Fall 2020 - HSCI 486 D100

Senior Seminar in Global Health (3)

Class Number: 6331

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    90 units, including at least 15 upper division HSCI units. Other prerequisites may vary according to topic.



Treatment of current global health issues. Students will examine several topics from theoretical, methodological and policy perspectives.


This senior seminar course provides an overview of key topics related to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and resultant coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as a global governance challenge requiring collective action across all countries.  The course begins with an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic, its likely origins, and key factors contributing to patterns of global spread.  The course then reviews the global response to the pandemic to date, focused on the role of the World Health Organization and national governments, existing legal frameworks and key interventions.  The varied responses to, and differential impacts of, the pandemic on specific populations (e.g. countries, socioeconomic groups, gender, race) are considered.  Lessons for mitigating these impacts, within a global health perspective, are drawn to guide future global outbreak preparedness.


By completing the requirements of this course, it is anticipated that students will be able to:
1.  define the key features of the COVID-19 pandemic as a global health crisis;
2.  explain the varied responses and differential socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic on population health worldwide;
3.  critically assess the existing institutional arrangements that comprise the global response to the pandemic; and
4.  identify the collective action needed during a public health emergency of international concern and the ways to improve future global outbreak preparedness.


  • Student-Led Presentation 30%
  • Mid Term Assignment (Policy Brief) 30%
  • Final Assignment (Reflection) 30%
  • Participation 10%


This course consists of 13 sessions delivered on-line via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra through a combination of assynchronous and synchronous teaching.  Lectures (60 minutes) are pre-recorded and made available at least one week before the relevant session.  Students are expected, at a time convenient to them, to watch the relevant lecture and read the two required readings BEFORE each week's session.  The class will then meet together each week on-line for two hours (Tuesdays, 12:30-2:30 pm Pacific Time).  Students should come to these on-line sessions prepared to ask questions about the lecture and take a quiz to check their learning (20 minutes).  The remainder of the on-line session will involve a mixture of activities and discussions (30 minutes) and student-led presentations (60 minutes).  The final week (Week 13) will be a mandatory 3-hour on-line synchronous session to conduct a simulation exercise.  All sessions will be sound recorded and made available to students afterwards.



There is no required textbook assigned for this course given the broad scope of the topics covered and timeline of the events covered.  All course readings assigned are made available via SFU Canvas or on-line (URL provided).  A course syllabus, with a full list of required and recommended readings, will be posted in late August.  The instructors will also upload many of these readings onto SFU Canvas prior to the start of term.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).