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Instructor: Beth Richan

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Available as a half year course Winter 2020, Winter 2021

Humanitarian crises due to natural disasters, armed conflict, disease outbreaks and other threats are growing contributors to ill-health worldwide. The on-going effects of crises on health and health systems can destabilize and cripple years of social development progress. Problem based learning will act as the cornerstone to discover, examine and assess the contributors and risk factors of populations affected in complex environments and contexts due to humanitarian crises from a health perspective. Case studies, evolving current events, and experiential learning will be utilized throughout the term to anchor course content. 

HLTH 397 Health in Humanitarian Crisis is one of three HLTH courses offered at the BISC during the winter term as part of a discipline specialized cluster. This course along with HLTH 350 Topics in Global Health, and HLTH 397 Global Health: Challenges in Non Traditional Security, make up the specialized cluster. This cluster is open to all upper year students who meet the prerequisites.

Prerequisites: Level 3 and a minimum GPA of 1.9 and registration at the BISC

Exclusion: None

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, students will be able to

  • demonstrate an understanding of principles, rights and duties for governing humanitarian aid in a crisis setting
  • apply transferable knowledge and skills to health and humanitarian responses and the coordination between host governments, the UN, and humanitarian agencies
  • analyze the risk factors to the physical, mental, and social health in refugee camps and host communities
  • examine objectives, priorities, processes, and minimum standards in human health response during emergency and post-emergency phases of crises.

Course materials

Journal articles, book chapters and other reading materials available on onQ

Experiential learning opportunities (ELOs)

ELOs in HLTH 397 will focus on student engagement outside of the classroom, including a series of visits to organizations and/or museums to proposed locations in Paris France and Berlin Germany. Applying classroom theory to practical experience provides students with transferable and critical thinking skills situating them for future study or professional careers.


Assessment in HLTH 397 is designed so that students consolidate concepts and gauge their progress throughout the term.

  1. Participation and professionalism 20%
  2. Field Studies (ELO) Reflection           25%                 
  3. Synthesis Seminar Presentation           20%
  4. Research Paper                                            35%
Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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