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Programme syllabus for

Master's Programme in Public Health Sciences, 120 credits

Masterprogrammet i folkhälsovetenskap, 120 hp

Basic programme information

Programme code
4FH19
Name of the programme
Master's Programme in Public Health Sciences
Specialisations
The programme has two specialisations:
  • Public Health Epidemiology (Folkhälsoepidemiologi)
  • Health Promotion and Prevention (Hälsofrämjande arbete och prevention)
Number of credits
120 credits (120 ECTS credits)
Starting date
The syllabus applies to students who commence their studies in or after autumn  2019.

Approved revisions of the syllabus are described under the heading Transitional Provisions.
Decision date
2018-04-18
Decided by
Board of Higher Education
Reference number
3-1563/2018
Specific eligibility 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.
Main field of study
Public Health Sciences
Qualification
Medicine masterexamen med huvudområdet folkhälsovetenskap
Degree of Master of Medical Science (120 credits) with a Major in Public Health Sciences

A student who fulfils the requirements for the award of a qualification shall, upon request, be provided with a certificate.

Outcomes

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.
Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (120 credits) the student shall
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both broad knowledge of the field and a considerable degree of 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 (120 credits) the student shall
  • demonstrate the ability to critically and systematically 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 critically, autonomously and creatively as well as to plan and, using appropriate methods, undertake advanced tasks within predetermined time frames and so contribute to the formation of knowledge as well as the ability to evaluate this work
  • demonstrate the ability in speech and writing both nationally and internationally to clearly report 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 autonomous employment in some other qualified capacity. 
Judgment and approach
For a Degree of Master (120 credits) 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
In addition to the national objectives, for a Degree of Master (120 credits), the following objectives apply for the study programme Master Programme in Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet:

Knowledge and understanding
  • advanced knowledge and understanding of public health concepts and methods for analysis and interpretation of the distribution of the health and its determinants, and
  • advanced understanding of the strengths and limitations of methods used in Public Health Sciences.
Competence and skills
​On completion of the programme the student shall demonstrate:
  • ability to critically evaluate how public health problems should be prioritized, as well as to plan and implement preventive strategies, and
  • advanced skills in application of theories, models and methods within the chosen specialization.
Judgement and approach
On completion of the programme the student shall demonstrate:
  • ability to assess ethical considerations in public health work and research.

Content and structure

The programme has two specialisations, Public Health Epidemiology and Health Promotion and Prevention.
  • Specialisation Public Health Epidemiology. The specialisation has a focus on applied epidemiology, to develop the student's skills in describing, analysing and reflecting on different types of public health problems and evaluating interventions as well as in critical review of epidemiological studies.
  • Specialisation Health Promotion Work and Prevention. In this specialisation, the emphasis lies on to applying methods for health promoting and preventive actions, to develop the student's skills in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating health promotion and preventive interventions on both individual and structural level.
The programme is built-up around joint courses equivalent one year of studies. The programme gives an introduction to the main subject public health which includes concepts, principles and methods in public health work and research. Ethics is introduced in the first course of the programme and is further deepened by relevant ethical perspectives and considerations brought up during respective course. Further, courses that intend to give basic knowledge and skills in project management, theory of science and qualitative methodology are provided. 

Students in both specialisations obtain knowledge in epidemiological methods that are relevant in the public health field. The teaching is centered on the epidemiology's three core areas: monitoring of the distribution of health, the determinants of health as well as the evaluation of policies and interventions to counter ill health. In respective core area, courses are provided from basic to advanced method knowledge, a progression that gradually are built up over the different semesters. The student will obtain advanced knowledge in epidemiological methods and biostatistics, in collecting and organising data as well as in methods for evaluation of public health interventions.

During the later part of the programme, these skills and knowledge are broadened and deepened through courses in the subject area of respective specialisation. For the specialisation in Public Health Epidemiology, this cover courses for applying epidemiology in a diversity  of public health problems as well as to develop the students' ability to quantitatively evaluate the complex interventions that often are carried out in public health work. For the specialisation in Health Promotion Work and Prevention, this cover courses in theories and their application in health promotion work and prevention in order to develop the students' ability to develop, plan, implement as well as evaluate complex interventions both quantitatively and qualitatively.

The programme is completed with a semester devoted to an individual degree project (Master's Thesis) within respective specialisation. 

Scientific knowledge, competence and approach
The programme have courses; Theory of Science, Project Management and Degree Project, that aims for the student to reflect on, critically review and practically apply scientific methods and scientific theoretical considerations. Ethics is introduced in the first course of the programme and is further deepened by relevant ethical perspectives and considerations brought up during respective course. For the subject area of respective specialisation, current research questions are consistently presented during the methodological and applied courses where the students review, critically evaluate and summarise state of the art literature.

Internationalisation
The courses in the programme are pervaded by an international perspective that develops the students' understanding and reflection around public health problems and strategies for the preventive actions in different contexts e.g. low- and middle income countries with different poverty and health-related problems. This provide the students with skills to work within multicultural contexts and on an international labour market. International exchange for students and teachers are offered through agreement with several higher education institutions both in and outside Europe.

Transitional provisions

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Other guidelines

Grading scale
The grades used are Fail, Pass or Pass with Distinction. Alternative grading scales may apply to the occasional course. The grading scale is detailed in the course syllabus.

Language of instruction
The language of instruction is English.

Specific eligibility requirements within the programme
There are specific eligibility requirements for the courses within the programme. The eligibility requirements can be found in the syllabi. In cases where the requirements are connected to the admission to a later term, they are described on the programme website.

Study plan with constituent courses

Public Health Epidemiology 
Term Name of the course Credits Main field of study Cycle
1 Public health sciences - concepts and theories * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
1 Methods for studying the distribution of health * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
1 Biostatistics 1 * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
1 Collecting and organizing epidemiological data * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Theory of science * 2.5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Applied epidemiology 1 - distribution of health 5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Epidemiological methods for studying determinants of health * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Biostatistics 2 * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Qualitative methods * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
3 Project management * 3 Public Health Sciences Second
3 Systematic review and meta-analysis 3 Public Health Sciences Second
3 Epidemiological methods for outcome evaluation of public health interventions * 10 Public Health Sciences Second
3 Applied epidemiology 2 - determinants of health 14 Public Health Sciences Second
4 Degree Project in Public Health Sciences * 30 Public Health Sciences Second

Health Promotion and Prevention 
Term Name of the course Credits Main field of study Cycle
1 Public health sciences - concepts and theories * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
1 Methods for studying the distribution of health * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
1 Biostatistics 1 * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
1 Collecting and organizing epidemiological data * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Theory of science * 2.5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Introduction to planning and program development 5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Epidemiological methods for studying determinants of health * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Biostatistics 2 * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
2 Qualitative methods * 7.5 Public Health Sciences Second
3 Project management * 3 Public Health Sciences Second
3 Theories and methods for implementation and evaluation 7 Public Health Sciences Second
3 Epidemiological methods for outcome evaluation of public health interventions * 10 Public Health Sciences Second
3 Applied health promotion and prevention 10 Public Health Sciences Second
4 Degree Project in Public Health Sciences * 30 Public Health Sciences Second