Master in Public Health


Program Description

Study Master Public Health at UiT the Arctic University of Norway.

The subject of Public Health focuses on the health of the community as a whole. Its aim is to provide knowledge and understanding of the major causes of ill health and diseases and identify effective interventions for the purpose of improving population health. Among the various subject fields in the analysis of public health, biostatistics and epidemiology are the most important.

Program description

  • Duration: 2 years
  • Credits (ECTS): 120
  • Admission requirements: Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent. See details under "Admission requirements"
  • Degree Name: Master of Public Health
  • Application code:
    • Norwegian and Nordic applicants: 3013
    • International applicants: 2035

The first year of the program consists of six mandatory courses (60 ECTS credits). In the third term, the students choose any three courses of the four elective courses offered, or go on an exchange abroad. The fourth term is allocated to thesis writing.

The Master's thesis (30 ECTS credits) should be written on a topic related to the elective courses chosen by the student.

The purpose of the thesis is to prepare for planning, developing, and presenting a scientific project in the field of public health. The thesis can be an empirical study based on data to which the student has been given access or data that the student has collected. It can also be a literature review or a project of a more theoretical character.

Please note that attendance at all the lectures and seminars in the Master Public Health courses is mandatory.

Learning outcomes

The objective of this study program is for students to understand, and be able to identify, the determinants of population health, i.e., the range of biological, environmental, social, and behavioral factors that affect the health of a population. Furthermore, students should be capable of evaluating different measures that can improve people's health.

After completing the study, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Advise policymakers concerning interventions that affect population health.
  • Critically assess the effectiveness of various public health measures.
  • Critically reflect on social and cultural aspects of health, illness, and health service.
  • Apply health economic principles in the design of financing mechanisms for hospitals and primary care providers.
  • Analyze the cost-effectiveness of alternative uses of health care resources, and make systematic comparisons for the purpose of priority setting.
  • Critically evaluate the methodology of scientific publications in public health.
  • Identify and analyze central ethical challenges in public health.
  • Explain the main causes of global health inequalities.
  • Apply the principles of evidence-based medicine and independently assess the knowledge base for interventions.
  • Use a set of epidemiological methods in the analysis of health-related issues.
  • Plan, implement and present a research project on public health.

It is essential that students learn to apply relevant theories and methods for analyzing basic health questions. Emphasis is placed on learning to master quantitative research methods. After completing this program, students should be able to map disease and health in a population and identify the social factors that affect health. They should be able to assess and initiate preventive health measures, evaluate the impact of health-related measures, and give an account of adequate solutions regarding allocations of resources.

The program consists of nine courses, each of which has 10 credits (ECTS). Six courses are mandatory and three electives, chosen from a list of four alternative elective courses (or can be taken on exchange abroad). The Master's thesis (30 ECTS credits) completes the program structure to a total of 120 credits (ECTS).

Job prospectives

A Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) is increasingly well recognized internationally and the Department of Community Medicine at UiT the Arctic University of Norway is regarded as a center of international excellence for the quality of its research. Graduates from the program will find career opportunities in health planning and regulatory roles, hospitals, community care, as well as industry. An MPH will also provide highly relevant knowledge for international health work, e.g. in international humanitarian organizations.

The health service has a constant demand for qualified personnel. There is a particular need for expertise in understanding the causes of, and prevention of, communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as accidents and suicides. Etiology and prevention are central topics in this program with its emphasis on epidemiology, and biostatistics, and global health.

Program structure

Term 10 credits 10 credits 10 credits
1 term (autumn)
HEL-3005 Society, Culture and Public Health
HEL-3006 Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics
HEL-3007 Health Economics and Policy
2 term (spring)
HEL-3070 Biostatistics II
HEL-3043 Introduction to Global Health
HEL-3055 Health Technology Assessment and Medical Decision-making
3 term (autumn)
Students choose any three of the four courses or go on exchange
HEL-3008 Public Health Ethics
HEL-3060 Epidemiology II
HEL-3034 Global Health
HEL-3066 Protocol Development for MPH Thesis
HEL-3008 Public Health Ethics
HEL-3060 Epidemiology II
HEL-3034 Global Health
HEL-3066 Protocol Development for MPH Thesis
4 term Master's thesis (spring)
HEL-3950 Master's Thesis in Public Health
HEL-3950 Master's Thesis in Public Health HEL-3950 Master's Thesis in Public Health

Admission requirements

Admission to the Master's program in Public Health requires a Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS credits) in Health Sciences, Social Sciences or Natural Sciences, or equivalent qualification. For students who hold a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences or Natural Sciences, the degree must contain a minimum of 80 ECTS (or equivalent) within the fields specific to the Master's degree program in Public Health; epidemiology, health economics, biostatistics, health sociology, global- and environmental health.

The minimum average grade requirement is:

C - for Bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

B - for Bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in all other countries.

The students must master the use of a computer and have access to a PC, MacBook, or laptop with an Internet connection.

Applicants will be ranked by the Admission Committee for the Master Public Health program, and up to 30 qualified applicants will be admitted. In 2015 a small number of qualified Nordic applicants (C average grade) were offered not admission due to competition for the 30 spots on the program.

Teaching and assessment

The teaching will consist of on-campus classes, normally between two to three or three to five days duration per course. The number and the duration of the on-campus classes will vary across the different courses. Attendance at lectures and seminars is mandatory in all courses. In addition, teaching will be based on the use of the Internet by means of the learning management systems Canvas and Fronter. This Master's degree is an intensive program. All courses demand active participation from the students.

Teaching and assessment methods are described in the course plan for each course. The Department of Community Medicine primarily uses the following methods of evaluation: Home assignment on a given topic; home assignment on a topic chosen by the student; written examination, and; portfolio assessment on the basis of submitted assignments that are a part of a course.

Access to further studies

On successful completion of the degree program, students may be qualified for admission to a Ph.D. program in a number of academic areas at UiT the Arctic University of Norway, or elsewhere.


Exchange can be done in the third semester of the program. There are program-specific agreements with LMU München, Tbilisi State University, and the University of Georgia. In addition, there are possibilities within the open exchange agreements UiT has with institutions abroad. The MPH student adviser can help you with more information on exchange. UiT central page for student exchange:

Last updated Jan 2021

About the School

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a medium-sized research university that contributes to knowledge-based development at the regional, national, and international levels.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a medium-sized research university that contributes to knowledge-based development at the regional, national, and international levels. Read less
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