About the Programme
This Master’s Programme in Public Health Science has a specific focus on Health Economics. Apart from a broad base in the field of public health science, its theories and methods, students will gain advanced knowledge of the relationship between economic development and health as well as methods for evaluating economic costs and benefits of health interventions. The purpose of the programme is to prepare students for successful participation in strategic and practical public health work within regional, national and/or international institutions as well as for further studies at postgraduate level.
Public health science is a multidisciplinary field that deals with questions about the distribution of health within populations, health inequity and the structural factors that influence on health. As such, it focuses on the importance of society’s organization as well as the political, economic and cultural factors that influence on the health of populations. An important part of health economics is the formulation of evaluations that measures costs and health benefits of interventions, including ethical aspects of priority setting.
Work opportunities are found in organizations engaged in promoting population health and preventing disease, including local and regional public health departments and authorities, such as ministries of health and social affairs, UN bodies and non-governmental organizations.
The programme starts with courses that focus on the basic concepts, principles, fields of application and research methods in public health science. The first course presents foundations and core topics within public health science. Health inequity, and how to counteract this will be discussed and analyzed. Health promotion and disease prevention theories and methods are introduced, as well as public health ethics. The Health equality theme constitutes a read thread through the programme, yet it is explicitly dealt with in the next course where the overlaps and differences between equality and equity is discussed. In parallel to this second course, a course in qualitative research methods runs, completing the first semester.
The second term starts with a course in epidemiology and biostatistics, which prepares for the following in-depth courses by addressing quantitative methodology. The first in-depth course within this track focuses on how health economics combines public health and economic theories, and on methods and applications for micro- and macro-economic perspectives on health. Macroeconomic perspectives highlight health strategies of national and international institutions, including how they relate to economic development, poverty alleviation, etc. A key issue is investment in health care and other social security systems, as well as the effectiveness of these systems. Microeconomic perspectives on health focus on access and demand for different types of health interventions as well as their cost-effectiveness (in relation to the health goals pursued). An important part of public health economics is ethical reflections on priority setting that is necessary in a health care system with limited resources, e.g. whether some priorities favor certain groups or certain goals more than others.
The third term of the programme offers elective in-depth courses. The first course departs from the second term course, with a focus on health economics evaluations.. The health economics courses provide students with an in-depth understanding of economic perspectives on society and health, similarities and differences between the evaluation of medical and public health-related interventions, as well as when and how health-economic evaluations can and should be carried out.
During the second part of this term two more elective courses are offered where health equality aspects are applied to the public health themes ‘Work and health’ and ‘Migration and health’. The programme students can apply for a full- or half-term internship course, where theoretical knowledge on Health equality is applied in a public health work setting.
The elective courses offered within the programme can be replaced by freestanding courses at the University of Gothenburg, at other universities in Sweden or abroad.
The program is completed with a full term thesis course where students work on their master’s thesis project, which may include field studies and should relate to Health economics.
The programme leads to a Degree of Master of Medical Science with a major in Public Health Science.
Requirements and Selection
REQUIREMENTS: A Bachelor’s degree or professional degree qualification corresponding to at least 180 credits or equivalent, within the main areas of health science or social science. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.
SELECTION: Applications will be ranked by the Institute of Medicine based on students degrees earned, work experience and motivation for applying to the program. A verification of degree and English requirements (TOFEL) must be submitted together with a letter of intent (LOI) and a Curriculum Vitae (CV). The CV should be structured in accordance with our template, i.e. include a list of education, relevant work experience and knowledge in research methodology. The LOI (maximum of 250 words in English) should cover statement of intent, ambition and initiative. Specific information about requirements is found on the template at: https://studentportalen.gu.se/english/my-studies/medicine/programmes/public-health
Application fee: 900 SEK
Full programme cost: 283 416 SEK
First payment: 70 854 SEK
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