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Global Health Policy




Admissions requirements

At least one 100-level course in the GPH major


This course gives students an in-depth, interdisciplinary examination of contemporary global health policy issues and actors. A range of actors from governments, multi-lateral organizations, civil society and the private sector are involved in agenda-setting in global health. To understand how people’s health and wellbeing are shaped by public health policy we need to examine the interplay between these different actors.

In the field of health policy, there are a multitude of complex political and socio-economic dynamics and a certain level of uncertainty that makes predicting outcomes of particular problems difficult. Yet decisions still need to be made based on the evidence at hand. Providing good analysis that is data-driven and technically sound is an important part of the political process. Complex health policy problems facing policy makers will be discussed. Over the block, we will examine how and why policies are developed and how the role of research, development of evidence and measurement strategies inform the health policymaking process.

Course objectives


  • Describe the major perspectives and methods used to analyse health care policy.

  • Discuss how policy both creates and solves public health problems.

  • Describe the policy process for improving the health status of populations

  • Utilize theories of policy making to develop policy proposals that address public health challenges

  • Assess health policy problems and health policy-related research.

  • Practice good teamwork

  • Effectively community your ideas and arguments in writing and presentations


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Student Lead Discussion
Videos and Podcasts
Case Studies
Guest Speakers


Participation: 10% (weeks 1-7)
Policy Blog Posts (35%)

  • Health Policy News Story: 9% (week 2)

  • Global Health Meeting Blog Post: 9% (week 3)

  • Debate Blog Post: 9% (week 5)

  • Peer Review of 2 Blogs: 8% (week 6)

Escape Room/Theatre Production: Students will be assigned a topic, country and international organization during first week. The following assessments will be based on this overall assignment.

  • Individual Stakeholder Analysis: 10% (Week 4)

  • Group Presentation and Discussion: 15% (Week 7)

  • Group Script: 20% (Week 8)

  • Individual Reflection: 10% (Week 8)

Please note:

  • In accordance with article 4.8 of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER), within 30 days after the publication of grades, the instructor will provide students the opportunity to inspect their exams/coursework.

  • There is a no re-sit policy at Leiden University College.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

  • Closser, Svea. Chasing polio in Pakistan: why the world's largest public health initiative may fail. Vanderbilt University Press, 2010.

  • Walt, Gill. "Health Policy: An Introduction to Process and Power." (1994). (select chapters)

  • Other readings made available via Blackboard


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact