The Master of Public Health/International Course in Health Development (MPH/ICHD) is an annual 12-month Master of Public Health program organized by the KIT Royal Tropical Institute and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).
This track is specifically designed for those who wish to work in SRHR focus domains which may include HIV and AIDS.
This MPH program is targeted at those who aspire to management positions in public health. The track in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is specifically designed for those who wish to work in SRHR focus domains which may include HIV and AIDS.
Participants can choose from the following study tracks:
Health Systems Policy & Management track
Sexual and Reproductive Health track
KIT has launched the ‘Women Leaders in Global Health Development Initiative’ and as part of this initiative, we strongly encourage women to apply.
The MPH is organized by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and is accredited by the Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO).
“As a manager and a clinician, the ICHD has given me the skills to formulate and implement programs and interventions to resolve pertinent health problems at national and community levels. For example, the knowledge and skills acquired from the HIV response module and the findings of my thesis constitute the basics advocate for policy change in PMTCT of HIV in Ghana. Overall, the course has given me the confidence to analyse public health situations and formulate policies to address the bottlenecks.
I am delighted that I am no more limited to seeing patients at consulting rooms and theatres but also prepared to influence policy to impact positively on the health of the Ghanaian society at large.”
Peter Baffoe, MD, Senior Specialist OBS/Gyn, MPH Track in Srhr, (Ghana) Currently: Medical Director, Upper East Regional Hospital
Public health in a changing environment
Health systems in low-and middle-income countries face a wide range of complex challenges. These challenges include: the inequalities in health and healthcare; the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases; the challenges presented by the unfolding demographic transition; the health needs in fragile environments, and the call for equity.
The worlds of international and national health governance and financing are also increasingly complex and interconnected. Globally, there is also greater recognition of and emphasis upon the importance of working in partnerships to provide evidence-based public health solutions for continuously improving the quality and responsiveness of health services. Addressing these issues requires well-trained professionals capable of solving complex public health problems systematically, using a partnership approach.
The MPH/ICHD is designed to develop the capacity of senior health managers to use an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to address health problems in their country. In all program components, participants are encouraged to compare with participants from other countries who face similar issues but with alternative solutions.
After the program will be able to:
Critically assess population health status and identify population health problems, risk factors and
determinants, and determine health needs.
Appraise the role of health systems in terms of fundamental goals, functions, actors, and performance.
Influence effective policy-making and strategic planning concerning interventions aiming at
improving public health, taking into account scientific evidence, good practice, and local context.
Creatively implement cost-effective, quality client-centered strategies and interventions.
Monitor and evaluate health interventions by effectively managing human, financial and logistic
resources in the dynamic global and local context.
Work professionally across different sectors, different cultures, disciplines, and institutional levels, with private and public actors, and through advocacy, communication, and networking.
Identify research needs; commission research, and critically analyse and translate research results into policy and practice.
Incorporate a pro-poor and equity approach in all actions.
Continuously examine and critically self-reflect on their own cultural competence, motivation, practice, and values, adjust them accordingly, and act as an agent of change.
MPH/ICHD participants have the option of choosing between two tracks:
MPH/ICHD track in Sexual and Reproductive Health
MPH/ICHD track in Health Systems Policy & Management
Course start date
Academic year 2021-2022: from 13 September 2021 until 2 September 2022
Academic year 2022-2023: from 12 September 2022 until 1 September 2023
First trimester: Core modules for all tracks
Epidemiology and statistics
Learning and communication skills
Social determinants of Health
Health systems and policymaking
The introduction to the MPH/ICHD starts with learning and communication skills that will be needed throughout the course. These include skills in internet searches for health-related information and literature, presentation, and writing skills.
In the first trimester, students are introduced to the broad categories of factors that influence health: culture, lifestyle, socioeconomic, political, and natural environments and the impact of the health care delivery system. Throughout the course, there is a strong emphasis on the gendered nature of many of these factors.
Basic concepts and tools for the analysis and discussion of health problems through modules in health planning and management are introduced, including health economics and financing and epidemiology and statistics. The basic knowledge and skills acquired or reinforced in the first part of the course will be applied to a practical strategic planning exercise carried out in small groups. Towards the end of the first trimester, students begin to clarify their thesis topics and investigate the literature related to those topics.
Second trimester: advanced modules for all tracks
Qualitative Methods for health systems research
Human resources for health
Advanced modules for track in SRHR
Sexual and reproductive health including HIV/AIDS
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Policy, Governance, and Finance
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Organising effective responses
Students write most of their thesis at this stage and make a class presentation leading to a debate.
Visit WHO in Geneva
The thesis is focused on a topic relevant to the track that you chose as well as to your work. With guidance from an advisor, you write a thesis on an important health problem that you have been involved with in your country. The aim is to systematically analyse the problem and make suggestions for its solution, based on qualitative and quantitative information and on literature review.
Students are invited to a study trip to Geneva to visit the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international organizations working in the health sector.
In the week before the oral examinations, students practice presenting their thesis to each other in class.
The content of the course is practice-based and oriented as much as possible to the working situation of participants. Contact between teaching staff and students is intensive throughout the course. Students learn through lectures, discussions, group work, individual presentations, case studies, exercises, study visits, an internet-based virtual learning environment and ‘serious gaming’, self-reflection, self-study, and written assignments including a thesis. They receive study material before each module. During the lessons, students share information about health issues of countries in which they have worked and compare experiences. Online repositories are used for learning material. Laptops and/or tablets are required.
A total of 60 EC credit points must be accumulated for successful completion of the ICHD/MPH program. The European Credit Transfer System (EC) facilitates the transfer of course credits between institutions at the same academic level. 1 EC requires 28 hours of student time, which includes class time and independent study.
Each module is assessed by means of either a written examination or a take-home assignment. At the end of the program, an independent external examination committee assesses the thesis and the candidate’s oral examination.
If the overall assessment is satisfactory, the degree of Master of Public Health is awarded. Candidates who do not meet the requirements for the degree may be eligible for a certificate of attendance.
Academic training to at least bachelor’s degree level, either in medicine or in another field related to health care, such as health sciences, economics, social science, or nursing.
A minimum of three years of relevant working experience in a low or middle-income country, including managerial responsibilities and including some experience in public health.
Proven proficiency in spoken and written English academic TOEFL or IELTS test. A minimum written TOEFL score of 550, iBT TOEFL score of 80, computer-based TOEFL score of 213, or an IELTS academic score of 6.0 is required.
Computer literacy is essential, as we use a virtual learning platform in our education.
The number of participants is limited. Because there are always more applicants than places in the course, a selection must be made of those meeting the above-mentioned criteria. The selection committee takes into account country of origin, experience, and professional background in order to compose a group with a mixture of professional and geographical backgrounds. An adequate representation of women is also sought; women with appropriate training and experience are especially encouraged to apply.
For students who wish to apply for the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP, former NFP), the entire application package to KIT for the academic year 2021-2022 is due at the latest by 24 February 2021.
OKP application deadline in DELTA: 23 March 2021.
For other applicants, the application package is due two months before the start of the course (unless you need a visa, then 3 months).
Please upload your application online.
The following documents should be uploaded:
A one-page letter of motivation
Copies of your diplomas and grade reports
An up-to-date curriculum vitae and a list of publications if applicable
Proof of English proficiency (if applicable)
What we expect from your motivation letter:
Please indicate in your motivation letter why you want to follow this specific course, why you want to follow the course at KIT Amsterdam, what do you expect to learn and how you will apply your newly gained competencies from the course in your work, what kind of benefits will it bring to your future career, etc. Describe a relevant problem you have experienced in the last two years that you would like to discuss during this specific course. Your motivation should be about ½-1 page. Please do not repeat your CV again.
KIT and VU University Amsterdam require all Master program applicants, who have not completed their education in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Philippines, India, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Liberia, or who have not obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma, to enclose proof of English language proficiency in the form of the internationally recognized TOEFL or IELTS tests.
A minimum written TOEFL score of 550, iBT TOEFL score of 80, computer-based TOEFL score of 213, or an IELTS academic score of 6.0 is required.
Please note that candidates must take the Academic test and not the General one.
We only accept official TOEFL or IELTS test results, which are not older than 3 years.
For Dutch participants academic training is sufficient.
TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition test
Due to the global Covid-19 situation KIT will accept the TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition test as it is the same research-based, valid, and reliable TOEFL iBT test of academic English from ETS.
TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition is now available in almost all countries, with the exception of Iran.
Candidates fulfilling the MPH/ICHD entry requirements will receive a letter of admission, admitting them to the course provided that financing can be arranged. Once you have secured financial support and provided evidence of proficiency in English, you will receive a definitive letter of admission.
For cancellation within seven days, no fee is required and 100 percent of the fee will be reimbursed if already paid. For cancellation by candidate see cancellation fees.
FAQ Online Application System
Do you have a question about our Online Application System? Then you can find the answer in our FAQ Online Application System.