Course syllabus for

Degree Project in Public Health Sciences, 30 credits

Examensarbete i folkhälsovetenskap, 30 hp
This course syllabus is valid from spring 2021.
Course code
Course name
Degree Project in Public Health Sciences
30 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Public Health Sciences 
AV - Second cycle 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Global Public Health
Decided by
Education Committee GPH
Decision date
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2021

Specific entry requirements

A bachelor's degree or a professional degree equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree of at least 180 credits in public health science, healthcare or other relevant social sciences subject area. And proficiency in English equivalent to English B/English 6.

In order to precede a student must have passed courses corresponding to 60 higher education credits on the specific specialisation within the Master's Programme in Public Health Sciences.


a) Knowledge and understanding

For thesis approval the student shall demonstrate good or very good subject-related and methodological knowledge, at an appropriately advanced level, within the chosen specialisation.

b) Ability and skills

For thesis approval the student shall demonstrate good or very good ability and skills. This encompasses:

Being able to critically and independently identify, formulate and handle complex issues relevant within public health sciences.

Being able to independently identify relevant information sources, to perform literature reviews, and to evaluate the relevance of the literature (including the correct handling of references).

Being able to reflect upon and apply a suitable approach to the thesis, study design, and to select appropriate methods for data collection and analysis.

Being able to independently set a time plan and to follow it.

Being able to critically evaluate and integrate and use knowledge acquired into the overall programme's courses.

To adopt a scientific approach in authoring and completing the thesis.

c) Evaluative capacity and attitude

For thesis approval the student shall demonstrate good or very good aptitude and ability with regard to:

Discussing and defending his/her own work at a public seminar.

Assessing and evaluating his/her own ability and independently take responsibility for acquire the knowledge that is needed to completing the thesis.

Adopting a research-ethics approach, including the application of general ethical principles in his/her own thesis work.

Assessing and critically scrutinising other students' work using relevant scientific and ethical aspects.

Reflecting and discussing the research projects possibilities and limitations from a population perspective.


The course provides the student with an opportunity to in depth studies, at a research-preparatory level, in Public Health Sciences and within the chosen specialisation (Public Health Epidemiology or Health Promotion and Prevention). The course involves the planning, implementation and reporting of an empirical study or a systematic literature review as a scientific thesis. This includes the formulation of the research question, considering aspects of research ethics, surveying the relevant literature, selecting study design and research methods, data processing and analysis, critical scrutiny and assessment of results, authorship, and presentation and defence of the thesis.

Teaching methods

The course is principally performed through independent work, with tutorial guidance provided by supervisors appointed by and/or approved by the department in question, both individually and in groups; in addition, there are the practical exercises that the assignment requires. Further, the course also includes scientific discussion in seminars, an assessment of another student's work at an open seminar, and also the individually acquired knowledge from the course literature and literature within a self-selected subject area approved by the department.
The topic of the thesis shall be in line with the program´s objectives and the selected specialisation.


Successful examination involves demonstrating to:

  • Independently prepare a written thesis in English based on a relevant subject within public health sciences.
  • Present, defend and discuss the thesis at a public seminar at KI.
  • Orally perform as an opponent/discussant of another thesis at a seminar.

The thesis should be available in a final version that permits examination at least 2 weeks before the seminar. The seminar may be scheduled outside the term if the student, supervisor and examiner agree.

Attendance at seminars is compulsory. 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 the respective part will not be registered in. Absence from a compulsory activity may result in that the student cannot compensate the absence until the next time the course is given.

The grades used are Fail, Pass and Pass with distinction.
Pass with distinction is not possible if the thesis is not delivered in time.

KI's local rules for re- examination are applied.

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

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

The course language is English.

Literature and other teaching aids

Rothman, Kenneth J. Epidemiology : an introduction
Armitage, Peter; Berry, Geoffrey; Matthews, J.N.S. Statistical methods in medical research
Windsor, Richard A. Evaluation of health promotion and disease prevention programs : improving population health through evidence-based practice
Developing and evaluating complex interventions: MRC 2019