Internship I MPA Specialization International Public Health


Course Objective

The aim of the first internship is to apply the competences acquired
during the previous courses in a research project in order to ground
the knowledge, attitudes and skills of interdisciplinary research. More
specifically, the aims of the internships are:
• The student conducts scientific research under supervision;
• The student is able to find scientific information and to
evaluate this for the benefit of his or her own research question under
• The student is able to apply scientific methods and knowledge, to
answer research questions and to generate evidence‐based knowledge under
• The student is able to formulate a research question, to choose,
to implement and to evaluate the (appropriate) research method, and to
phrase the obtained results in report under supervision;
• The student learns to cooperate with researchers of various
• The student is able to orally present the research results and to
discuss the findings;
• The student obtains a good impression of a potential future field
of career.

Course Content

The internship is a compulsory part of the Master MPA. The duration of
the internship is 5 months (27 EC). An internship placement must provide
the student with the opportunity to learn how to conduct research under
supervision. The onsite supervisor of the internship is linked to an
academic or research institution.

Internships can be conducted at various locations such as the Ministry
of Health, Welfare and Sports, the Public Health Inspectorate, the
Health Council, medical organizations such as the municipality health
service (GGD), consultancies, the (pharmaceutical) industry and several
research institutes, such as universities or e.g. the National Institute
for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).It must fit the chosen

An internship typically has three phases:

• In the first phase, you write an extended research proposal
consisting of an introduction, background, theoretical/conceptual
framework, research questions and your research methodology.
• In the second phase, you collect and analyse your (qualitative
and/or quantitative) data.
• In the third phase, you do your final analysis and present your
findings both orally and in a report. The presentation seminar is a
compulsory part of this third phase.

Teaching Methods

Research internship

Method of Assessment

Report (55% ), Oral presentation (15%), Execution (30%) and Attitude

Within six weeks after the start of the master internship, an interim
evaluation will take place to assess whether there is a reasonable
chance of the placement being brought to a successful completion.

The internship is supervised by one and assessed by two lecturers. Both
lecturers are members of the academic staff at VU University Amsterdam.
The onsite supervision can be carried out by a trainee research
assistant (AIO), postdoc or researcher.

Entry Requirements

To ensure that students do have enough background knowledge, it is
required that you have passed the three compulsory courses: ‘Research
Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems',‘Analysis of Governmental
Policy’ and ‘Communication Organization and Management’ (grade at least


Verschuren, P. and Doorewaards, H. (2010) Designing a research project
(2nd edition) Eleven International Publishing, The Hague.

Gray, D.E. (2014) Doing Research in the Real World (3rd edition)Sage
Publications Ltd, Los Angeles.

Substantial additional reading on both research methodology and the
topic of the research, to be searched for by student.

Target Audience

Students MSc MPA year 1

Additional Information

Internships can only start when the draft research proposal and
application and agreement form is approved and signed by the
specialization coordinator.

Information on Master internships is made available on Canvas.

General Information

Course Code AM_1119
Credits 27 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. D.R. Essink
Examiner dr. D.R. Essink
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.