Master in Global Health
Influenced by increasing globalization over recent decades, a new approach has arisen for working and thinking about health internationally. Here, abstraction is made of the concepts of national or international, and the idea of global health has been introduced. Global health strives for equality in health between countries. Within this new paradigm, problems are approached as global issues that require an interdisciplinary approach, with all countries contributing jointly.
With the Master of Science in Global Health, we want to focus on health issues and determinants that are regarded as global challenges for the 21st century: chronic conditions, mental health, and ageing, but also the effects of pollution, climate change, and migration on health. The complexity of these challenges requires a transnational, interdisciplinary approach (including social sciences, ecological sciences, health sciences, legal sciences, and economics) with input from a variety of actors (including governments, international organizations, civil society, and professional associations). Global health is, therefore, to a large extent multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and focused on cooperation.
The Master of Science in Global Health provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to manage these complexities by giving you a sound theoretical basis, mixed with applied classes and an internship. This training package prepares you to become a catalyst for change as a global health professional.
Why choose this Master?
6 reasons to choose this Master.
Every day we are faced with important global health challenges. Chronic conditions, mental illnesses, and ageing, but also the effects of pollution, climate change, and migration on health, are health problems and determinants that are considered global challenges for the 21st century. Such challenges can only be effectively addressed through an interdisciplinary, intersectoral, global approach that tackles their multiple causes and consequences. The Master of Science in Global Health provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to manage these complexities by giving you a sound theoretical basis, mixed with applied classes and an internship. This training package will prepare you to become a catalyst for change as a global health professional.
Adopting a truly interdisciplinary approach
The programme starts from the idea that an interdisciplinary approach is essential to solve complex global health challenges. Therefore, we require no particular Master’s degree to enrol in the programme, since we believe that a Master of Philosophy can contribute equally to finding global health solutions as a Master of Social Sciences, Law, Medicine, or any other discipline. The programme will pay particular attention to interdisciplinary collaboration and group work. The teaching staff also reflects this interdisciplinarity.
A collaboration between five top Belgian universities
Each university has its specific experience, approach, and centres of expertise. By working together, students benefit from being taught by top researchers in different areas of global health. Furthermore, the wide networks of these five institutions can draw on international teaching staff and internship placements. Belgian universities achieve high scores in global rankings — for example, Ghent University ranks in 61st place in the 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Ranking), the Catholic University of Leuven is considered the most innovative university in Europe, and Hasselt University ranks 15th on the list of best small universities.
Emphasizing strong individual mentorship
Each student will be guided by a mentor. Starting in the second semester, each student will be assigned a mentor who will take on the important role of ensuring coherence in the student’s programme. In particular, s/he will support the student to specialize in a particular global health topic. The mentor will assist the student to align his/her choice of Master’s thesis topic, elective courses in the second year, and internship. Preferably, the mentor is also the promoter of the Master’s thesis. S/he is an expert in the field the student wants to specialize in and can assist the student’s professional development.
Connecting with the professional world through the internship programme
In the second year, students will undertake a 10-week professional internship in the field. The aim of the internship is to put global health thinking into practice, to acquire skills and practical knowledge, and to get a better view of the total domain of global health, including the various actors, specializations, and career opportunities that this encompasses. The student is involved in all aspects of the work undertaken. We have secured internship placements in high-level research institutes, as well as in government departments and international organizations. The Master’s programme also benefits from its strategic position in the heart of Europe, with a wide range of international organizations present in Brussels.
Applying an innovative educational concept
Blended learning combines contact education and online learning. We also attach great importance to competency-based education and workplace learning. The programme includes various aspects of competency-based education. Students are trained to become professionals, and the learning environment invites them to learn actively, using real-world examples. In the Master’s programme, this is mainly done through interdisciplinary group work, by incorporating realistic cases into the lessons, by focusing on contemporary topics, and through the 10-week professional internship.
Learning in the heart of Europe
In the first year, classes are spread over three campuses in Belgium — Ghent, Antwerp, and Leuven — in the heart of Europe. Students will have access to the facilities of all three campuses. The campuses are strongly rooted in history, with ample places of historical interest, medieval centres, and teaching histories dating back to the 14th century. They are well connected to each other by public transport. In the second year, classes and campuses are linked to the major chosen by the student.
In the second year, the Master’s programme offers two tracks. Students graduating from our ‘Global Health Policy and Programmes’ option will be more oriented towards government institutions, international organizations, development agencies, non-governmental organizations, or lobbying and advocacy. Those graduating from our ‘Research Methods in Global Health’ option will focus more on national and international research institutions working in fields related to global health.
a Master’s degree or equivalent that complies with the minimum diploma requirements (verified by the UGent admissions service)
proof of English language proficiency (TOEFL 550/213 or IELTS score 6.5)
interest in and basic knowledge of the field of global health, assessed through a personal motivation letter and an interview