Course syllabus for

Sustainable Development in Healthcare, 7.5 credits

Hållbar utveckling inom hälso- och sjukvård, 7.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from spring 2020.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Course code
Course name
Sustainable Development in Healthcare
7.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Public Health Sciences 
Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Global Public Health
Participating institutions
  • Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine
Decided by
Styrelsen för utbildning
Decision date
Revised by
Education Committee GPH
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2020

Specific entry requirements

At least 120 credits within health care or medicine. Language skills equivalent to Swedish B and English A at Swedish upper secondary school are also required.


After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Describe the concept of sustainable development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Agenda 2030
  • Account for expected effects, on for example health of the main sustainability challenges and discuss how these can be prevented and met.
  • Analyse and reflect on how collaboration between different professional groups and the health care organisation can promote increased security and improved health from the perspective of sustainable development
  • Explain the relationship between health psychological aspects, and different aspects of sustainable development  and discuss how collaboration and trust between people and various professions can be promoted 


The course is based on the concept of sustainable development and its three aspects: the economical, the social and the ecological. Ecosystems and "planetary boundaries", economical growth and development theories such as social aspects (e.g. human rights, local adaptions,  psychological aspects) will be discussed with regards to how they interact. The framework for the course discussions issystems theory: The global sustainability challenges are characterized by complex ecological, economic and social systems. To meet these global challenges we need to develop sustainable leadership, for example within health care, which takes account of the planet's society's organisations' others' and their own needs.

The other part of the course deals with the significance of sustainable development for the organisation of health care, such as how the work for sustainable health care systems can be organised and formulated from and interprofessional perspective. Working with these questions entails an exploration, critical examination and discussion also at the individual level - a processing of our values, norms, as well as cognitive, emotional and behavioural habits. In the final part, the concept is made concrete through discussions in a number of case studies, which demonstrate how work for sustainable development can be operationalised within Swedish and international health care, from and interprofessional perspective. Examples of such case studies can be "Health effects of climate changes - risks and measures","The importance of trust for sustainable societies - how do we enable trust at an individual and organizational level?", "Health equity", , "Prerequisites for an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable workplace". The case studies can vary depending on the lecturers and aim to illustrate, how the promotion of sustainable development can be concretised within the scope of different health care professions.

Teaching methods

The teaching consists of interactive lectures, workshops, case studies, seminars where the students work together in interprofessional groups, and independent project work, which incorporates an interprofessional perspective.


The course is examined through participation in discussions at seminars and through an individual written assignment, which incorporates an interprofessional perspective of sustainable development.

Compulsory participation
Seminars are compulsory. Absence from compulsory seminars is compensated by a written assignment, the form of which is specified by the course director at the beginning of the course. The examiner assesses if, and in that case how, absence from compulsory parts can be compensated. Before the student has participated in all compulsory parts or compensated absence in accordance with the examiner's instructions, the student's results for respective part will not be registered. Absence from a compulsory activity may result in that the student cannot compensate the absence until the next time the course is given.

Students who have not passed the regular examination are entitled to participate in five more examinations. If the student has not passed the exam after four participations, he/she is encouraged to visit the study advisor. If the student has failed six examinations/tests, no additional examination or new admission is provided.
The number of times that the student has participated in one and the same examination is regarded as an examination session.
Submission of blank exam is regarded as an examination session. An examination for which the student registered but not participated in, will not be counted as an examination.

If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus's regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and abilities may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Transitional provisions

Examination will be provided during a time of two years after a possible cancellation of the course. Examination can take place according to an earlier literature list during a time of one year after the date when a major renewal of the literature list has been made.

Other directives

Course evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the guidelines established by the  the Committee for Higher Education.

Literature and other teaching aids

Hedenus, Fredrik; Persson, U. Martin; Sprei, Frances Hållbar utveckling : nyanser och tolkningar
Additional articles and reports will be dealt out during the course.