International Health

The course is a combination of classical lectures, field visits and practical learning experiences. 

The University of Copenhagen offers this intensive three-week Summer Course in International Health targeting students and professionals with health-related backgrounds. The course takes place every August and especially addresses participants working with health provision at hospitals and health centres in developing countries.

In order to provide participants with a basic understanding of the health problems facing developing countries and the challenges these provide for their health systems, the topics of the course include:

  • tropical medicine
  • health promotion
  • disease prevention
  • sexual and reproductive health
  • social and cultural aspects of health
  • child health
  • communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • cancer
  • triage
  • and health in emergencies

Emphasis is on the biomedical and clinical aspects of the diseases people are facing in developing countries. The most important diseases will be discussed in more detail with emphasis on clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment.

The conditions include diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, malnutrition, malaria and other febrile diseases, tuberculosis, filariasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, intestinal worms, diarrheal diseases, mental diseases, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, eye-diseases, and diseases/death caused by pesticides. Introductions to child health and reproductive health programs are also provided as well as simulation-training in relevant clinical situations.

The socio-economic context and cultural aspects of health provision in resource poor societies and the changing disease patterns in developing countries are also discussed. The health problems relating to urbanization is examined as well as the provision of health in emergencies.


On-campus module 5 - 23 August 2024


(80% course participation)

23 August 2024 

Credit points: 5 ECTS



All participants must have an adequate level of English as all lessons, group discussions, etc. are carried out in English.

Health professionals

Health professionals such as medical doctors, midwives, nurses, physiotherapists etc. are welcome to apply. You must have completed an education related to health, which as a minimum should include a bachelor's degree with a duration of minimum 3 years of studies.

UCPH medical students

Medical students from the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) can apply for the summer course as part of the 5th semester perspective: Internationalt perspektiv - international sundhed, which includes an 8 weeks clinical placement at a hospital in Tanzania taking place within the first 10 months after the course.

If you are accepted to the summer course, you are automatically registered for International Study Exposure – Health Provision in Tropical Africa

Medical students who need the course as part of the 5th semester perspective: International perspective - international health will be prioritised for the 40 available seats.

Medical students (UCPH) can also apply for the summer course as a “valgfag” as part of the 5th semester perspective: Research or Specialisation.

No letter of motivation is needed for UCPH medical students.

Other medical students

Medical students from universities other than UCPH should have similar qualifications as UCPH medical students. In effect, this means that you should be about to start your final year.

Selection process

After the application deadline the admissions committee will go through all the applications and select the course participants, based on an assessment of who will profit the most from the course. Priority will be given to applicants with experience from working in the field, contact to or contract with a relevant institution/organization for the purpose of working in the field, etc.

Of the approximately 80 available seats, 40 are reserved for UCPH medical students. If the number of applying UCPH medical students exceeds this number, students will be selected by lottery. No letter of motivation is needed for UCPH medical students.

We strongly encourage all other applicants to put energy and care into the letter of motivation, as this is the main selection criteria. 



The 3 weeks intensive course is based on active participation from the students with minimum 80% attendance required. Lectures will take place at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, approximately 9 am to 4 pm every day. There will not be any online teaching.

Most teaching is delivered as lectures, but teaching is also provided for smaller groups and as group work as well as two full days hands-on simulation training at CAMES, Herlev Hospital.

Depending on interest and initiative social activities will take place in afternoons and evenings.

A detailed (tentative) schedule can be expected from the 1st of June.


Throughout the course the participants will meet a number of engaged lecturers representing a range of institutions, such as, University of Copenhagen, Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN organisations, MSF and a number of other NGO´s.

All teachers have practical experience within the field of international health.

Articles and other materials from the lecturers will be available through the platform Absalon at the start of the course.

Recommended reading (not compulsory):

  • Lucas & Gilles: Public Health Medicine for the Tropics
  • Oxford: Oxford Handbook of Tropical Medicine
  • WHO: Managing Complications in Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Sphere Handbook

For more details, please read the course description in UCPH's course database











The application deadline was 1 April 23:59 (CEST). Please note, that we do not accept late applications.

Upon submitting your application, you receive an e-mail receipt. Please keep this for future reference. Make sure to check your spam filter, if you do not receive the receipt.

You will receive the result of your application 3 - 4 weeks after the application deadline.

Note: If you have problems with the application form, please try a different browser, and make sure your files are not too large or the file names does not contain special characters.











You are exempted from payment, if:

You are enrolled at a Danish university and the course is part of your master's programme. Danish students must provide a pre-approval of credit transfer from their home institution upon application.

You are a medical student at UCPH, you do not need to apply for pre-approval of credit transfer, if you need the course for the following:

  • MSc in Medicine (5th semester perspective: International Health)*
  • MSc in Medicine (elective for 5th semester perspectives: Research or Specialisation)

* Medical students who need the course as part of the 5th semester perspective: International Health will be prioritised.

You are a medical exchange student and attend the course as part of the autumn exchange semester (min. 3 months stay).

Fee-paying participants:

All other participants (students, working professionals, etc.) must pay tuition fee according to the information below.

EU/EEA citizens: 5,000 DKK
Non-EU/EEA citizens: 9,000 DKK

Full payment of course fees must be transferred in May. Payment details will be forwarded upon acceptance. The fee covers participation in the course. It does not cover course materials, travel, accommodation and living expenses during the course.

Refund policy

You can only get a refund of your tuition fee, if you cancel at least two month prior to the beginning of the course including e-learning modules.

Please note that you cannot defer your place in the course to the following year.











If you have questions about the course content, please write to

Course director: Associate professor Christian William Wang

Course administration: Ms Birgitte Gantriis





Accommodation: Please note that the summer courses are non-residential. Participants are responsible for finding and funding accommodation during their stay in Copenhagen.

You can use different online portals to search for accommodation, such as:

Copenhagen has an international airport, and the city centre can be reached within 30 minutes. If you want additional information read Arriving in Copenhagen.

Please study our websites for more information about Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the University of Copenhagen.