Course syllabus for

Infectious diseases-a challenge to global health: clinical, social and preventive aspects, 4.5 credits

Infektionssjukdomar-en utmaning för global hälsa: kliniska, sociala och förebyggande aspekter, 4.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2023.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Course code
Course name
Infectious diseases-a challenge to global health: clinical, social and preventive aspects
4.5 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 för folkhälsovetenskap
Decision date
Revised by
Education Committee GPH
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2023

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 completion of the course the student should be able to:

  • Understand and describe important communicable diseases  from a global health perspective, including pathogenesis, treatment aspects, prevention, disease control mechanisms and research needs.
  • Have knowledge on global epidemiology of the most important infectious diseases and to understand and discuss prevention aspects from a social, medical, ethical and health systems perspective.
  • Analyse factors affecting the use of anti-microbial drugs, both on macro and micro level, and analyse impacts of drug resistance on global health.


  • The course covers broad aspects - from cell to society - of the most important infectious diseases from a global perspective, including epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical aspects, diagnostic methods, therapeutic management, drug resistance, prevention as well as the social context and health systems aspects.
  • The following diseases will be given special emphasis: COVID-19, malaria, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, hepatitis, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis and infections that primarily affect children under five. The specific characteristics of each of these diseases will be highlighted and discussed as well as prevention and treatment from a public health perspective including context, health systems and key global actors.
  • Parasitic illnesses and neglected tropical infections as well as current epidemics such as Ebola and Zika will also be discussed from a medical and social perspective. 
  • The global impact of resistance to various types of anti-microbial drugs will be particularly recognised and factors affecting drug use, both on macro and micro level, will be discussed and analysed.
  • Research needs to reduce the burden of infectious diseases from a global perspective will be illuminated.

Teaching methods

The course will consist of lectures, seminars and group work  that result in a poster and an oral presentation.

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 registered. Absence from a compulsory part may result in the student having to wait to compensate until the next time the course is given.


Written examination, graded fail (<65%) pass (65-89%), and pass with distinction (90% or more). To obtain grade pass on the course, pass is required on the written examination. 

Limitation of number of occasions to write the exam
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 a blank examination is regarded as an examination. 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 will be evaluated in accordance with the guidelines established by the Committee for Higher Education.

The course language is English.

Literature and other teaching aids

Recommended literature

These books provide a rich background as reference literature, but the course content is best reflected in the web-links shared on association with each lecture

In addition to lecture slides and scientific articles recommended by the teachers, choose between:
Manson's tropical diseases or Oxford handbook of tropical medicine.

Adams, David P. Foundations of infectious disease : a public health perspective
Infectious disease epidemiology : theory and practice Nelson, Kenrad E.; Williams, Carolyn Masters