MA Global Health

Copenhagen University logo
Tuition Fee:
Foreign: $ 17.9k / Year
Duration:
24 months
Languages of instruction:
English

Globally, there is a great inequality in health status and this inequality is a barrier to development. Better health provides economic development, quality of life and safety.

As a graduate in Global Health your competences will enable you to work with the many interrelated determinants impacting human global health and disease - ranging on a scale from individual to society. This includes politics, policies, trade and economy, frameworks, socio-cultural issues, and climate change.

The programme is offered in English, and includes periods of field work and good opportunities for specialisation and studying abroad.

Profile and Career

The MSc in Global Health is a research-based, cross-disciplinary Master of Science programme offered by the University of Copenhagen, as part of the research and educational activities organised by the Copenhagen School of Global Health.

The programme comprises, among others, the following disciplines: medical anthropology, biology and biomedicine, demography, epidemiology, medicine, nutrition, public and international health, economics, political and social science, and sociology.

Teaching and learning methods varies between lectures and classroom instruction, visits to field sites, case and project work carried out individually or together with other students. Students are encouraged to participate actively in class discussions.

Why study Global Health?

Globally, there is a great inequality in health status and this inequality is a barrier to development. Better health provides economic development, quality of life and safety. A newborn in Sierra Leone, for example, can expect to have 29 healthy years, compared to 75 years in Japan.

Peoples and individuals' health status is increasingly dependent on processes at the global level:

  • Increased physical mobility; voluntarily (e.g. in the form of increased travel) and involuntarily (e.g. in connection with disasters and conflicts) resulting in new distribution patterns of infectious diseases.
  • Urbanization and increasing population sizes, which causes increased pressure on existing resources, including water, forest and farmland.
  • Social mobility; disease patterns are changing rapidly in low and middle income countries in the context of the economic and climatic development and requires adaptation of health systems and educational institutions.
  • An intensified over-national cooperation is increasingly affecting the national political and economic framework of, for example food production and food security, trade and distribution of medicines.

At the same time, a rapid development in technologies for prevention and treatment is occurring, which creates new opportunities for health, including medical tourism and distant diagnosis and treatment.

Career Opportunities

The MSc in Global Health will foster graduates with analytical and practical skills related to human health in a globalised world. This gives you a wide range of career opportunities as MSc in Global Health.

Competence Description

As a graduate in Global Health you will be able to analyse the many interrelated determinants impacting human health and disease ranging on a scale from individual to society, with a focus on the global perspective - including politics, policies, trade and economy, frameworks, socio-cultural issues, and climate change.

Programme Structure

The MSc in Global Health is a 2-year programme taught in English.

The first year consists of six compulsory courses and ends with the mandatory field work in a low- or middle-income country in either Europe or Africa.

The year is divided into four blocks, with two courses running simultaneously in each block, except for block 4 which is made up entirely of the field work.

The second year is a year of specialisation and you are free to plan and compose the year as you like within one of four different study tracks.

You can choose between elective courses in Denmark or abroad and/or you can do an internship in a relevant company or organisation. The only requirement is that you should obtain a total of 60 ETCS and finalise your study with a master's thesis.

Compulsory courses

The MSc in Global Health has six compulsory courses which, together with the field work, make up the first of the programme's two years.

These courses are:

  • Global Health: Policy, Politics and Partners, which covers the changing role of different stakeholders, health policies and political issues on a local, regional, national, international and global level.

  • Drivers of Change in Human Health: Coping with Population and Environmental Dynamics, which focuses on demographic changes and the impact of migration, conflicts, climate change and other factors affecting health issues.

  • Health and Diseases in Low and Middle Income Societies, which goes in depth with major health problems in low and middle-income societies.

  • Advanced Research Methods and Ethics, which uses a problem-based approach to the principal methods and theories related to global health research.

  • Health Systems in a Global Context, which considers health systems in high, middle, and low income societies in a historic, cultural, organizational, economic and political context.

  • Strategies for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, which covers strategies for health promotion and the control and prevention of diseases, with a focus on health systems.

  • Field work

    The field trip module covers nine weeks and is divided into the following parts:

    • 2½ weeks of preparation in Copenhagen, Denmark
    • 5 weeks of field work in one of two possible destinations within Europe and Africa
    • 1½ weeks of working on the field work report in Copenhagen

    2½ weeks of preparation

    The 2½ weeks of preparation for the field work takes place in Copenhagen. Through lectures, presentations and group work around specific cases, you will become further skilled in applied research methodologies, building on previous courses.

    5 weeks of field work

    During the five weeks of field-based study period, you will have the opportunity to gain practical experience related to the use of the research methods taught in Copenhagen. You will obtain valuable information regarding environmental and public health services, disease patterns and other issues related to the country or region of the host institution.

    During the field work you will visit field sites and receive lectures and supervision by local as well as accompanying staff. You will be working in groups as well as individually, collecting and analysing data, and will start writing up your field report.

    1½ weeks of working on the field work report

    Upon returning to Copenhagen, you will continue working on your data analysis and field reports. You will present your findings to each other and give and get feedback on your work by fellow students as well as supervisors, before writing up the final report.

    Expenses

    The teaching, supervision and other academic activities taking place as part of the field work module – both in Copenhagen and abroad – is covered as part of the programme.

    However, students must bear the expenses connected with travel, insurance, vaccinations, food, and lodging for the field trip themselves. These expenses depend on the destination, as the travel to a destination in Europe will be less expensive than going to Africa.

    Specialisations

    Study Tracks

    After completing the compulsory courses and field work, you have the option of specialising your study of global health within one of four different study tracks:

  • Global Health: Policy, Financing and Health Care Systems
  • Global Health: Disease Burden, Challenges and Changes
  • Global Health: E-health and ICT in Health
  • Global Health: Research and Research Communication
  • During your first year of studies, there will be workshops and seminars about the different study tracks, helping you to consider which of these tracks you wish to specialise in.

    Based on your choice, you must compose a study plan outlining how you want to specialise during your third and fourth semester. The study plan must be approved by the Board of Studies.

    Third semester

    During your third semester, you have the freedom to design your own study program consisting of 30 ECTS elective courses and internship, as long as they fall within the topic of your chosen study track.

    You may choose to do an internship element of 10 or 15 ECTS and/or take electives at the University of Copenhagen or other institutions in Denmark or abroad of between 2.5 and 30 ECTS.

    Elective Courses

    Elective courses can be taken from University of Copenhagen or from other institutions in Denmark or abroad. Elective courses can be from 2.5 to 30 ETCS and can be combined with doing an internship.

    Thesis writing

    You spend your fourth semester working on your thesis (30 ECTS), which must be handed in at the end of the fourth semester. The thesis is the culmination of your study of global health and must reflect the skills and competencies, which you have built up during your previous two years of studying at the master programme.

    You will be considering the topic of your thesis already at the beginning of your second semester, where you have to decide on which of the four study tracks you wish to specialize in during your third and fourth semester.

    The overall guideline for the thesis is that it must:

    • Be concerned with a global health problem, which should be clearly formulated.
    • Have a clear problem formulation and clear objective(s)
    • Be based on relevant and clearly described materials and methods
    • Present its results in a clear and balanced form
    • Present a balanced discussion of materials, methods and results, and relate this to other relevant literature within the field.
    Study Abroad

    It is possible to study abroad as part of your MSc in Global Health. You may choose to study abroad for one or two semesters or for a shorter period of time; e.g. by attending a summer school.

    Why Study Abroad?

    A main objective of studying abroad is to further widen your academic knowledge and network. It is a good idea to seek advice from lecturers and student councillors when planning your studies abroad to find out where to go and how to structure your academic programme. Your lecturers may have academic inputs, international contacts and may be able to provide you with references which can prove useful.

    If you have a successful study abroad experience academically, you are also more likely to benefit socially and culturally.

    Exchange Agreements

    The University of Copenhagen has an extensive number of exchange agreements with universities world wide.

    Further information about the exchange programmes and partner universities is available through the International Relations Office at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (external link).

    The University of Copenhagen also cooperates with other Danish and Swedish universities in the Oeresund region, giving you the opportunity to take individual courses at these partner institutions.

    Lecturers

    Course leaders
    • Senior Adviser Peter Furu Copenhagen School of Global Health
      Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology
    • Assoc Prof Ingelise Andersen Section of Social Medicine
      Department of Public Health
    • Prof Ib C. Bygbjerg Copenhagen School of Global Health
      Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology
    • Assoc Prof Marie L. Nørredam Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health
      Department of Public Health
    • Assoc Prof Helle Samuelsen Medical Anthropology
      Department of Anthropology
    • Assistant professor Karin Schiøler Copenhagen School of Global Health
      Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology

    Program requirements

    If you have completed a Bachelor’s degree within the last 3 years or if you are enrolled in the final semester of a Bachelor’s programme, you are eligible to apply for the Master’s programme in Global Health. Regardless of what university you are enrolled at, you can - if you meet the course and language requirements - apply on the basis of a relevant Bachelor’s degree.Bachelor’s degrees that grant direct access?There are no Bachelor's degrees that grant direct access to the MSc in Global Health. However, applicants holding one of the following Bachelor’s degrees from a Danish university are exempt from documenting that they meet the admission criteria regarding qualitative and quantitative methods (titles in Danish): FolkesundhedsvidenskabIdræt med specialisering i undervisning og kommunikationSociologiGeografiStatskundskabAntropologiApplicants holding one of the following Bachelor’s degrees from a Danish university areexempt from documenting the admission criteria regarding quantitative methods (titles in Danish):MedicinOdontologiVeterinærmedicinFødevarevidenskab med specialisering i ernæring og sundhedOther requirements:You must have earned your Bachelor’s degree a maximum of 3 years prior to the start of the first semester of the Master’s programme.Admission restrictions:The programme accepts a maximum of 40 students. One third of the seats may be reserved for students from countries outside of the EU/EEA.When selecting 40 among all the qualified students, the Board of Admission focus on overall academic achievements (grades, the relevancy of their degree and courses), CV (research experience, professionally relevant stays abroad), as well as the letter of motivation; see the application procedure.Other Bachelor’s degreesIf you have a Danish Bachelor’s degree other than those listed above, or if you hold a Bachelor’s degree from a university abroad, you may be admitted if it is the assessment of the admissions committee that the Bachelor's programme concerned is the equivalent in scope and content to one of the Bachelor's programmes mentioned above.Course, language and graduation year requirements:Course requirements: Applicants must prove that they have passed courses in quantative and qualitative methods: Quantitative methods (including statistical methods) equivalent to a minimum of 5 ECTS and qualitative methods equivalent to a minimum of 5 ECTS.Language requirements: You are required to document proficiency in English according to your background; see the language requirements.Graduation year requirement: You must have earned your Bachelor’s degree a maximum of 3 years prior to the start of the first semester of the Master’s programme.Admission restrictions:The programme accepts a maximum of 40 students. One third of the seats may be reserved for students from countries outside of the EU/EEA.When selecting 40 among all the qualified students, the Board of Admission focus on overall academic achievements (grades, the relevancy of their degree and courses), CV (research experience, professionally relevant stays abroad), as well as the letter of motivation; see the application procedure. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 560 TOEFL iBT® test: 83
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