Course syllabus for

Global Health, 7.5 credits

Global hälsa, 7.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2020.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Autumn2008 , Autumn2012 , Autumn2020 , Autumn2021
Course code
Course name
Global Health
7.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Global Health 
AV - Second cycle 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Global Public Health
Decided by
Programnämnden i folkhälsovetenskap
Decision date
Revised by
Education Committee GPH
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2020

Specific entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree or a professional degree equivalent to a Swedish Bachelor's degree of at least 180 credits. And proficiency in English equivalent to English B/English 6.


After the course, the student should:

  • understand and have knowledge about factors that influence global health,
  • have knowledge about health indicators and be able to use them for analysis and assessment of the health situation in countries with different economic conditions,
  • be able to describe and assess the importance of health systems and policy in countries with different demographic and health related situations,
  • be able to describe the burden of disease at a global level and in countries with different economic conditions, and assess how these are influenced by social and political circumstances,
  • be able to formulate, in general, and assess those strategies and interventions that are of highest importance for improving global health,
  • have knowledge about the importance of how the health care systems have been developed to achieve adequate quality, including the staff's competence and development, and be able to assess how priorities should be done in resource-poor conditions,
  • have basic knowledge about the activities of international organisations, and be able to assess their importance for global health,
  • apprehend and assess the basic principles underlying different study designs, their use, strengths and limitations,
  • define the role of statistical methods in public health research,
  • explain key concepts and assess the relevance of ethics in global health research,
  • have knowledge about how to critically read research articles,
  • have knowledge about philosophy of science.


The course is an introduction to the concept of Global Health and should give the basis for the further studies within the Master's programme. The following themes and fields will be highlighted:

  • Global health and public health - promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation
  • Health and development - the world seen from a perspective of change
  • Disease, health and demographic transitions
  • The importance of poverty for global health
  • Burden of disease
  • Communicable diseases of importance for global health
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Injuries
  • Health systems and policy
  • Governance, financing and management
  • Drugs and health
  • Change mechanisms in health care services
  • Equity, democracy and health
  • Emergencies and conflicts
  • Climate changes
  • Epidemiology
  • Study design
  • Research methods
  • Ethics
  • Principles of critical reading of a scientific paper. Literature Search using the Internet and library.

Teaching methods

Interactive lectures, group work and practical exercises.

Compulsory participation
The examiner assesses if and how absence from compulsory parts can be compensated. Before the student has participated in compulsory parts or compensated absence in accordance with the  examiner's instructions the student's course results will not be reported. Absence from a compulsory part may result in the student having to wait to compensate until the next time the course is given.


Individually and in groups. The individual examination is a written examination.

To obtain the grade Pass with distinction on the course the student need to obtain the grade Pass on the group examination and Pass with distinction on the written examination.

Limitation of number of occasions for the examination
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

The course language is English.

Course evaluation is carried out according to the guidelines that are established by The Committee for Higher Education.

Literature and other teaching aids

Mandatory literature

Introduction to Global health
Kathryn H.Jacobsen.
3rd ed.Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning. 2018.

Jacobsen Introduction to Global Health
Further mandatory literature will be available on the learning management system during the course along with suggested reading. Extra material will be specified during the course.