Field course in Sri Lanka on Cross-disciplinary Health Research

Course content

Overall program format

For 3 weeks the course participants will be hosted by the Rajarata University in Anuradhapura city, in the north central region of Sri Lanka, as well as visit and receive inputs from several health related institutions in the area.

The course includes:

  • Introduction to the health system and public health institutions in Sri Lanka (lectures and field visits)
  • ​Introduction to selected current health challenges and selected health topics (lectures and field visits and group work)
  • Introduction to selected health research trends in Sri Lanka (lectures and discussions)
  • ​Introduction to the Ayurvedic health system (traditional health system)

 

There is emphasis on cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural group work throughout the course. Students will be divided to groups of 5-7 members. Each group focus on one specific self-selected health topic (5-7 topics will be announced). Students will pursue insights into this area of health research through field visits, field work, group discussions and debates with staff. Each group will be guided and supervised by a Sri Lankan faculty member or health expert, in cooperation with Sri Lankan students, as co-researchers and assistants.

The course will end with a research symposium with mandatory group presentations (the course exam) and peer discussions.

Learning outcome

The overall objective of this course is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and competences to understand global health research and challenges in a middle-income setting – as Sri Lanka. Upon completion of the course the student will:

Knowledge

  • Have gained a good understand of the challenges of urban, rural, private and government health systems and health research challenges in a middle-income and rapidly changing socio-economic setting of Sri Lanka.

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of a specific global health problem and research priorities as it presents itself in the Sri Lankan context.

Skills

  • Have a basic understanding of the broad variety of health research methods and designs, as applied by Sri Lankan and international research actors including clinical and epidemiological research, bio sampling, GIS mapping, community surveys and qualitative/humanistic health research.

  • Be able to reflect on the selection of research methods to study contemporary health care challenges in the context of Sri Lanka.

  • Be able to reflect on the social and cultural and academic experiences and challenges of working in cross-cultural groups and in foreign research environments

 

Competences

  • Have basic competences in conducting field work in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural student groups, and thus gaining crucial future research abilities.

The course is an interdisciplinary course applying many different learning activities including lectures, field visits, group work, report writing, verbal presentations, and self-reflections. We aim to present as many different research approaches and activities as possible during the course.

The group work is central for the course, where students independently pursue insights, through field visits into a selected health topic, guided by a Sri Lankan faculty member or health expert, and in corporation with Sri Lankan post graduate students as co-researchers and interpreters.

Topics which can be explored during group work includes (but are not limited to):

- Environmental Health, Agriculture, Climate change, Disaster management
- Maternal/Reproductive, Child health, and nutrition
- NCDs, including kidney disease, tobacco/alcohol, cancers, mental health, injuries, traffic
- Health promotion, health education, and Health Communication
- Alternative medical systems/local healing practices (Ayurvedic medicine and Bhuddism)

Prior to the course, each student goup will receive a reading list developed by the course leader and the local supervisors, with mandatory and suggested readings.

Prior to the course, all participants are expected to finalise an online pre departure training course (watch a number of videos and do some exercises), establish the student groups, dicuss the health topic of inerest and identify a specific research theme (together with Danish course staff) and organise the first group exercises (online work).

This course is aimed at master level students with interest in all aspects of health, including academic background and/or have experience with veterinary medicine, environmental health/geography, humanistic aspects of health, epidemiology, medicine, anthropology, public health etc.

- Basic level of knowledge in research methodology at bachelor's level.
- Proficient communication skills (written/oral) in English, as the entire course will be conducted in English

Teaching, supervision and other academic activities during the course are covered by the University of Copenhagen.

Students must cover costs concerning travel, travel insurance (mandatory for the entire course period), visa, vaccinations, food, and accommodation (organized by the course administration at a low rate in mid-range hotels, shared rooms).

Students must ensure proper vaccinations and visa before travelling. With minimum daily expenses, student costs can be expected to amount to 10.000 DKK.

Oral
Collective
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, App. 45 min. per group
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
PRESENTATION (group assignment):
The students work in topic groups and present the sum of their work at a ‘research symposium’ on one of the last days of the course. All group members must be present and contribute to the presentation.

The presentation must consist of a digital presentation (any platform and program is allowed). The presentation is followed by feedback and questions from peers and staff.
The presentation must cover:
1. Introduction and background on the selected health topic/problem
2. Research priorities and research challenges for the selected health topic
3. Proposed research studies/activities for a selected health topic

WRITTEN REPORT (individual assignment):
Students must submit an individual ‘reflection note’ at the end of the course.
Students must submit their reflections on the ‘Digital Exam’ in the UCPH system.

Date for submission: Sunday following the ending of the course (typically Sunday week 33) at 12 NOON (CET/DANISH TIME)

Report format: The report should be 2-3 normal pages including references (references are not mandatory), but highly encouraged. Text exceeding the 3 pages will not be read and evaluated. A normal page consists of 2400 characters, spaces included.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Upon completion of the course the student will:

Knowledge

  • Have gained a good understand of the challenges of urban, rural, private and government health systems and health research challenges in a middle-income and rapidly changing socio-economic setting of Sri Lanka.

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of a specific global health problem and research priorities as it presents itself in the Sri Lankan context.

     

    Skills

  • Have a basic understanding of the broad variety of health research methods and designs, as applied by Sri Lankan and international research actors including clinical and epidemiological research, bio sampling, GIS mapping, community surveys and qualitative/humanistic health research.

  • Be able to reflect on the selection of research methods to study contemporary health care challenges in the context of Sri Lanka.

  • Be able to reflect on the social and cultural and academic experiences and challenges of working in cross-cultural groups and in foreign research environments

 

Competences

  • Have basic competences in conducting field work in cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural student groups, and thus gaining crucial future research abilities.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 25
  • Preparation
  • 81,25
  • Field Work
  • 100
  • English
  • 206,25

Kursusinformation

Language
English
Course number
SGLK15010U
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Duration
3 weeks
Placement
Summer
Price

For all students, please see the extended description of costs below in 'Remarks'

For external students please also see the summer course web page for information on tuition fees:
http://healthsciences.ku.dk/education/summercourses/

 

Schedulegroup
The course is intensive and fulltime work. Mandatory program is to be expected from 8.30-15 on all weekdays of the course with occasional evening meetings in groups as well as optional social events. Minimum one weekend is free. Students are recommended not to participate in other summer courses in the same period.
Capacity
32
Studyboard
The Study Board for Public Health Science and Global Health
Contracting department
  • Department of Public Health
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Course Coordinators
  • Thilde Vildekilde   (5-7c70717e71487b7d766c36737d366c73)
    Coure coordinator
  • Emil Ørum Morell   (4-6c747476477a7c756b35727c356b72)
Teacher

Lectures will be conducted by a diversity of health practitioners, health planners, front line health providers , health researchers and academic staff from Sri Lankan research institutions and universities.

Saved on the 02-12-2021

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