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Global Health, Master of Medical Science

The master's programme in Global Health provides an interdisciplinary perspective to global development and health. As a student of the programme, you will develop a range of competencies necessary for promoting global health equality and equity. You will be prepared to analyse and problematize the spreading of unequal health and be able to carry out interventions and contribute to a sustainable future.

About the programme

The intersection between global and local health is influenced by a myriad of social and biomedical dynamics that must be considered simultaneously for policy- and decision-makers, students, and scholars to fully understand their complexity. Sustainable development, human rights, and power structures related to age, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic groups must be taken into consideration. Departing from frontline research, our programme encourages you to think critically and work independently as we incorporate these considerations into our teaching.

An interdisciplinary and collaborative education

In order for you to acquire a broad perspective and the tools needed to address complex global health challenges, the programme integrates theories and methods from four faculties and five departments:

  • Department of Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy
  • Department of Social Work at the Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Department of Economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law
  • Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion at the Faculty of Humanities
  • School of Global Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences

The courses therefore present and condense major global health challenges and their governance from the perspectives of biomedicine, public health, international relations, development economics, social work, and anthropology.

Emphasizing sustainability

You will learn about the global burden of disease, globalization of health care, and global efforts to reduce health disparities, and will be equipped with practical skills and tools needed for mapping, analysing, and creating actionable steps to solve complex global health problems. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and human rights doctrines—including their meaning in diverse settings—plays a prominent role in the courses, and different themes such as global health governance and global health economics are discussed in relation to these goals.

Balancing theory with practice

You will have the opportunity to participate in workshops where you put your theoretical knowledge into practice to be prepared for the independent collection and analysis of data required for your master’s thesis. The programme is founded on problematization as an approach towards the subject, and provides theoretical and practical skills in order to be able to work in a politico-economic reality in which the aim is to eradicate absolute poverty and to achieve a higher degree of equal health. The first year of the programme provides a theoretical foundation, and in the second year, there are opportunities to combine theory and practice through a field course in health promotion, an elective internship, and with your master’s thesis.

Who Should Apply?

Are you interested in social, economic, and health-related poverty issues and human rights?

Do you want to work to reduce absolute poverty and to improve health equity?

Do you want to learn practical skills and tools needed for mapping, analysing, and creating actionable steps to solve complex global health problems?

Are you concerned about a sustainable future, and want the skills to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?

If you want to be engaged in promoting population health and reducing health inequities, then apply for the master’s programme in Global Health.

Programme Structure and Content

The first year consists of four core courses addressing the global burden of disease, globalization of healthcare, research methods, and health economics and interventions:

  • Global Health Challenges in an Interdisciplinary Context
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
  • Governing Health and Illness in a Global Perspective
  • Global Health Economics

The third semester offers opportunities to combine theory and practice in a Field Course in Health Promotion and an elective internship. You may also choose other elective specialized courses according to your interests and goals, including the two following recommended courses:

  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics with Special Reference to Social Epidemiology
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in At-Risk Groups: Strategies and Methods

The fourth semester is devoted to your master’s thesis. We encourage you to collaborate with a research group or a global health agency, and you will have assistance in planning your work.

After Graduation

Graduates of the programme receive the degree Master of Medical Science with a major in Global Health.

Work opportunities within global health will be found at a broad range of organizations engaged in promoting population health, such as local and regional public health units and authorities, ministries of health and social affairs, UN bodies and nongovernmental organizations. Global health professionals perform a wide spectrum of tasks such as: collecting and analysing population data on disease and health patterns; creating public policies for promoting healthy lifestyles; implementing human rights doctrines; and improving access to health care and other societal services to vulnerable groups.

Application and tuition fees

Swedish and foreign students who are citizens of an EU country are not charged tuition fees. Students from countries outside the EU pay an application fee of 900 SEK. Full programme cost is 288 000 SEK and the first payment is 72 000 SEK.

Leaving the EU will not automatically mean that UK students will have to pay tuition fees, both students from EEA countries and Switzerland are not liable to pay tuition fees in Sweden even though their countries are not members of the EU. It all depends on what kind of agreement is made with the UK. A student who is admitted as a non-fee-paying student also has the right to complete their programme without paying tuition fees, so any students admitted before Brexit will remain exempt from tuition fees for the duration of their programme.

Since we do not yet know what kind of agreement will be made between the UK and the Swedish government, we can’t give a more definite answer at the moment. More information about this, will be published at Universityadmissions - tuition fees

Students from partner universities, where formal agreements have been signed, are exempt from course fees. Students from countries outside the EU will be able to apply for a grant, in competition with other applicants.

Entrance requirements and application

We like Health Sciences - Just like you

Study Counseling

 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.

Page Manager: Anette Nilsson|Last update: 10/10/2019

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