Global Health and Humanitarian Medicine course FAQs

About the course

You need to have:

  1. A degree in Medicine (MBBS or equivalent) from a medical school recognised by the UK General Medical Council in any country
     
  2. A minimum of two years clinical experience working as a medical doctor (excluding mandatory internship).

We will prioritise your application if you have worked in or intend to work in poor-resource settings and/or humanitarian crises.  

The London based course, GHHM UK, is available to medical doctors in:

  • Africa
  • Europe
  • and the Americas. 

The Delhi based course, GHHM South Asia, is available to medical doctors in Asia and Oceania, including:

  • Central Asia
  • South Asia
  • East Asia China
  • Middle East
  • Southwest Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Australia
  • and New Zealand. 

Places are not allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.   

A scoring system is used to grade each application. Higher scores will be given to applicants working in or those with experience in the fields of humanitarian/tropical medicine. A panel of academicians, clinicians, and humanitarian aid professionals then review each application and make the final decision on which candidates are to be offered a place on the GHHM course.  

The course is designed only for medical doctors.

The course is open to all medical doctors, irrespective of their workplace.  

The GHHM course is highly demanding and there is a strict attendance requirement.

If you're undertaking any other full-time courses or have other pressing professional commitments, we encourage you to defer your application for GHHM.  

The course is organised through the MSF UK office in London and MSF South Asia office in New Delhi. 

MSF UK directly collaborates with the Infectious Disease Department of the Hospital of the Royal Free London (RFL) NHS Foundation Trust. 

MSF South Asia with the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry.  

MSF UK and MSF South Asia intends to develop a new partnership with an academic partner in West Africa. 

When possible (dependent on COVID-19), the required in-presence parasitology and entomology laboratory trainings will be offered at: 

  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) 
  • University Medical Centre (UMC) Amsterdam 
  • National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) of Johannesburg 
  • Welcome Trust Laboratory of CMC Vellore  
  • Microbiology Departments of Kasturba Medical College (KMC) Manipal and of JIPMER in Puducherry. 

Funding

Fees for the GHHM UK and GHHM South Asia are determined according to your country of residence.

The below tiers are based on World Bank income classifications.  

  • £2,760 for students residing in the European Economic Area or a High-Income Country. 
  • £750 for students residing in Upper Middle-Income Countries. 
  • £650 for students residing in Lower Middle-Income Countries. 
  • £550 for students residing in Low-Income Countries. 

Check the Tier list to find out which tier you fall into.  

The cost of the parasitology course is included in the GHHM course fee.

Depending on international travel restrictions students may be asked to travel for the parasitology lab days, the costs of travel and accommodation will be the responsibility of the student.

This also applies to the costs of travel and accommodation should the Royal College of Physicians decide to hold the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene exam in person at the host sites in the UK and India.  

No, there is no payback period associated with this course and you do not need to work with MSF once you have completed the course.  

Once you have received an offer of a place on the GHHM course we can discuss payment options with you.

There are options to make one full payment or pay your course fees in instalments. If you decide to pay your course fees in instalments payments must be complete by the end of the calendar year.  

Course structure

It is a 10-month course that starts at the end of June and finishes at the end of April.

This is predominately an online course, which requires you to attend a webinar/lecture on a real-time basis.

The classes run from 18:00-22:00 GMT/BST every Wednesday evening. 

The lectures can be accessed remotely using Microsoft Teams or Zoom on a computer or a mobile phone. 

There are teaching days on weekends in December 2022 and April 2023. An additional two teaching days may be incorporated into the course for the 2022/2023.

Outside of structured learning time, you'll need to spend approximately one to two hours dedicate to self-directed learning per week.   

You must also attend one of the laboratory-based training sessions of a minimum of 16 hours.

We offer laboratory training at our Royal College of Physicians UK accredited laboratories in London, Johannesburg, and Amsterdam.

The ability to offer in-person laboratory training will depend on the progress of the current global COVID pandemic, if we are not able to offer in-person training we will run the parasitology training online. We have carried out successful online training for our last two cohorts.  
 

The course broadly covers the syllabus for the DTM&H examination with an additional focus on working in humanitarian contexts. Course topics include:  

  • Tropical Diseases and Parasitology  
  • Public Health  
  • Maternal and Child Health  
  • Humanitarian crises / Complex Emergencies  
  • Non-Communicable Diseases.  

Additionally, there are 16 hours of face-to-face Basic Microscopy and Parasitology Training at one of MSF UK’s collaborating institutes.

The requirement of in-person parasitology training is contingent upon the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted this training virtually for the last cohort.  

No, all classes will be held online via Zoom this year due to the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The only face-to-face element of the course is the 16 hours of Basic Microscopy and Parasitology training. This is delivered by Royal College of Physicians UK accredited laboratories in London, Johannesburg, and Amsterdam.

The ability to offer in-person laboratory training will depend on the progress of the current global COVID pandemic.

If we are not able to offer in-person training we will run the parasitology training online. We have carried out successful online training for our last two cohorts.

The GHHM UK is delivered as a part-time course.

Students require a minimum average of eight hours per week to participate.

There are also additional teaching days on weekends in December 2021 and in March 2022.  An additional two teaching days may be incorporated into the course for the 2022/2023.   

  • Weekly lectures are a minimum two and a half hours commitment. 
     
  • You'll be expected to contribute to online moderated classes as part of a group of students from across the globe, which equate to a minimum two-hour commitment. 
     
  • The weekly activities require a minimum two-hour commitment each week to complete and submit. 
     
  • Self-directed learning requires an additional one to two hours of self-directed learning per week.   

You must also attend one of the laboratory-based training sessions of a minimum of 16 hours.

We offer laboratory training at our Royal College of Physicians UK accredited laboratories in London, Johannesburg, and Amsterdam.

The ability to offer in-person laboratory training will depend on the progress of the current global COVID pandemic. If we are not able to offer in-person training we will run the parasitology training online. 

Overall, commitment to the GHHM course is the equivalent of a three-month full-time study commitment.  

Inability to participate adequately during the course will result in not being certified to sit the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene exam.  

Yes, on successful completion of the course MSF will provide a certificate of completion.

To complete the GHHM you must: 

  • Have 70 percent attendance in the weekly webinars
     
  • Contribute to 70 percent of the online group activities
     
  • Participate in the 16 hours of parasitology laboratory training
     
  • Participate in the mock exam, typically scheduled for late December.  

If you do not meet the minimum attendance criteria you will not pass the GHHM and will not be eligible to apply to undertake the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene exam.  

You must contribute to 70 percentage of the online group activities.

Failure to meet the minimum attendance criteria (detailed under the above heading) means you will not be eligible to sit the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  

Attending basic microscopy and parasitology training (online or in-person) is mandatory for completing the GHHM.

If you cannot attend, you will not be eligible to sit the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene examination and your GHHM course will remain incomplete.  

  

Like all part-time courses, enrolment to the GHHM course requires consistent effort and time, along with your other professional and personal commitments.

You should proactively schedule six to eight hours per week across the length of the course to complete GHHM course requirements. This will include:   

  • Preparation for and participating in weekly lectures.  
  • Contributing to online moderated classes as part of a group of students.  
  • Completing weekly activities and quizzes.  
  • Self-directed learning.  

For each group activity, there will be a deadline for completion; you will have to complete that activity before the deadline.

Your contribution to the group activity is marked as attendance.  

Examination and course completion

The Royal College of Physicians, UK, conducts the exam.

Learn more about the exam by visiting the Royal College of Physicians UK website and downloading the:

  • Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene regulations 2018 update
     
  • Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene addendum to examination regulations November 2021

.  

The Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene exam is held once per year. It consists of: 

  • Two 50 questions ‘best of five’ papers, designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of tropical medicine and hygiene (1.5 hours per paper). 
     
  • A parasitology/entomology ‘short answer’ paper (1.5 hours). 
     
  • A preventive medicine ‘short essay’ paper (1 hour). 

All four papers are delivered online via Royal College of Physicians’s software partner, Orzone. All four papers are completed on the same day, with suitable breaks scheduled between each paper.

Full details regarding what to expect on an exam day can be found in the Online Examination FAQ in the downloads section at the bottom of the exam information page on the Royal College of Physicians website

 

Candidates will be permitted a maximum of six attempts at the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene exam within five years of passing an approved Tropical Medicine course.

After six attempts, a candidate will be required to undertake additional educational experience for each re-sit and submit evidence of this.  

The 2022 fee for applying to complete the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene exam is £400. This may increase in 2023.

No, it is not mandatory. 

Yes, as long as you have completed the GHHM course successfully.