INTHE4118 – Reproductive and Sexual Health and Human Rights

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Reproductive health is a well defined and not too controversial concept.
Reproductive rights may not be, as it implies abortion rights, which for some is very complicated. Sexual health is probably easy as long as it only applies to sexually transmitted diseases, but sexual rights, again, may incorporate sexual behaviours that in some cultures are seen as very deviant. The course explores why reproductive and sexual health rights are so complicated to implement, and addresses the legal, religious and cultural aspects of the controversies as well as the very serious health consequences of these restrictions, like maternal mortality, high STD prevalence, vulnerability to HIV, knowledge of risks, and cultural practices like FGM and early childbearing. A gender perspective is the overriding principle for the analysis.


• Gender, definition and concepts, mainstreaming
• Social determinants of health and illness, inequities in health, gender and social dimensions.
• Human rights framework, and health rights, to reproductive and sexual health and rights.
• Health Policy, policy analysis, informing policy, policy, implementation and strategy.
• Health systems. Macro context, financing, delivery of care, service planning, a tool for change, evaluation of quality of care.

Case studies

• Abortion rights and sex selection
• Violence against women and reproductive health rights
• Access to care and maternal survival
• HIV, sexuality and stigma
• Unmet needs – contraceptives and other needs
• Integration of services, including HIV & STD in maternal health care

Learning outcome

You will be able to identify human rights issues that can be subject to research for policy change (evidence based policy) and to develop an analytical framework and a methodological, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the gender, legal and health dimensions in human rights.


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


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 pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every other spring starting 2009


Every other spring starting 2009

Teaching language