INTHE4121 – Water and Food in a Global Health Perspective

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

The course provides basic knowledge on the global challenges related to water, sanitation, food availability and security, as well as waterborne and foodborne infections and intoxications. Through an interdisciplinary approach, combining essential scientific knowledge from fields of anthropology, clinical medicine, history, microbiology, public health and toxicology the course provides appropriate tools to understand and tackle challenges related to water, food and health. Focus will be given to the most vulnerable populations.

Learning outcome


You will get to know:

  • The risk of infectious diseases associated with water and food
  • The diseases associated with chemicals in food and water (toxicology)
  • The association between climate changes and risk for food production and malnutrition
  • The effect of diet changes on human development and health
  • How multiple disciplines bring unique perspectives to questions regarding health and society


You will learn how:

  • Water-and foodborne diseases are diagnosed and managed
  • Outbreaks of water-and foodborne diseases are investigated
  • These diseases can be controlled and prevented

General competence

You will attain:

  • An understanding of methods used in the field environmental epidemiology
  • An understanding of the societal forces driving health risks associated to food and water


Students enrolled at the master programme in International Community Health or Tverrfaglig helseforskning will get priority to the course, if they register in Studentweb before 10 January. The latest deadline to register and apply for the course in Studentweb is February 1.

Students enrolled in other master’s programmes at the UIO can, on application before 10 January via our application form, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme. We prioritize students at other programmes at the Institute and Faculty. You will get an answer latest 20 January.

External applicants, not already enrolled as a student at UIO, are welcome to apply via our application form before 10 January with all relevant documents. Applicants who have not attached all the necessary documents will not get admission. You will need to document 1) upper secondary education, 2) higher education and 3) English language proficiency. Please see the form for more information. You would also need a specialization either within health sciences or social sciences. You will get an answer latest 20 January.


Lectures followed by group work, including group assignments.

You have to participate in at least 80% of the teaching to be allowed to take the exam. Attendance at lectures will be registered.


Home exam.



The Board at the University of Oslo has decided to introduce detailed guidelines for all examinations, which take place at the University. The description of the grading should be clear and transparent. This is done to ensure alignment between learning outcomes, assignments, and grading. The Faculty of Medicine has developed a web page with information regarding exams and the grading procedures (norwegian version).

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

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

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course

Every spring
Every spring
Teaching language