Master of Science in Global Health

Every day we are faced with important global health challenges of the 21st century, such as chronic diseases, mental illnesses, ageing population, the health consequences of climate change, pollution, and migration. These challenges can only be effectively addressed through an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, global approach that tackles the 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. Together, this training package prepares you to become a catalyst for change as a global health professional.


Central courses
In the first year, the programme is organised around two key themes. Semester I goes ‘Global’, providing students with the knowledge and insights into global health challenges and their determinants, as well as the global health policy and normative frameworks (Courses: 'Global Health Challenges' and 'Global Health Governance and Leadership'). Semester II investigates the ‘Local’, teaching students about the instruments that governments can use to formulate a local answer to global health challenges (Courses: 'Health Care Systems' and 'Health Promotion and Disease Prevention'). Several transversal courses run throughout the first three semesters. In these courses students are instructed in 'Essential Skills in Global Health' (including complexity theory, systems thinking and evidence synthesis), and 'Research Methods in Global Health' (including key methodological insights relevant to global health).
Elective courses
Semester III and IV are the ‘Focal’ semesters, in which students will specialize in a specific Global Health Challenges – either focusing on ‘Global Health Policies and Programmes’ or on ‘Research Methods in Global Health’ by selecting a number of elective courses offered by the five partner institutions.
In the second year students will do an internship of 10 weeks. 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 Global Health domain, including the various actors, specializations and career opportunities that this encompasses.
Master thesis
The master thesis is a paper/dissertation in which the student independently develops a research project. The student carries out a scientific study in an independent and creative way with regard to a topic concerning Global Health. The master thesis can be seen as the endpoint of the programme, in which the acquired knowledge, academic and domain-specific skills and competences are used to independently develop a research project and to bring it to a successful conclusion.
Practical information
The Master in Global Health is jointly organized by the five Flemish Universities in Belgium: Ghent University, Antwerp University, Catholic University of Leuven, Free University of Brussels and Hasselt University. Classes will be taught in Ghent, Antwerp and Leuven. All places are easily accessible by public transport and students will be given access to student facilities on the three campuses.


Students graduating from our ‘Global Health Policy and Programmes’ option will be more oriented towards governmental 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.