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Programme in Public Health Science with Health Economics

A multidisciplinary course

A public health scientist aims to create the right conditions for people’s physical and mental well-being. This is a multidisciplinary course which provides a unique understanding of how to prevent illness and promote health within society.

Public health science is a discipline about the health of the population at local, national and international level. The focus is on factors which control health within our society, such as poverty, social inequality, gender, ethnicity and lifestyle. Important areas which are studied are the environment and the organisation of health care. Global and multicultural issues also form a core element of the course.

The work of the public health scientist brings health benefits for both the individual and society as a whole. The breadth of knowledge which the role involves means that he or she can deal with preventative and health-promotion issues at local, national and international level. This work can be found in individual companies and public administration. There are also opportunities to work for international bodies and voluntary organisations.

The public health scientist often has a coordinating, motivating role within a team. Tasks might involve assessing the current state of public health, planning measures and resources, and implementing and evaluating health-promotion activities. Potential areas of work include drug and crime prevention, mental ill health and helping young people adopt a better lifestyle. A public health scientist can also analyse inequalities in health within a particular section of the population, or deal with accident prevention, working environment initiatives, staff health and other similar issues.

Three focus areas

The Programme in Public Health Science at the Sahlgrenska Academy has three focus areas: health economics, epidemiology and gender studies.

Health economics applies economic theories and methods to health-related issues, such as analysing the cost of ill health to society and carrying out an economic assessment of public health interventions.

Epidemiology, the study of the spread of disease, involves being able to describe and analyse the state of health of a population. Using statistical methods, the risks of ill health and illness can be assessed and preventative and health-promotion initiatives planned.

Gender studies, in terms of public health science, involves analysing and understanding how the lifestyle differences between men and women affect their health, and proposing preventative and health-promotion initiatives on the basis of this.

Application, entry requirements and selection

Twenty students are accepted each year to the Programme in Public Health Science in Gothenburg. Admission takes place in the autumn semester. This programme is conducted in Swedish.

To meet the general entry requirements you must:

  • have successfully completed upper secondary (high school) education and meet the requirements for university studies in the home country.
  • be able to demonstrate proficiency in English. The entry requirement is the equivalent of at least grade E of the Swedish upper secondary course English 6/English B. See English Language Requirements.
  • be able to demonstrate proficiency in Swedish.. The entry requirement is the equivalent of at least grade E of the Swedish upper secondary course Swedish 3/Swedish as a second language 3.


See other ways of meeting the requirement in Swedish at the website (in Swedish): https://www.antagning.se/sv/Det-har-galler-for-dig-som-gatt/Utlandsk-gymnasieutbildning/Det-har-behover-du-ha/Behorighet-i-svenska/

For students who received their final school grades after 31 December 2009, there is an additional entry requirement for mathematics as follows:

  • The student must have successfully completed courses in mathematics to reach the level of the Swedish courses Mathematics 1a, 1b or 1c / Mathematics A (approximately 10 years of mathematics studies).


If you have an International Baccalaureate (IB) degree from 2013 or earlier and received a diploma you have basic eligibility for higher education in Sweden, if you have sufficient knowledge in Swedish, English and mathematics.

For general admission, you must have:

  • Swedish A1 or A2, at least grade 4. If you completed your secondary education prior to January 1, 2010, it is enough with grades of at least 4 in Swedish B.
  • English B, SL, at least grade 4, with language of instruction other than English
  • Whoever has the IB diploma meet normal requirements in mathematics for basic eligibility, otherwise required Mathematics course A or Mathematics 1a/1b/1c.


And specific entry requirements, with pass grades of at least E:

  • English B, Mathematics B (field-specific entry requirement 6b, with an exemption made in the case of Science Studies A, Social Studies A), or
  • English 6, Mathematics 2a or Mathematics 2b or Mathematics 2c (field-specific entry requirement A 6b, with an exemption made in the case of Science Studies 1b, Social Studies 1b).


Selection: Grades (66%) and the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (34%).

Page Manager: Anette Nilsson|Last update: 10/3/2017
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