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Meet the Global Challenges pathway leaders

On each Global Challenges pathway, you’ll be taught by experts from a variety of different traditional areas.

As part of your degree you will study across the ‘core spine’ of Global Challenges, which is compulsory for all students. Here you’ll use creative thinking and research to look at the overarching theme of Global Challenges and the key questions of how the people of tomorrow will face, analyse, and manage the changing world. Creativity takes courage so we’ll challenge you to look at the world through different lenses and you’ll learn about innovators whose ideas were once seen as radical but have made a lasting impact on our world.

You’ll also have the opportunity to follow one of the four pathways of Global Challenges – Global Innovation, Planetary Health, Social Cohesion or Security. These four key areas have been specially selected not only as they are pressing issues faced by the international community, but also because of Brunel’s existing and emerging specialisms in these fields.

We’ve drawn on knowledge from across Brunel to inform the course so regardless of where you’d like to specialise you’ll benefit from our lecturers who really have a passion for their pathway.

Taught by experts across the arts and sciences

Core Spine

Led by Dr Claire Donovan who is a Reader in Science and Technology studies. As the leader of the compulsory section of the course, you’ll work closely with her on a week-by-week basis so she’ll serve as the touchpoint for your studies, particularly in Year 1.

Claire has a strong background in a wide range of different social sciences, with experience working with the Australian Research Council (ARC) which advises Australian Government policy.

She has pioneered how thinking across different disciplines can make an impact on policy, a key feature of Global Challenges at Brunel, and her research interests include; humanities, arts, and social sciences within science systems, assessing the value of culture, and sociology of knowledge to name a few.

Global innovation

This pathway is led by Dr Fang Wang who is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science. Choose Global Innovation and you’ll be looking holistically at the various elements of marketing and design that will inform the sustainable development goals for products of today and the future.

Fang’s main research interests lie within artificial intelligence and how it can be used beneficially. This includes using nature-inspired techniques such as intelligent agents and evolutionary computing to solve real world issues. As well as lecturing she’s built her expertise working with top organisations like British Telecom (BT) Group.

Planetary Health

Dr Olwenn Martin leads this pathway aiming to broaden current knowledge of how changes in our environment impact human health and what we can do influence this.

With work that has gone on to advise governments and industry on the risks of environmental chemicals, you’ll benefit from her expert knowledge of climate change and health. Her research has helped shape this strand into the three distinct perspectives of Planetary Health that you’ll learn; environmental, health impacts and socio-cultural and economic contexts.

Social Cohesion

Dr Paul Moody, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications leads this pathway for Global Challenges, where you’ll learn about the rise in the influence of media, as well as the growing social issues that we face in the globalised world of today.

A filmmaker at heart, Paul takes a keen interest in the social, political and historical forces that impact on the way we communicate and see the world of today. His short films have been featured as part of Channel Four's ‘FourDocs’, the BBC Film Network and the British Council exhibitions.


Dr Neveen Abdalla heads up the security pathway of the degree. She’s well equipped to support this strand with a wealth of experince in security servies and realted fields.

Neveen received her PhD from Brunel University London in 2017. Her research broadly examines the relationship between government and its national security apparatus. Neveen has several years of experience as an intelligence analyst in the private sector, monitoring risk to public and private entities in maritime and on-shore settings.

Specialise your undergraduate degree on our pathways