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Public Health Science with a specialization in Health Economics

Public health science is a multidisciplinary field that focus on health and disease at population level. The master’s programme in Public Health Science offers two unique specializations: health economics and health equality. In the health economic specialization, you will study economic development and health and methods for evaluating economic costs and benefits of health interventions. The specialization emphasizes local and civil society participation to achieve the right to health for all.

About the Programme

The distribution of health and disease in the population is partly shaped by the distribution of power, opportunities, and socioeconomic resources. Examples include access to adequate education, health care, safe housing and workplaces, as well as access to clean water and food. The availability of social support, resources to meet daily needs, and the possibility to live a life free of discrimination are unequally distributed between and within countries, which in turn affects the prevalence of health and disease. In this way, public health is closely connected to human rights and the right to health, by identifying social structures and processes that lead to unfair and avoidable inequalities of health. Studying public health science in Sweden means that you will live and observe a country with extended structures for improved population health, such as universal welfare and health care systems. Despite this, you will also become aware of public health challenges even in a country with an extended welfare system such as Sweden.

Addressing complex challenges with interdisciplinarity and sustainability

Through the focus on human rights, gender, and inequalities in health, our programme is closely focused on social, economic, and environmental sustainability, and is clearly connected with several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Public health science examines population health and disease in a social context, focusing on the social determinants of health and the overarching systems that form these conditions, such as economic structures, policies, legislations, political systems, and social norms. Furthermore, health risks that transcend national boundaries, such as epidemics, economic crises, and violence in conflicts, are increasingly common. Our programme responds to these complex challenges by involving teachers from a variety of professional backgrounds such as medicine, biostatistics, epidemiology, sociology, economics, law, philosophy, and theory of science. Additionally, during the second year of study, you will have the opportunity to choose courses from these other departments, study a full semester abroad, or complete a half- or full-semester internship. The master’s programme in Public Health Science offers two unique specializations: health equality and health economics.

Specializing in health economics

If you choose to specialize in health economics, you will gain advanced knowledge of the relationship between economic development and health, and skills on how to design and evaluate public health interventions. Courses focus on the importance of society’s organization and other structural factors (political, economic, and cultural) for the health status of populations, including studies of the social determinants of health, such as income, poverty, economic inequity, and access to health care.

Who Should Apply?

Do you want to understand the relationship between economic development and the health status of populations?
Do you want to understand how the production, delivery, and financing of health care services is organized and how it influences population health?

Do you want to learn more about theories and methods to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of public health programs?

Are you interested in learning practical skills for how to design and evaluate public health interventions with the aim to understand whether an intervention causes some effect or not?

Whether you have a background in health care or social sciences, human rights or economics, if you are passionate about understanding and ethically prioritizing interventions to health inequalities, then apply for the master’s program in Public Health Science specializing in health economics.

Programme Structure and Content

The first semester consists of three mandatory courses that students of both specializations take together:

  • Public Health Foundations and Areas of Application
  • Health Equality and the Right to Health
  • Qualitative Methods in Public Health

The second semester has one mandatory joint course that prepares you for the following in-depth mandatory course in your specialization:

  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Health Economics: Foundations, Areas of Application, and Methodology

During the third semester, you can choose courses from other departments at the University, study a full semester abroad, or complete an internship. You may also choose an advanced course in your specialization or joint courses where health equality aspects are applied to the themes of work and migration.

The final semester is devoted to your master’s thesis, which can be carried out in collaboration with a research group or include field studies, and will result in a scientific article.

After Graduation

The programme leads to a degree of Master of Medical Science with a major in Public Health Science and a specialization in health economics.

Work opportunities for public health professionals mirror contemporary public health challenges. Positions will therefore be found in organizations engaged in promoting population health and preventing disease, such as local and regional public health departments and authorities, ministries of health and social affairs, UN bodies and non-governmental organizations. Public health professionals perform a wide range of tasks including surveillance and analyses of population health data, design of health promotion policy and interventions addressing social determinants and health equity, advocacy communication, and social mobilization for health.

Entrance requirements and application

We like Health Sciences - Just like you

Study counselling

 Therése Johansson

Phone: +46 31 786 3653
Monday-Thursday 13-14
Drop-in: Tuesday 14-15

Visiting address Medicinaregatan 3
Visits by appointment by phone or email.


Admissions are made every autumn term.

Apply via antagning.se latest 15 April if you have a Swedish Bachelor’s degree.

Apply via universityadmission.se latest 15 January if you have an international Bachelor’s degree.

Master student tells all

Meet Eric Twum-Antwl, a student at the Master's Programme in Public Health Science with Health Economics.

Page Manager: Anette Nilsson|Last update: 1/7/2020

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