Global Health Diplomacy online course

Global Health Diplomacy online course

Negotiating health in an interdependent world

Global Health Diplomacy course partner logosAs health moves beyond its purely technical realm to become an ever more critical element in foreign policy, security policy, and trade agreements, new skills are needed to negotiate global regimes, international agreements and treaties, and to maintain relations with a wide range of stakeholders. This course focuses on health diplomacy as it relates to health issues that transcend national boundaries and are global in nature. The course discusses the challenges facing health diplomacy and how they are being addressed by different groups and at different levels of governance.

This 8-week interactive course is jointly organised by the Global Health Programme (GHP) at the Graduate Institute Geneva and Diplo. Course curriculum was developed by the GHP, led by Professor Ilona Kickbusch.

What will you learn?

  • Present the field of global health diplomacy, its history, recent development and key challenges.
  • Identify and define key concepts in global health, global health diplomacy and global health governance.
  • Discuss key cross-cutting issues of global health in relation to foreign policy, trade, climate change, human rights and other related disciplines.
  • Analyse case studies and negotiation processes at the national, regional and global levels.
  • Review examples of national and global health strategies.

How will you learn?

In this course you will interact intensively in discussions with classmates and lecturers from around the world. You will receive guidance and personalised feedback on your classwork from the course team.

How long will you learn?

The course lasts for 9 weeks:

  • 1 week of course introduction and orientation to online learning
  • 8 weeks of addressing the course topics one by one (see below for more details)


Who should apply

This course will be of interest to health attachés and health and international relations professionals in departments of international health, ministries of health, and foreign affairs and development cooperation. It may also be of interest to staff in international and regional organisations, NGOs, philanthropic organisations, universities and the private sector, and well as to post-graduate level students of international health or international relations.


The course consists of 8 modules:

Module 1: Introduction and Orientation to Online Learning
Module 2: Global Health Diplomacy, Evolution and History
Module 3: Health and Foreign Policy
Module 4: Actors, Stakeholders and Interests in Global Health
Module 5: Global Health Governance
Module 6: Key Lessons for Successful Global Health Negotiations
Module 7: Policy Coherence at National Level
Module 8: Conclusions and Wrap-up

Course lecturers

Michaela Told

Executive Director, Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute Geneva

Need more info:

DiploFoundation (attn Tanja Nikolic)

Anutruf, Ground Floor, Hriereb Street
Msida, MSD 1675, Malta

+356 21 333 323;


This course is conducted entirely online over a period of eight weeks. It is highly participatory, drawing on the national and international professional experiences of participants through a multi-disciplinary learning process.

Each module includes a text providing substantive information on the weekly topic, reading materials, video clips/internet links and other resource materials, serving as a basis for discussion. Participation will be encouraged through hypertext comments, short quizzes, and a weekly online discussion session (via a chat room) designed to allow participants to demonstrate their understanding, share experience and stimulate thinking. Participants will be asked to write a course assignment, consisting of a policy breifing paper, in order to complete the course successfully.

The course requires 7 to 10 hours of study time per week.

Participants who successfully complete all course activities will receive a course certificate issued by Diplo and the Graduate Institute.

Option for obtaining ECTS credits from the Graduate Institute, Geneva

Applicants to this course may opt to fulfill additional requirements and pay a supplementry fee in order to obtain a Certificate of Credits from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies signed by the Director of the Global Health Programme and the Director of Executive Education at the Graduate Institute. The Certificate of Credits is equivalent to 4 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits. These credits may be transferable to another institution/programme of study, depending on the policy of that institution.

Additional requirements to obtain the credits

  • Full completion of all online course requirements (participation in weekly discussion via hypertext entries on weekly lecture texts, participation in weekly online discussion sessions, successful completion of weekly quizzes, and successful completion of the course assignment).
  • Co-chairing at least one online discussion session together with the designated tutor or guest expert.
  • Completion of a policy research paper of 5000 words on a topic related to the course content and chosen in mutual agreement with the Director of the Global Health Programme. The research paper should be submitted by one month after the end of the online course. The research paper will be evaluated by the Director of the Global Health Programme or an expert designated by the Director. In order to qualify for the Certificate of Credits, the paper must receive a grade of at least 4 on a marking scale ranging from 0 to 6 (equivalent of 60% on a marking scale ranging from 0% to 100%).


All course applicants must have:

  • An undergraduate university degree; or at least two years of relevant work experience.
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies.
  • Regular access to the internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).


Fees and scholarships

The fee for this course is €950 per participant, due upon acceptance into the course.

The supplementary fee for participants who wish to obtain the 4 ECTS credits is €250. If a participant does not complete the policy research paper by the given deadline, or does not obtain the necessary score on the research paper, he or she will receive the course certificate issued by Diplo and the Graduate Institute. The supplementary fee cannot be refunded.


Apply for a certificate course

If interested in this course, please contact us at