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Fundamentals of Global and Public Health


Albanese E.

Docente titolare del corso

Amati R.



Public health is the discipline that addresses health at the population level. The health status of the population and its broad determinants are the key objects of interest of public health. The main purpose of PH is to attain the highest level of health for all. As such, the challenge is grand, and the task is complex. This is why PH is a highly multidisciplinary field. Moreover, public health is an evidence-based discipline, grounded on the results of well-designed and equally well-conducted studies that use mixed methods.  

In this course, we will define and provide examples of applications of concepts and issues in population health, epidemiology, and global health. We provide an overview of public health ethics, health policy, epidemiologic methods, study designs, and conceptual frameworks from a public and global health perspective. We also provide actual examples of public health projects and programs aimed at responding to salient public health challenges. 

Finally, students will have the opportunity to apply public and global health knowledge and skills in practical and small group activities throughout the duration of the course.


By the end of the course, students must be able to:

  • Describe the fundamental elements and provide definitions of main concepts of public health and global health 
  • Understand the basics of infectious disease epidemiology 
  • Recognize, systematize and interpret public health determinants 
  • Define main concepts of, and demonstrate critical thinking of public health ethics 
  • Define main concepts of health policy, and understand the steps of policy development and implementation
  • Remember, interpret, and provide examples of health education, promotion, and prevention including surveillance, screening and vaccination 
  • Understand the framework and structure of complex interventions in public health, and know the main steps involved in conceiving, designing, and evaluating complex interventions 
  • Apply public health concepts and methods to public health challenges 
  • Get familiar with the main international global health players 
  • Define sustainable development, and understand implications and opportunities for health across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
  • Define the main metrics of global health based on the Global Burden of Disease 
  • Produce and interpret interactive figures and tables of health burden and distribution of diseases in populations 

Modalità di insegnamento

In presenza

Impostazione pedagogico-didattica

  • Frontal lessons
  • Practical group activities 
  • Assignment(s)
  • Readings

Modalità d’esame

Your final grade will be composed of four subgrades: 

  • A final exam (quizzes) that covers topics of the course will contribute to 50% of the final mark  
  • Critical readings will account for 20%  
  • An individual assignment will contribute to 20%  
  • Practical in-class group activities will account for 10%  

Detailed instructions will be given in class. 

Please, keep in mind that USI evaluations are on a 1-10 scale, where 6 is the threshold to validate the course. Evaluations may be rounded to .5 

Required Material

Students are invited to use iCorsi platform for teaching materials (slides, readings and additional material) and instructions. 

Professional integrity

Professional classroom behavior, interpersonal etiquette, and civility are expected as a matter of course and common courtesy. There will be no sharing of work unless assigned as such. Attendance is required; repeated absences, tardiness, or indolence will result in a failing grade.  

Plagiarism and cheating are serious violations punishable by sanctions including disqualification from the University. Infractions will automatically result in a failing grade in the course. A zero-tolerance policy is in effect.  

We all need safe housing, proper food, mental and physical wellness to survive and thrive. College students are at elevated risk for lacking some of these basic needs. USI provides resources to complement your study with sport, leisure, social, and cultural activities. 


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