The subject of Public Health focuses on the health of the community as a whole. Its aim is to provide knowledge and understanding of the major causes of ill health and diseases, and identify effective interventions for the purpose of improving population health. Among the various subject fields in the analysis of public health, biostatistics and epidemiology are the most important.
The first year of the programme consists of six mandatory courses (60 ECTS credits). In the third term, the students choose any three courses of the four elective courses offered, or go on exchange abroad. The fourth term is allocated to thesis writing.
The Master's thesis (30 ECTS credits) should be written on a topic related to the elective courses chosen by the student.
The purpose of the thesis is to prepare for planning, developing and presenting a scientific project in the field of public health. The thesis can be an empirical study based on data to which the student has been given access or data that the student has collected. It can also be a literature review or a project of more theoretical character.
Please note that attendance to all the lectures and seminars in the Master Public Health courses is mandatory.
The objective of this study programme is for students to understand, and be able to identify, the determinants of population health, i.e., the range of biological, environmental, social and behavioural factors that affect the health of a population. Furthermore, students should be capable of evaluating different measures that can improve people's health.
After completing the study, it is expected that students will be able to:
- Advise policy makers concerning interventions that affect population health
- Critically assess the effectiveness of various public health measures
- Critically reflect on social and cultural aspects of health, illness and health service
- Apply health economic principles in the design of financing mechanisms for hospitals and primary care providers
- Analyse the cost-effectiveness of alternative uses of health care resources, and make systematic comparisons for the purpose of priority setting
- Critically evaluate the methodology of scientific publications in public health
- Identify and analyse central ethical challenges in public health
- Explain the main causes of global health inequalities
- Apply the principles of evidence-based medicine and independently assess the knowledge base for interventions
- Use a set of epidemiological methods in the analysis of health-related issues
- Plan, implement and present a research project on public health
It is essential that students learn to apply relevant theories and methods for analysing basic health questions. Emphasis is placed on learning to master quantitative research methods. After completing this programme, students should be able to map disease and health in a population and identify the social factors that affect health. They should be able to assess and initiate preventive health measures, evaluate the impact of health-related measures and give an account of adequate solutions regarding allocations of resources.
The programme consists of nine courses, each of which has 10 credits (ECTS). Six courses are mandatory and three elective, chosen from a list of four alternative elective courses (or can be taken on exchange abroad). The Master's thesis (30 ECTS credits) completes the programme structure to total 120 credits (ECTS).
Teaching and assessment
The teaching will consist of on-campus classes, normally between two to three or three to five days duration per course. The number and the duration of the on-campus classes will vary across the different courses. Attendance at lectures and seminars is mandatory in all courses. In addition, teaching will be based on the use of the Internet by means of the learning management systems Canvas and Fronter. This Master's degree is an intensive programme. All courses demand active participation from the students.
Teaching and assessment methods are described in the course plan for each course. The Department of Community Medicine primarily uses the following methods of evaluation: Home assignment on a given topic; home assignment on a topic chosen by the student; written examination, and; portfolio assessment on the basis of submitted assignments that are a part of a course.
Language of instruction
The language of instruction and all syllabus material is English.
The students can, on the other hand, choose if they want to write assignments and examinations in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.
A Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) is increasingly well recognised internationally and the Department of Community Medicine at UiT the Arctic University of Norway is regarded as a centre of international excellence for the quality of its research. Graduates from the programme will find career opportunities in health planning and regulatory roles, hospitals, community care, as well as industry. An MPH will also provide highly relevant knowledge for international health work, e.g. in international humanitarian organisations.
The health service has a constant demand for qualified personnel. There is a particular need for expertise in understanding the causes of, and prevention of, communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as accidents and suicides. Etiology and prevention are central topics in this programme with its emphasis on epidemiology, and biostatistics and global health.
Access to further studies
On successful completion of the degree programme, students may be qualified for admission to a PhD programme in a number of academic areas at UiT the Arctic University of Norway or elsewhere.