International Public Health


Course Objective

The main objective to the course is to become able to explain and
discuss basic notions relating to the analysis of the main health issues
transcending national borders and to organisational and social dynamics
impacting on the health of people in the various regions of the world.

In particular the course will seek to train the students in:

• Explaining the basic notions necessary for the analysis of social
health problems on an international and transnational level.
• Discussing the theoretical models and the scientific and social
developments impacting the field of international public health.
• Discussing the major social dynamics impacting on the health of people
around the world.
• Reflecting on issues relating to public health organisation, policy
and governance with particular emphasis on low- and middle income
• Analysing the interests, needs and wishes of the different actors who
play a role in public health at an international and transnational
• Discussing the possibilities and limitations of healthcare policies
and interventions, also in relation to development issues.
• Mastering the basic research, analysis and writing skills necessary
for the study of international public health issues.
• Discussing the importance of fundamental values such as equality,
dignity of all individuals, inclusiveness, cosmopolitanism and respect
for differences.
The main objective of this course is to acquire insight in scientific-
and societal developments related to global health and development

Course Content

In this course students gain insight into public health issues in an
international context, with a focus on questions relating to
socio-cultural dynamics and to health systems factors impacting on
people’s health. Specific attention is paid to health issues in low and
middle income countries.
First, we will start by getting general insights into the context and
background of International Public Health by studying basic notions
relating to health measurements, trends and burden of disease. Then, we
will deal more specifically with health problems, societal dynamics and
interventions relating to a number of areas such as the relationship
between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and health, education
and poverty, health systems, health and culture, health and human
rights, ethics, health policy and governance, equal access to health
services and Universal Health Coverage, globalisation and health, gender
and health, international cooperation in the field of health. All these
topics are approached in an inter- transdisciplinary way, with insights
integrated from various scientific disciplines and perspectives, held by
a variety of actors. This will be made possible by the fact that the
lectures will be delivered by experts from a series of different
disciplines who in their work combine research/academic activities and
work in health policy and practice.
In the assignment students are required to work in groups to construct a
portfolio in which they analyse the public health situation of a country
of their choice and study more in depth one specific international
public health theme emerging in that country. In this way students will
learn to critically reflect on the problems discussed during the course
and to formulate concrete recommendations to address such challenges. In
addition, students will acquire basic research and writing skills
necessary to analyse and write up international public health problems
and the factors which enable or impede physical, mental and social
wellbeing of citizens of the various nations throughout the world.
The course also helps students to get acquainted with values which are
essential for health and social policy development and implementation
and to achieve equality, recognition of the dignity of all individuals,
inclusiveness, and respect for differences.

Teaching Methods

Lectures: 19,5 hours
Work Groups: 16 hours
Group assignment: 65 hours
Self study: 65 hours
Contact: 30 hours
Exam: 2,5 hours

Method of Assessment

Written exam (50%) and group assignment (50%), consisting of a
report/portfolio (40% of total) and a presentation (10% of total). The
language of instruction is English.


Book, Richard Skolnik, Global Health 101 (3rd edition, Jones and
Bartlett, 2017)
Articles on Canvas
Course guide
Instructions group assignment

Target Audience

The course International Public Health (Period 6) is a choice course,
mainly (but not exclusively) for second and third-year bachelor students
Health and Life Sciences and health Science. The course is highly
recommended to students who are considering specialising through a
Master of International Public Health or the Research Master Global
Health. The course is also particularly recommended for students who
have followed the previous public health course Internationale
Volksgezondheid (AB_1145) which takes place in April-May.

Additional Information

This course is fully taught in English. Attendance at the work groups
and presentations is mandatory.

Recommended background knowledge

The curriculum builds on the first year optional course "Internationale
Volksgezondheid", having followed this course is an advantage but not a
requirement for enrolment.

General Information

Course Code AB_470088
Credits 6 EC
Period P6
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator K. De Sabbata
Examiner dr. T. Cesuroglu
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group, Computer lab
Target audiences

This course is also available as: