Introduction to Public Health

  • Duration: One semester
  • Fall semester , Exchange student
  • ECTS 20 ECTS
  • Application period Application deadline: May 1

About the course

The course gives thorough introduction in the field of public health and focuses on the following topics:

  • Modern society and its challenges for public health
  • Measuring population health and assessing health needs
  • Patterns of health at global, national and local levels
  • Social inequalities and health: gender, class, ethnicity
  • Determinants of health
  • Limits to medicine and health education
  • Evaluating public health interventions
  • Settings-based approaches to promoting health
  • Ethics and values in public health

Learning outcomes 

After successful completion of the module, the student will have the following knowledge, skills and general competence. 


The student 

  • has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the emergence and development of public health and health promotion;
  • has comprehensive and critical understanding of the role of epidemiology and demography in public health;
  • has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the social gradient in health throughout the entire population;
  • has in-depth knowledge and critical insight into the determinants of health at global, national, community and individual levels;
  • has advanced knowledge and critical insight into the concept of ‘lifestyle’;
  • has extensive knowledge of strategies for disease prevention and health protection. 


The student 

  • is able to critically appraise initiatives directed towards changing lifestyles at population, group and individual levels;
  • is able to analyse, present and interpret qualitative and quantitative population data relating to health and wellbeing; 
  • is able to assess population health needs with the aid of qualitative and quantitative data;
  • is able to evaluate the effectiveness of measures implemented to prevent disease, and to promote health and wellbeing;
  • is able to understand and analyse the challenges of working in multidisciplinary teams including cooperation and teamwork. 

General competence 

The student 

  • can discuss the complexity of factors influencing the health and wellbeing of populations;
  • can discuss the challenges and possibilities for promoting health and preventing disease;
  • can communicate and debate the main challenges within the contemporary public health field both with specialists and the general public;
  • can identify public health issues and discuss these in a critically reflective manner.

Organisation, teaching and learning strategies 

The course is taught in English throughout the whole of the first semester. The following approaches are used: 

  • interactive lectures
  • student presentations
  • student-led seminars
  • group work with students from different professional/disciplinary backgrounds. 

Course requirements that must be approved before being allowed to sit the examination 

  1. A reflective memorandum in which the individual student critically reflects on him/herself and his/her own background regarding the objectives of the programme. 
  2. Two group presentations:
    • Students with different backgrounds present and reflect on how different professions/disciplines contribute to public health
    • Discussion and debate of key concepts

       3.  Participation in group work twice a week (at least 80%) 


A group-written examination with 2–5 participants (weighted 40%) in addition to an individual oral examination (weighted 60%) based on the written assignment. Both are assessed with grades A – F, with E as the lowest pass grade. Both examinations must be passed before a final course grade can be given. 

What does it cost?

Free for exchange students

Would you like to apply?

The course is available only for students coming from our partner institutions. Contact the International Coordinator at your home institution to find out if you are eligible for exchange studies at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN University). Please note that applications can be submitted for one campus only.