International Study Exposure – Global Public Health

Course content

Iberoamericana University (IBERO) in Mexico City will be hosting the Global Public Health course during the 4 weeks of field visit abroad. IBERO has been selected as our host as we have established a research collaboration with this important private university in Latin America. Furthermore, several institutional and site visits including Mexico City and areas of the neighbouring state of Morelos as well as the state of Sonora in northern Mexico will be part of the course programme.

The purpose of the course is to gain an understanding of the context and causes of the national disease burden and to critically assess and discuss public health strategy, interventions and related health care challenges in the context of socio-economic conditions and changes. The main focus will be on primary and secondary prevention strategies of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including life-course exposure and comorbidities. Special focus will be given to health and disease in indigenous people in one of the four weeks.

The visit will strengthen the ability of the course participants to observe, compare and discuss conditions that relate to epidemiology, social medicine and health care systems in a society in fast transition.

Prior to the 4-week field visit in Mexico (beginning either last week of October or first week of November), the course participants will join a 2-week International Summer School in Global Health Challenges with a broad public health focus (August), and a 3-week international pre-departure course (September-October) to some extend overlapping with students/health professionals from different countries. The pre-departure course will give an insight into life course risk factors of NCDs including comorbidities, the Danish health system, civil society NGOs, and health policy from municipality to state level in Denmark. The purpose is to ensure a solid public health knowledge before going to Mexico, and to be able to compare the Danish and the Mexican health systems, policies and civil society involvement in the context of the NCD burden in the two countries.

For further information about the course see this:


Master of Science in Medicine - compulsory

Learning outcome

The purpose of the course is to enable the student to:

  • identify and describe key non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the context of demography and socio-economic changes
  • identify key life course risk factors for NCDs (environmental, life conditions/style, heredity)
  • analyse the role of the different health insurance providers on health outcomes incl. treatment opportunities (primary and secondary prevention)
  • link different NCDs and infectious diseases (comorbidity) and the consequences for the health system
  • evaluate the complex interactions between NCDs, risk factors for NCDs, the health system, and health insurance options

Institutional and site visits including formal/informal interaction with health staff and patients, lectures, group work sessions, journal clubs incl. presentations.

Course certificate in Clinical Course in Internal Medicine
Course certifictae in Clinical Course in Surgery
Course certificate in Patient Safety and Quality Development
Course certificate in Statistics, Epidemiology and Medical Sociology
The students should have completed the Summer Course in Global Health Challenges

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester at group and individual level. Individual supervision for those choosing candidate thesis based on data from host institution and/or having Department of Public Health at University of Copenhagen supervisor.

Type of assessment
Type of assessment details
The portfolio includes:
Course participation

Development of two log books concerned with two different topics and which include reflection and an analysis of specific questions designed by the course lecturers.

One log book will emphasise primary and/or secondary prevention of one or more NCDs in the context of the health system.

The other log book will emphasise life conditions/style at the population or sub-population level, and the impact of conditions/lifestyle (self-selected or “conditioned”) on the risk of NCDs incl. comorbidities.

Each log book consists of five pages excl. references. The log books are to be written in English.

The student will receive one grade based on both elements.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal examination
Criteria for exam assessment

To obtain the grade 12 the student must demonstrate the following abilities:

As medical expert, as collaborator, as manager, as scholar, as health advocate, as communicator and as professional.


  • understand the disease burden of specifically pre-selected diseases (NCDs), risk factors and their context
  • explain basic concepts concerning the association between some NCDs and communicable diseases
  • discuss the international and other contextual factors that influence the Mexican health care system, e.g. the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) membership (currently partly dissolved), double burden of disease challenges, complex health care system
  • explain access and barriers to care for the patient with emphasis on chronic patients
  • assess public health programming and interventions and implementation challenges


  • search and review relevant peer-reviewed literature related to the this specific country’s health care system, disease burden and related interventions, as well as related gaps in literature
  • critically discuss the health systems response to specifically pre-selected chronic and communicable diseases;
  • compare the health care systems of the Nordic countries and Mexico
  • assess quality of care including the relationship between specific interventions, treatment guidelines and clinical practice


  • communicate reflections and analysis concerning prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for specific pre-selected illness conditions or syndromes (primarily NCDs) in oral and written presentations
  • analyse and present observations from institutional visits, class room sessions and lectures in relation to peer-reviewed literature


  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 18
  • Class Instruction
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 251
  • Project work
  • 52
  • English
  • 405


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

Six weeks – three in Denmark, four abroad
For students of the Master of Science in Medicine at Copenhagen University, a maximum of 20 participants.
The course is only offered in autumn semesters.
The Study Board for Medicine and Health Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Public Health
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Dirk Lund Christensen   (6-6c717a73746b487b7d766c36737d366c73)
Saved on the 16-03-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students