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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HECS3280 Global Maternal Health

10 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Phoebe Pallotti

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students must understand the normal physiology of labour and appreciate how maternity emergency situations are managed. This could mean completion of HECS2189, HECS2190 and HECS2191. Similar preparation from the nursing EU portfolio or medical training in obstetric and maternity care or other professional courses will be acceptable. A background reading list will be provided prior to the start of the course.

Module replaces

DOME3034 Essentials of Assisted Conception

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Global maternal health is a key priority for government and non-governmental organisations as a means to improve overall population health. This module will discuss a range of public health strategies to develop the students understanding of issues in global maternity. The role of global organisations working in maternity will be explored. Skills useful in supporting women from low-resourced countries will be theoretically introduced. Issues such as iatrogenic harm in highly resourced countries (for example the increasing caesarean section rate in the USA) will also be considered. Content will cover infectious diseases as they relate to maternity, fertility control, women's health rights, and cultural and social status that affect women and their babies.


This module will extend students' understanding of international health and public health policy development. Students will examine factors that cause disparities in health status, health resources, and access to health information and health services, particularly for those in low resource countries. This module will help students working in a multi-cultural healthcare service to better appreciate the disparities in health of the women in their care, and will be of practical and intellectual value. This module will also be attractive to those who may wish to seek employment abroad in this field. The module will also consolidate learning from elective placements undertaken in low-resourced countries.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Critically evaluate global maternal health initiatives
2. Discuss the challenges and solutions in global maternal health
3. Understand and evaluate techniques for the management of pregnancy and birth in low resource countries.
4. Evaluate the impact of the burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases for low income countries on global maternal health.

Skills outcomes
Appreciation of the management of maternity emergencies in a low resourced settting.

Political insights into the development of maternal health for women globally.


Overview of global initiatives: Identify the difference between global humanitarian responses and development initiatives, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

Maternity care in a troubled world: Humanitarian response to disasters as related to maternity care and outcomes. This will include care of women during migration and diaspora.

Global challenges: Understand the current debates in global maternity and how they may apply in both low and high resourced settings. This will include rising caesarean section rates, Female Genital Mutilation and contraception and reproductive health choices.

Clinical skills in a low resourced setting: Identify alternative clinical management of maternity adverse events and emergencies in a low resource setting.

Cultural and social aspects of maternity: Identify and discuss cultural and social challenges to accessing maternity care in a global including the role of women's rights and feminism in global maternal health.

The burden of disease: Discuss the implication of infectious and non-communicable diseases on maternal health in low and highly resourced settings.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning62.0012.00
Independent online learning hours6.00
Private study hours71.00
Total Contact hours23.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students will undertake 6 hours of online self-directed learning activity which constitutes one hour of pre-reading per taught session. They will also undertake 12 hours of online formal learning using blended learning techniques (VLE classrooms and formative quizzes) as they work through topic areas covered in the syllabus. They are expected to complete 71 hours of reading and preparation for their assessment which will be directed towards their topic of choice.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be offered formative assessments on each of the six taught sessions via blended learning. For each of the six sessions (two lectures and four seminars) there will be a further two hours of formal online exploration of the topics using a VLE ‘classroom’ with a summative (MCQ) assessment at the end, marked by the tutor. The six topic areas relating to a taught session and a blended learning exercise will be as follows:
- Overview of global initiatives
- Maternity care in a troubled world.
- Global challenges
- Clinical skills in a low resourced setting
- Cultural and social aspects of maternity
- The burden of disease
Students will also be required to produce formative group work on a topic of their choice during the taught seminar sessions. Both peer and tutor feedback will be provided for this seminar presentation.

Monitoring of student progress:
Class discussion and debate and academic supervision. Formative assessments on the online content and on the taught content will be undertaken after each subject has been covered. These will comprise of MCQ's and group presentations.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 word article100.00
PresentationFORMATIVE: group presentation in seminars0.00
In-course MCQFORMATIVE: one per topic area via blended learning (6)0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The article will be in the format of a discussion paper as if presented in an academic journal and be related to a topical issue around improving maternal global health.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/07/2016


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