This course is discontinued

INTHE4112 – Strategic Communication in Community Health

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course aims at building knowledge and skills on how to develop a health communication strategy for public health, and at creating awareness about interpersonal communication issues affecting strategy outcomes, and affecting communication with stakeholders in the field.

Main contents:

  • Effective learning about health and medicines, and how people change health habits. This includes overview of mass media and face to face education methods;
  • Development of information and communication strategy on public health topics;
  • The student/health professional as an actor in the change process: the importance and effects of interpersonal communication methods;
  • Development of communication and education materials: From medicine-based information to patient-focussed communication, using action research strategy and communication and anthropological methods and tools;
  • Patient empowerment perspectives;
  • Introduction to reflective practice as a tool to learn about own role as a researcher in the field, during MPhil (or other) field work
  • Operational research principles, applied to TB and HIV communication.

Note: The course requires 80% attendance to get the course accepted

Learning outcome

The basis for the course is social science and communication theories, and the application of the theories to understand practice and build a plan for a public health communication strategy. Participants’ own practices, experiences and questions are important starting points for the teaching. A variety of pedagogical methods are used, including experience based learning, lectures and debates. Methods are linked to strategies needed for effective health communication through different channels.

While the workshop itself focuses on learning to develop a communication strategy, the period before and after focuses on development of awareness about students’ own communication practices in interactions with various stakeholders through observation and reflective practice. The theory and practice of using observations to motivate and affect change of practice will be taught, using guided tasks. The tasks will start participants on the process of developing awareness about personal communication habits and styles in different situations before the workshop. Tasks continue into the field work period of the research, where participants are invited to observe and reflect on their communication with different stakeholders, the effect of their communication on the other person, and ultimately on the quality of their data.

Literature: A number of articles and manuals, available on the net. In addition, one page handouts will be used to give summaries of main points from the teaching, and links to further information sources.


Students enrolled at the M.Phil in International Community Health programme will get first priority to the courses. The deadline for register in Studentweb and apply for courses is February 1.

Students enrolled in other Master's degree programmes at the UIO can, on application to, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

External applicants, not already enrolled as a student at UIO, are welcome to apply. Please email if you want admission to this course. You will have to provide the following documentation:

  • A completed Bachelor’s degree or a period of study comparable with a Norwegian Bachelor's degree from a recognised institution. Applicants with foreign education, please refer to the country list
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of C (in Norwegian scale) or equivalent from the specialization in your degree.
  • A language requirement documented by one of the tests/exams below:
    a) Passed examination in English foundation course (140 hours/5 periods per week) in Norwegian upper secondary school with a minimum grade of 4 (or an equivalent grade from a Nordic upper secondary school) or alternatively passed examination in English from second and/or third school year, or
    b) An internationally recognised English language proficiency test.
  • The applicants must have a specialization either within health sciences or social sciences.

Note: all documents must be official certified copies

Read more about admission for international applicants


Recommended previous knowledge

A basic background within health sciences is a definite advantage


Home exam.

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 scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. 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 spring


Every spring

Teaching language