Interdisciplinary Studies in Global Health and Disability

Lead Instructor: Beth Richan -

In Summary:

On the cutting edge of global health and disability, this study abroad program offers the opportunity for you as an upper-year student to ground your study of health and disability within the expanding context of global norms. Although this program is anchored in health studies, the program is interdisciplinary in nature and you will explore different perspectives in order to broaden your scope and understanding of global health and disability studies.

UY Course Summer Course

Course Highlights: Alert Box

  • Each course includes lectures, visiting scholars, and experiential learning opportunities focusing on a combination of studies in disability and policy in global health, global sport, healthcare innovation, health communication and/or mental health.

  • The faculty is drawn from a field of experts and experienced educators passionate about their area of expertise. And unlike many courses that look individually at global health or disability studies, this program provides a direct link between the two and is a unique program in Canadian universities.

Course Information:

In addition to the expert faculty you will have the opportunity to meet and network with representatives from world-renowned agencies, including governmental and non-governmental organizations specializing in health and disability, and discuss advancements in health, disability and policy with leading researchers, all providing exposure for internship possibilities. An experienced Health Science Librarian will provide research seminars and one-on-one support during the program.

HLTH332/3.0 Foundations for Understanding Disability: A Health Perspective

This course is designed to provide students with a solid understanding of disability and disability-related issues as they pertain to health, well-being, and quality of life. It will include an examination of the historical treatment of persons with disabilities through present day.

Prerequisite: Level 3 or permission of department (see above*).

HLTH332 is a pre-requisite for HLTH402. Students who do not have HLTH332 prior to coming to Bader College should take it as their first course in this program in place of HLTH402.

HLTH401/3.0 Interprofessional Collaborative Education

This course offers the theory and context of Interprofessional education and collaborative practice from a global policy viewpoint as well as the opportunity to develop and apply the required Interprofessional education core competencies.

HLTH402/3.0 Disability Studies: Issues, Research and Policy

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of disability studies – definitions and conceptualizations of disability, language for talking about disability, methods of studying disability issues, policy and systems affecting people with disabilities, controversial issues in disability studies. The course will include lectures, seminars, debates, field trips, student presentations.

Prerequisite: Level 4 and a minimum GPA of 1.9 and HLTH332/3.0 and registration at Bader College, or permission of the School.

HLTH404/3.0 Global Studies of Social Inclusion, Community Participation and Mental Illness

While people with disabilities continue to experience challenges to their full and equal community participation, people with disabilities in the context of mental illnesses are subject to particularly profound levels of social exclusion at a global level. This course will examine current disability discourse as it relates to mental illnesses and examine processes by which exclusion of this population occurs globally.  Issues of exclusion will be evaluated using an international focus. Theoretical perspectives will be grounded in real life examples.

Prerequisite: Level 4 and a minimum GPA of 1.9 and HLTH332/3.0 and registration at Bader College, or permission of the School.

Experiential Learning Opportunities:

As well as a multi-day midterm trip to Geneva, previous ELOs for this course have included trips to London and Cambridge


  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - a world-leading centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health.
  • Florence Nightingale Museum - examines her legacy, her influence on nursing, and the continuing relevance of her work.
  • Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability - take a guided tour with the museum's archivist
  • Bethlem Museum of the Mind - explores the evolution of mental health


  • Academic Research Panel - University of Cambridge

In addition to your academic visits you'll also visit cultural sites such as the Globe Theatre, have the opportunity to visit downtown London and go punting on The Cam in Cambridge.

Prerequisites and Exclusions:

Students who do not hold the prerequisites for the courses in this program may still be eligible for entry and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Permission to enrol in this program will normally be given if you are at third year standing and have a minimum GPA of 2.7.

Course applicable to the following Majors/Medials/Minors:

Courses in this program can be used to satisfy HLTH Major and HLTH Medial plan requirements, as well as the Certificate in Disability and Physical Activity offered by SKHS.


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