Global Health: a complex challenge

Are you ready to unravel the complexity of global health challenges and contribute to better health for all? Then this Research Masters in Global Health may be the Master’s you are looking for. Our programme offers you the opportunity to learn about and work on global health challenges, by crossing disciplinary boundaries and collaborating with social stakeholders.

The importance of Global Health to the world

New and emerging infectious diseases, such as the Zika virus or zoonoses, changing disease patterns and lifestyles, large-scale migration of vulnerable populations or the rising costs of healthcare; these are examples of problems that add complexity to the already considerable health challenges the world is facing today. Many diseases do not stop at national borders, and most health problems have social, political and economic impacts. With the world’s population becoming increasingly interdependent, there is need for a vision on health that spans the globe and promotes shared responsibility. Global health is defined as the broad field of study, research and practice geared towards improving health and achieving equity in health. Global health researchers need inter- and transdisciplinary approaches in order to study and unravel complex health problems. They need to cross disciplinary boundaries and interact with health professionals, patients, policy-makers, public and private sector stakeholders to gain an in-depth understanding of global health problems. However, their role does not stop here. Global health researchers also need to bring these different stakeholders together to set out cohesive and strategic action to solve these problems.

Programme in a nutshell

The Research Master Global Health is a two year, 120 ECTS programme which is fully taught in English. During this master, you embark on an intensive study of cross-cutting aspects of health systems together with students from all over the world. You will obtain the latest insights on infectious and chronic diseases in Master classes and learn all about research methods in our programme courses. You are taught how to design, implement and measure interventions and innovative strategies that address complex health challenges, such as the transmission of HIV from mother to child, and to analyse and compare different health systems. In this Research Master’s, and in particular during the two internships, you learn how to design and conduct research as well as how to analyse, discuss and present your research data. We strongly believe in the added value of offering two internships during the programme. This not only gives you the opportunity to explore different health problems and contexts, it also allows you to put mixed methods and transdisciplinary research into practice. Moreover, you will add relevance to your internship by bringing together different stakeholders to discuss the implications of your research findings for global health policy and practice. During a two-year period, you will receive the best possible preparation for a PhD or research position. While a number of our alumni have seamlessly enrolled into PhD trajectories, we have also seen our alumni successfully securing health policy or advisory positions in governmental and non-governmental agencies after completing the programme.  

First year

In the first year of the programme, courses will focus on the study of complex global health problems in high- and low-income countries. You will learn how to analyse problems, design intervention strategies as well as how to measure the effectiveness of such strategies by using qualitative and quantitative research methods, involving  multiple stakeholders and perspectives. You will also learn how to study health problems and interventions in the broader context of a government’s policy and national health system and to compare between countries. After completing one of the selective courses offered by the programme’s partners, you will conduct a mixed methods research in the Netherlands or abroad.

Second year

In the second year, you will further deepen your knowledge on global health problems and your research skills. The first two courses will focus on advanced quantitative analysis methods and transdisciplinary research. Thereafter, you will learn how to write scientifically and conduct a literature review. After completing a course on ethics, where you will analyse moral dilemmas, you will be guided in writing a research grant proposal. The master programme is rounded off with the Master Thesis, in which you present the research findings from your second internship in a scientific article.

  • Language of instruction:English
  • Duration:2 years
  • Tuition fee:Information about tuition fees (collegegeld)
  • Application deadline:1 June for Dutch students. 1 April for EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students.* * EU/EEA students with an international degree who do not need housing services through Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam University Amsterdam can still apply until 1 June.
  • Start date:1 September
  • Study type:Full-time
  • Field of Interest:Behavioural and Social Sciences, Health and Movement
  • Admission requirements:

    Admission requirements

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