Programme Structure

Meet students Miriam and Tobias, who share their thoughts and experiences studying global health. They reflect on the most surprising, most difficult, and best parts of the programme. 

Study programme

The MSc in Global Health is a 2-year programme taught in English. 






First year

The first year consists of six compulsory courses and a mandatory country exposure course in a low- or middle-income country outside of Denmark.


The MSc in Global Health has six compulsory courses which, together with the field work, make up the first of the programme's two years. These courses are:

The course focuses on global distribution and burden of disease and health - particularly in relation to vulnerable populations and ages.

The course focuses on demographic changes and the impact of migration, conflicts, climate change, and other factors affecting health issues.

The course investigates connections between anthropology and global health. The general aims of the course are to link illness experiences with socio-political factors and to understand social and cultural influences of health, sickness, and therapy around the world.

The course introduces the principal concepts and methodological approaches used in global health research; with a focus on quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as methods for completion of systematic reviews.

The course introduces and examines the role of current and emerging global health issues regarding partnerships, policies, and health care systems. 

The course introduces students to the strategies and theories of disease prevention and health promotion, including health communication in different settings. Students learn to plan and evaluate interventions in low-, middle- and high-income countries. The students are also trained in utilising the skills achieved in the previous courses. 



The country exposure course covers approximately nine weeks and is divided into the following parts:

  • 2½ weeks of preparation in Denmark
  • approximately 5 weeks of field work outside of Denmark
  • 1½ week of working on the project report in Denmark

2½ weeks of preparation

The preparation for the country exposure course takes place in Copenhagen. Lectures, presentations, and group work around specific cases, will prepare you in applied research methodologies, building on previous courses.

Approximately 5 weeks of country exposure

During the field study, you will gain practical experience related to the use of the research methods taught in Copenhagen. You will obtain valuable information regarding environmental and public health services, disease patterns, and other issues related to the country or region of the host institution.

You will visit field sites and receive lectures and supervision by local as well as accompanying staff. You will be working in groups as well as individually, collecting and analysing data, and start writing your project report.

1½ weeks of working on the project report

Upon returning to Copenhagen, you will continue working on your data analysis and project report. You will present your findings to your peers and receive feedback on your work by fellow students and supervisors, before writing up the final project report.


The teaching, supervision, and other academic activities taking place as part of the country exposure course – both in Copenhagen and abroad – is covered as part of the programme.

However, students bear the expenses connected with travel, insurance, vaccinations, food, and lodging for the field trip. These expenses depend on the destination, as the travel to a destination in Europe will be less expensive than going outside of Europe.

Below you find examples of previous country exposures. The destinations will vary.


Second year

In the second year, you choose your specialisation and write your thesis. You are free to plan and compose the year as you like within one of five different study tracks.


After completing t compulsory courses and country exposure course, you specialise your global health studies within one of the five following study tracks:

  1. Policy, Financing and Health Care Systems
  2. Disease Burden, Challenges and Changes
  3. E-health and ICT in Health
  4. Disaster Risk Management
  5. Generalist track

During your first year of studies, there will be workshops and seminars about the different study tracks, helping you to decide in which of the tracks you wish to specialise.

Based on your choice, you compose a study plan for your third and fourth semester. The study plan must be approved by the study board.



During your third semester, you can use 10 or 15 ECTS for an internship as part of your chosen study track.

An internship provides a unique opportunity to gain experience and put the knowledge, skills and competences acquired in the course of your studies into practice in a real-life work context.

It is up to you to identify and decide on the topic and kind of organisation and setting you would like to try out.

You can find inspiration and information about opportunities via the links below.

Mandatory components

As part of doing an internship, you need the following: 

  • A work plan developed prior to commencement of the internship
  • A supervisor in the field/office/archive
  • A project or program related to global health
  • Milestones for skill development and the specific competences used in relation to the position, placement, and project. You may consider developing competence cards.



Elective courses can be taken from University of Copenhagen or from other institutions in Denmark or abroad. Elective courses can be from 2.5 to 30 ETCS and can be combined with an internship.

The programme offers a variety of elective courses in cooperation with other programmes at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, for instance, the Master of Disaster Management.


It is possible to study abroad during your degree. Your third semester is best suited for studying abroad. Alternatively, you can choose to write part of your thesis abroad. It is also possible to take a summer course as an alternative to an elective.

Why Study Abroad?

A main objective of studying abroad is to further widen your academic knowledge and network. You are also more likely to benefit socially and culturally.

It is a good idea to seek advice from lecturers and the student guidance when planning your studies abroad to find out where to go and how to structure your academic programme. Your lecturers may have academic inputs, international contacts and may be able to provide you with references which can prove useful.

Exchange Agreements

The University of Copenhagen has an extensive number of exchange agreements with universities world wide.

Information about partner universities specific to Global Health is available through the International Relations Office at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.



You write your thesis during your fourth semester (30 ECTS). The thesis is the culmination of your studies and must reflect the skills and competencies, which you have acquired during the programme. 

At the beginning of the second semester, you will start considering the topic of your thesis as part of your study track plan.

The thesis must:

  • Be relevant to global health problems

  • Have a clear problem definition and clear objective(s)

  • Be based on relevant and clearly described materials and methods

  • Present its results in a clear and balanced form

  • Present a balanced discussion of materials, methods and results, and relate this to other relevant literature within the field.