • Improving the outcome of diabetic pregnancy

Programme details

The first weeks of this module is 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 (this takes place on the dates advertised), 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
Short Course in Health Sciences £3175.00
Students enrolled on MSc in Translational Health Science £2570.00


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.


Dr Asli Kalin

(Module Coordinator)

Dr Asli Kalin is an Academic GP (resident in family medicine) at the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, Oxford.

Dr Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen

(Module Coordinator)

Dr Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen is currently completing a Fellowship in Global Health through the Rhodes Trust and Global Health Security Consortium.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be based on performance 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.