autumn 2014
HEL-3011 Peace, Health and Medical Work - 10 ECTS

Application deadline

International students: April 15th, Nordic students: June 1st, Registered UIT-studentes in certain programs: September 1st

Type of course

The subject may be studied as a singular course, or as an elective module in some study programs.

Admission requirements

A bachelor degree in the health sciences, social sciences, humanities, law or related fields is required. Students in professional master programs not requiring a bachelor degree (i.e. medicine, law, psychology) should have completed the equivalent of a bachelor program

Course content

The course focuses on positive and negative approaches to peace, provides theoretical and analytical tools for comprehending the basic mechanisms of medical peace work, and introduces necessary skills, knowledge and values. The module's main objective is to create awareness about the potential role of health professionals in violence prevention and sustainable peace building

Objectives of the course

Students who have successfully completed the course should be able to:


  • Describe basic concepts of peace and conflict theory
  • Describe impact of war and different kinds of violence on health
  • Summarize threats to peace, human security, and medical values and ethics
  • Debate how humanitarian aid and development assistance can influence conflict, including tools for Peace through Health work, like Do no harm and Non-violent communication.

Analytical understanding:

  • Evaluate reading material underlying the degree program and apply it to a self-selected topic for the exam
  • Analyse and debate the peace building possibilities of health care professionals in different settings.
  • Critically question power relations at micro and macro levels

Skills and competences:

  • Critically reflect upon the various ways in which health professionals can act to counter threats to peace and human security
  • Evaluate the impact of humanitarian aid and development assistance in conflict
  • Critically reflect upon underlying assumptions in scientific material
  • Perform relevant non-violent skills and attitudes in health-related peace and conflict work

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

There will be a mixture of lectures, group work, student presentations and self study. This will encompass 6.5 weeks work load for the student, including:
  • Four weeks of reading, self- study and online tests (multiple choice questions)
  • One intensive teaching week, totalling 45 hours (seminar style lectures, group workshops, experimental exercises and a film screening)
  • Ten-day home exam
  • The learning outcomes can only be achieved through active student participation. Thus, students will be expected to read and prepare before the teaching week, take active part during the teaching week and also complete homework and paper after the teaching week.


Work requirements:

  • A prepared oral presentation of an assigned topic from the e-learning material during the teaching week
  • Passed tests on all seven courses of the web-based learning material “Medical Peace Work before the final exam. At least course number one of these should be completed before the lecture week.


Take-home assignment. Essay of 10-12 pages that will assess the candidates knowledge and understanding of issues underlying the program curriculum.

The written essay will manifest a students ability to reflect and write independently on issues within Peace and Health Studies. The essay will be expected to draw upon the various theoretical and methodological issues, literature and workshops in the course. The deadline for handing in the essay will be approximately nine weeks from the end of the teaching week.

The exam committee will be composed of two censors, one internal and one external to the University of Tromsø.

Grading will be on the scale of Passed or Fail.

In the event of failing the exam, a re-sit exam will be arranged for this course in the following semester

Recommended reading/syllabus

The reading includes about 1000 pages. Half of these can be accessed in the web-based interactive teaching package Medical Peace Work (textbook, e-cases, and questions); another 500 pages have to be selected from a list of relevant articles and book chapters.

Error rendering component

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: HEL-3011
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet