Programme syllabus for

Master's Programme in Global Health, 60 credits

Magisterprogrammet i global hälsa, 60 hp

Basic programme information

Programme code
Name of the programme
Master's Programme in Global Health
Number of credits
60.0 credits (60.0 ECTS credits)
Starting date
The syllabus applies to students who commence their studies in or after autumn  2012.

Approved revisions of the syllabus are described under the heading Transitional Provisions.
Decision date
Decided by
Board of Higher Education
Last revision
Revised by
Committee for Higher Education
Reference number
Specific eligibility 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.
Main field of study
Global Health

Medicine magisterexamen med huvudområdet global hälsa
Degree of Master of Medical Science (60 credits) with a Major in Global Health

Upon request, a student who meets the requirements for a qualification is to receive a diploma.


Outcomes of second cycle education according to the Higher Education Act

Second-cycle courses and study programmes shall be based fundamentally on the knowledge acquired by students during first-cycle courses and study programmes, or its equivalent.

Second-cycle courses and study programmes shall involve the acquisition of specialist knowledge, competence and skills in relation to first-cycle courses and study programmes and in addition to the requirements for first-cycle courses and study programmes shall:

  • further develop the ability of students to integrate and make autonomous use of their knowledge
  • develop the students' ability to deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations, and
  • develop the students' potential for professional activities that demand considerable autonomy, or for research and development work.

Outcomes of the Degree of Master (60 credits) according to the Higher Education Ordinance
Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master of Science (60 credits) degree the student shall :

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both an overview of the field and specialised knowledge in certain areas of the field as well as insight into current research and development work, and
  • demonstrate specialised methodological knowledge in the main field of study.

Competence and skills
For a Degree of Master of Science (60 credits) degree the student shall

  • demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge and analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations even with limited information
  • demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues autonomously as well as to plan and, using appropriate methods, undertake advanced tasks within predetermined time frames
  • demonstrate the ability in speech and writing to report clearly and discuss his or her conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based in dialogue with different audiences, and
  • demonstrate the skills required for participation in research and development work or employment in some other qualified capacity.

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master of Science (60 credits) degree the student shall

  • demonstrate the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical issues and also to demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work
  • demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and
  • demonstrate the ability to identify the personal need for further knowledge and take responsibility for his or her ongoing learning.
Outcomes of the study programme at Karolinska Institutet

On completion of the education, students must be able to:

  • access and asses indicators and determinants of global health variations;
  • review the relationship between socio-economic development and disease patterns in different nations;
  • present experiences from international collaboration in health development and support in humanitarian emergencies;
  • address quality of care, effectiveness and cost effectiveness in different health service systems;
  • review health policies and interventions regarding major global health problems; and
  • prioritize and address human resources policy and management issues using cases and experiences from different settings.

Description of the main field of study

Global Health is a new area that integrates knowledge and experiences from different disciplines such as public health, medicine, health economy, environmental medicine, anthropology and behavioural sciences. Global health focuses in identifying and assessing the global challenges for public health. The overarching aim is to contribute to a reduction of the global burden of disease. Global health contributes a new arena for research, education and information related to the health challenges facing the global population.

Research in Global Health is multidisciplinary in orientation with three important pillars: public health research, clinical research, and translational research. The focus is on distribution and determinants of health, diseases and injuries in populations with different social, economic and cultural characteristics.

Content and structure

The programme fosters an understanding of the concept of global health and raises competence as regards relevant research methods. The introductory course aims to review the global burden of disease and the factors that determine the variations in health status between different populations in the world using the most recent data available.

The second course provides an introduction to health and medical policy, management and health economics which gives insight into policy development, planning and capacity building in low- and middle income countries, leadership, governance, and applied change management in recourse poor settings.  

Research methodology introduces participants to the theoretical bases of qualitative research methods and compares and contrasts qualitative and quantitative approaches. Students will learn about data collection methods, with an emphasis on interviews and focus group discussions. This will provide an overview of basic concepts and methods within qualitative analysis. Also methods used for sample surveys in different contexts, survey design, sampling techniques, management of data, descriptive data analysis and presentation are included.

Following courses include child and reproductive health, infectious diseases as a challenge to global health with focus on clinical, social and preventive aspects, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, injuries, emergencies and conflicts as related to global health.

The last course is the degree project submitted as a master's thesis. he research for the degree project can be carried out in a low- and middle-income country where there is already an existing collaboration. The degree project can also be based on secondary data from registers, e.g. demographic health surveys (DHS), or an extensive literature review.

Transitional provisions

The course Introduction to global health was called Global health until 2021. Students that are resuming their studies after a study interruption will take courses according to a individual study plan.

Other guidelines

Grading scale

Failed/Passed/Passed with distinction.

Language of instruction

The teaching language is English.

Study plan with constituent courses

For students starting the programme in 2022 or later: 

Name of the course Credits Main field of study Cycle
Introduction to Global Health 7,5 Global health Second
Research Methodology 7,5 Global health Second
Health Policy, Management and Economics 4,5 Global health Second
Infectious Disease - A Challenge to Global Health: Clinical, Social and Preventive Aspects 4,5 Global health Second
Non-Communicable Diseases, Injuries, Natural Emergencies and Conflicts in a Global Health Perspective 3 Global health Second
Maternal and Child Health in a Global Perspective 3 Global health Second
Degree Project in Global Health 30 Global health Second

For students starting the programme in 2021 or earlier: 

Name of the course Credits Cycle Depth of the course
Global Health 7,5 Second Av
Research methodology 7,5 Second Av
Health policy, management and economics 4,5 Second Av
Infectious diseases - a challenge to global health: clinical, social and preventive aspects 4,5 Second Av
Non-communicable diseases, injuries, natural emergencies and conflicts in a global health perspective 3 Second Av
Maternal and child health in a global perspective 3 Second Av
Degree project in global health 30 Second Av