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