This course is discontinued

INTHE4000 – Theoretical Foundation

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course focuses on defined areas related to health. The emphasis is on identifying problems, developing strategies and programs in international community health.

This course is divided into three modules with the following areas of focus:

  • Child Health
  • Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Community Nutrition
  • Reproductive Health and STD
  • Human and Microbial Ecology
  • Medicines in a global society
  • Disability and Ageing
  • Mental Health

Learning outcome

Child health aims to give an introduction to topics that are of special relevance to the children's health. Children are the most vulnerable members of our communities, due to their dependence on adults and to their special needs relating to rapid growth and development.

Non-communicable diseases are of increasing significance globally, not only to the Western world's populations. Awareness of the global challenges these diseases present is important when working in international community health.

Community nutrition is covered in a seminar that focuses on nutrition and life-style changes at the community level.

Reproductive health and STD component aims a) to give an introduction to biological and social factors that contribute to gender differences in health, b) to explain underlying principles of in the shift from population control to reproductive health in international policy, and c) to create an understanding of central concepts and issues in the field, d) to familiarize students with central issues relevant to STD, such as HIV and AIDS.

Human and microbial ecology aims to create an understanding of pathogenicity, virulence, and the impact of interacting microbes in ecological niches.

Medicines in a global society presents an introduction to the role of pharmaceuticals in health care. It covers socio-economic factors that influence drug use and issues of regulation in policy planning.

Disability and ageing aims to give an introduction to the socio-economic and medical changes leading to and resulting from an increasingly elderly population. Living conditions for people with disabilities is an important part of this course component.

Mental health aims to a) give an introduction of some basic concepts and approaches in mental health care and psychiatry and mental health research, b) create an understanding of contextual aspects and cultural variations relevant for mental care, and c) to give a better understanding of mental health services in Norway with focusing on prevention as well as patient centered care.


Students outside the MPhil programme in International Community Health may apply for attending the course. It is not possible to register for the course through Studentweb without first contacting the programme coordinator, due to limited teaching capacity. Only students who plan to take all three modules will be admitted.


Teaching takes place throughout the semester, with exams following the end of each module. The exam following each module may be either a home examination, oral exam, or school exam. At the start of each module the students will be told what kind of exam they can expect at the end of the module.


This course include two exams with separate subjects, and in different forms:

  1. Written school exam - usually 3 hours
  2. Home exam - usually about 10 pages

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language