autumn 2018
HEL-3034 Global Health - 10 ECTS

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

This course is an optional course for students at the Master's degree programme in Public Health. Course students may be admitted if total number of students do not exceed the regulated number of students at the course.

Admission requirements

Admission criteria: HEL-3030 International and Environmental Health.

Other: The same as for the Master's programme in Public Health. See the programme page.

Application Code: 9371 (Nordic applicants).

Obligatory prerequisites

HEL-3030 International and Environmental Health

Course content

The themes to be covered:

- The epidemiology of global health. The description of the health status of the world, distribution of diseases in different part of the world

- The methods of describing health, disabilities, illnesses and diseases in a global perspective

- Different methods for estimation of the burden of diseases, benchmarking and standardization

- Analysis of the Global Health situation, different explaining factors and mechanisms behind the inequity

- International politics

- National and international governing

- Infrastructure

- Analysis of the different health systems and the international criteria for comparison

Objectives of the course

The candidate will be given an understanding of health care systems and strategies, global health status and factors (political, administrative and other factors) causing the global health and health care gradients between populations and nations. Reproductive health, perinatal health, birth registries and registry epidemiology are central. Global health metrics and analytic descriptive research are of importance. The course aims also to show how health systems responds on emerging epidemics. The course will explore intervention strategies, and how evidence based knowledge are disseminated and translated into action research. Attention is paid to the relationship between the analysis of complex health problems and the design, implementation and evaluation of intervention strategies for specific health problems.

Knowledge and understanding

  • The students will have an overview of the international actors: the UN, World Bank and other major agencies and organizations and their mandates and policies, and be able to give an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the different systems.
  • The students will obtain advanced knowledge about global health status and health care systems, and can defend the health intervention strategy and framework for monitoring and evaluating its effects.

Skills and competences 

  • Students will be able to analyse and deal critically with an international health problem and develop proposals for effective and adequate response.
  • Students can analyse existing theories, methods and interpretations in the field.
  • Students will be prepared for work internationally in both emergencies and more development-oriented health care.

General Proficiency

  • Students will be able to identify and evaluate global health problems and the conditions that create disease and inequalities in health between different population groups, nations and regions.
  • Students will be able to explain the various factors¿ relative importance. Students will be able to apply the methods currently used to describe the global epidemiology.
  • The students can communicate about academic issues, analyses and conclusions in the field, both with specialists and with the public.

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

Lectures, students exercise/group work. The course is normally organized in two periods, each period lasting three/four days. Attendance to lectures and seminars is mandatory. The lectures are given in English. This course may include short term exchange, where one session can be held abroad.


Obligatory assignments:

  • Attendance to lectures and seminars
  • The students must write and pass one obligatory given home-assignment, maximum 5 pages in length (2,500 words, not including references) before they can take the final exam. The students must write the assignment individually. One week will be given for the student to write the assignment. The assignment must be approved in order to take the exam.


An individual home-based examination on a given topic, 8-10 pages in length (4,000-5,000 words, not including references). The students are given 1 week to write the exam. Students can write the assignments and examination in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. Hand in the exam as specified in the exam text. Grading scale: A-E equals passed, F equals failed.

Any queries concerning the obligatory home assignment or the final exam should be addressed to the course leader as specified in the exam text at least 5 days ahead of the submission deadline.

If a student fails the course, an examination re-sit will be organised. Students with valid absence from the exam will be offered a re-scheduled examination.

Recommended reading/syllabus

No main text book. Articles will be presented in class.

Error rendering component

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: HEL-3034
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet