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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

NUFF3190 Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries

20 creditsClass Size: 55

Module manager: Tim Ensor

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

2 years of satisfactory completion of medical undergraduate course and selection for entry by
module leader or representative.

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. discuss different health systems as ways of addressing health needs in low- and middle- income countries;
2. describe the development of main concepts of health systems organisation and development ;
3. assess the key influences on health systems organisation and development at sub-national, national and international levels;
4. recognise and discuss individual elements of health systems (e.g. health planning, decentralisation) including their inter-relationships and effects on a wider health system;
5. apply theoretical knowledge in critical evaluation of the key components of a country's health system.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students should have:
- An understanding of key national and international influences on health systems within low and middle income countries
- Knowledge of different health systems, as ways of addressing health needs in low and middle income countries
- Understanding of the main components of health systems, including their relative roles and interrelationships

Skills outcomes
On successful completion of this module the student will have acquired:
- Ability to identify and assess the contemporary issues surrounding health systems in low and middle income countries
- Skills to critically analyse different components of health systems, including their relations, in the context of low and middle income countries


A good, fair and responsive health care system is the foundation for improving people's health. This module will introduce medical undergraduates to contemporary issues surrounding the development and nature of various health systems at national and international levels. A historical perspective will be given to the development of health systems and structures in developing countries including the involvement of different actors in issues of service delivery, financing and organisational management. Each of the key systemic issues such as governance, service delivery and resources will be explored through the application of the conceptual framework in the module and, where appropriate, illustrated through the case studies from developing countries. Current debates on 'health system change' will be discussed and exemplified drawing on ongoing research by Nuffield Centre staff into the implications of health sector changes.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment23.006.00
Private study hours154.00
Total Contact hours46.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Seminar preparation, private reading, work on the VLE, assignment preparation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Observation of class dynamics, discussions and group work - verbal feedback will be given by the teacher.
- Students' feedback - a short verbal feedback from students will be introduced at the end of each session during the first year reflecting on both the content and approach to teaching.
- Group work - verbal feedback on both the content and process will be provided by the teacher; peer review will be performed by other members within the group.
- Assignment - written feedback will be provided by the markers.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationGroup presentation30.00
Assignment2,000 words70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/12/2018 16:33:09


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