Title: International Health Core Course
Country: Germany
Institution: Germany - Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg
Course coordinator: Dr. Olaf Horstick
Date start: 2018-09-17
Date end: 2018-12-21
About duration and dates: 14 weeks
Classification: core course
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location: Im Neuenheimer Feld 365, Room 007
69120 Heidelberg, Germany
ECTS credit points: 20 ECTS credits
SIT: Contact hours: 396 SIT
Self study hours: 204 SIT
Total: 600 SIT
Language: English
Module 1: Creating a Learning Community

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
- Describe the objectives, content and structure of the Master of Science in International Health programme at Heidelberg University
- Access the facilities and services of Heidelberg University, e.g. information, computer and library sources
- Define the basic concepts of group dynamics and apply them effectively when working in teams

Module 2: Introduction to International Health and Health Systems

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
- Identify, describe and differentiate the elements, structure and essential services of health systems in various countries
- Debate historical perspectives in International Health
- Analyse and appraise the impact of political, social and economic factors on the health status of individuals and populations
- Critically reflect on the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in International Health and explore strategies to promote cooperation at the international, national and local levels including the MDGs
- Identify and estimate the impact of major diseases of international health relevance
- Assess the impact of the demographic change on community health
- Describe the importance of skilled professional staff for functioning health systems

Module 3: Determinants of Health

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
- Identify, describe and discuss the health challenges faced by individuals at different stages of life and within diverse and evolving community structures
- Identify and appraise issues specifically related to reproductive health and infant morbidity and mortality
- Identify and discuss issues specifically related to poverty, equity and gender in low and middle income countries
- Assess the situation of non-communicable and chronic diseases in low and middle income countries
- Describe and critically analyse basics of drug policy and drug supply in various health systems
- Discuss the principles of medical anthropology
- Explain how a group’s culture influences their health status and health behaviours
- Explain and discuss the health impact of exposure to biological and chemical agents, water, noise and air pollution
- Define the impact of globalization on the health status of low income workers
- Discuss the role of proper nutrition in preventing diseases and in maintaining health

Module 4: Research Foundations (Epidemiology, Bio-Statistics, Qualitative Methods)

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
- Recognise the importance of epidemiology, bio-statistics and qualitative methods for research and decision making in Public Health
- Dispose of appropriate epidemiological knowledge and skills to cope with key epidemiological questions relevant to global health issues and respond to national needs
- Define, distinguish and compare different epidemiological study designs
- Select and apply statistical tests appropriately to collect data, analyse scientific papers and design research proposals
- Use statistical software for data management and analysis (e.g. Stata)
- Interpret data analysis results
- Discuss and select qualitative research approaches on questions related to Global Health
- Identify and describe research programmes with appropriate sensitivity to the target community and with adequate protection for the human subjects involved
- Report on qualitative research findings and present these to an audience using effective methods of presentation
- Design and implement survey instruments for evaluation of health programmes
- Assess the quality of data provided by health information systems and indicators

Module 5: Health Policy, Health Economics and Health Financing

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
- Identify and describe key milestones of health policy development of the last decades
- Explain and analyse the relationship between health policy and the health status of a population
- Identify and discuss major stakeholders in policy development for low and middle income countries
- Explain and basic health economic principles and evaluate more complex economic concepts and evaluation methods
- Discuss and critically reflect on the fundamental concepts of health care financing including health insurance systems
- Identify and discuss situations where it is appropriate to use market-based or public/collective systems to provide health care services
- Describe the financial management cycle

Module 6: Health Planning, Health Management, Quality Management

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
- Explain and apply the principles of health planning including the definition of indicators
- Employ principles of planning for health related programmes
- Identify opportunities and methodologies for quality improvement initiatives within a variety of health care settings
- Describe and assess principles of health management and apply health management-related soft skills like leadership, communication and conflict management
Focus or specific features:
The core course has a strong methodological focus. Participants are well prepared for careers in International Health.
The course has an international participant body originating from all continents with a balanced mix of younger and more experienced and medical and non-medical participants.
Assessment Procedures:
In total, there are three examinations, each contributing one third to the overall core course mark.
1. One closed book written exam of three hours in week 5 covering content of modules 2 and 3.
2. One closed book written exam of three hours in week 10 covering content of module 4 with 63 % of the mark, plus one essay assignment (2500 words) contributing 37 % to the mark
3. One closed book written exam of three hours in week 13 with 80 % of the mark, plus a group work assignment (20 min group presentation) with 20 % of the mark
The character of the closed book exam questions varies. It may include:
1. Multiple choice questions
2. “yes” – “no” statements
3. short case scenarios with answers in essay style (up to 10 lines)
4. short case scenarios with small calculations

An example of a written exam can be found in the annex.

A maximum of 100 points can be acquired per examination, with a max total of 300 points for all three examinations. Participants are expected to achieve a minimum of 180 points (out of 300 points) by the three examinations to pass the core course. If this figure is not achieved, for resit the chance of a fourth written exam is given to the participants, covering the content of the entire core course.
The four main categories of the MIH core course as defined by tropEd are:
1. Introduction and orientation
2. Concepts and research methods (4½ - 7½ ECTS)
3. Health problems and responses (4½ - 7½ ECTS)
4. Health systems, management and communication (4½ - 7½ ECTS)
Details please see here
Learning methods of the course are based on the principles of adult learning. The various skills and knowledge levels within the participant group are taken into account and participants are encouraged to share their thoughts, experiences and ideas.

Methods include a variety of teaching/learning approaches:
- Interactive lectures with plenary discussions to introduce knowledge and concepts
- Group work with group discussion to conceptualise new knowledge and putting the knowledge into practical contexts
- Seminars and workshops to discuss in specific subjects in depths
- Tutorials/ Computer-based exercises to intensify specific learning with tutors
- Role plays to apply knowledge in practice
- Individual presentations with visualisation to train presentation skills
- Self-study
The course is open to professionals in the health sector holding a higher academic degree (usually equivalent to a bachelor’s degree after at least 4 years of academic full-time training, accounting for at least 240 ECTS). Applicants must have at least two years of working experience in the management of health services or programmes in low and middle income countries.

Proficiency in the English language is required. Participants for whom English is not their first language must provide evidence of a 6.5 IELTS score (or 580 TOEFL score). Exemption from this requirement may be granted to those who completed higher education in the English language.
Maximum 25 participants per course, no limit for tropEd students
Based on application documents (grades first degree, recommendations, motivation letter etc). In addition, we try to achieve a balance of gender, educational backgrounds and nationalities to ensure the best possible learning environment (without compromising on the quality of the individual candidates).
Fees: 4000 Euro
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for Heidelberg MScIH
Major changes since initial accreditation:
The course coordinator has changed since the last accreditation.
There were no major structural changes to the course over the last years, however some fine tuning within the topics was done according to the feedback from the participants and the change of priorities within the public health field.
Student evaluation:
Positive feedback :
• To start the course with an “intercultural retreat” is a highly welcomed approach
• Participants appreciated the programme’s international outlook and described its intercultural setting as an enriching experience that gave them a global perspective on public health issues.
• Participants highlighted the value of learning from lecturers with extensive work and research experience, as well as external consultants from international organisations. This allowed them to gain insights into real life examples and made theory more tangible.
• Participants positively mentioned the variety of teaching methods employed by the lecturers of the course. Many students particularly liked the use of case studies, interactive activities and group work.
• Participants appreciated that lecturers took their time to provide them with a clear understanding of central concepts and methodologies.
• Participants were happy with the overall organisation of the programme and thankful for the support they received from both teaching and administrative staff.

Room for improvement:
• Participants felt that the workload for some parts of the core course was too high to be studied and fully grasped in the given timeframe.
• Some units too theoretical, participants would have liked to have even more practical examples in some topics.
• Handouts and lecture slides are sometimes handed out too late.
• More support from IT unit desirable.
Lessons learned:
In the last years we observed a greater variety of professions of the participants. In former years more physicians attended the course nowadays there is a much broader scope. The curriculum should be, therefore, seen as dynamic and will be adapted according to the participants needs.
It is important to act on participants’ comments and feedback, to ensure that content and methods continue to respond to students’ needs. As participants particularly value hands-on learning practical input was increased where necessary and possible.
Lecturers are continuously reminded to send in presentations beforehand to ensure handouts are available on time. Additional IT support to students has been made available.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in Brescia 2005, re-accreditation Stockholm 2010, in Barcelona October 2011 and in April 2016. This accreditation is valid until April 2021.
Email Address: grys@uni-heidelberg.de
Date Of Record Creation: 2012-01-10 03:11:12 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2012-01-10 09:23:11 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2018-06-10 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2018-06-10 13:33:06 (W3C-DTF)

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