INTHE4121 – Water and food in a global health perspective

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

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 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


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.

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

The course for spring 2017 has been cancelled. 


Every spring

Teaching language