Master in International Health (MIH)

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Starting date04/09/2018
Duration1 year (FT); up to 5 years (PT)
Start date (Spring 2019)04/03/2019
Start date (Autumn 2019)09/09/2019
Application deadline2 months before start of course (in case the participant needs visa: 3 months!)
Course feeSee: 'Practical Information'
LocationKIT Amsterdam, and optionally elsewhere in Europe

If you are a health professional (for example medical doctor, nurse, midwife) and you aspire to develop or-/ boost your career in international health, then the MIH is designed for you.

This Master’s in International Health is a flexible programme, allowing for full-time or part-time study. It consists of a core course, advanced modules, and a research project submitted as a thesis. The programme can be completed within 1 to 5 years, depending on your availability. The MIH is organised by KIT (the Royal Tropical Institute) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

You can choose from hundreds of accredited advanced modules from the TropEd network.  This way you can design a programme that fits your individual interests and future plans.

The MIH is organised by KIT (the Royal Tropical Institute) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and is accredited by the Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO).


Master in International Health

The Master in International Health (MIH) aims to develop the capacity of health professionals planning to work at the interface of international organisations and national health systems. Because you can design your own programme, the MIH prepares you optimally for your desired field of work – whether that be child health, HIV and AIDS, maternal health, disaster settings, research, health policy,
human resources or another area.

The programme can be completed within 1 to 5 years, depending on your availability.

The MIH is organised by KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

What is International Health?

The international health expert works in the field of international health, focusing on health problems of disadvantaged populations. The expert has an multidisciplinary approach to health and generates and applies evidence from their own work and from work from other contexts, disciplines and actors. The expert takes into consideration health systems management and organisation across the continuum of
healthcare. This includes the promotion of health, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment follow up of
diseases, palliative care and rehabilitation. The expert functions as an advocate, assists in the
mobilisation of resources and capacity building. An equity based approach to health problems and
health services analysis is emphasized.


The MIH provides health professionals with the knowledge and skills required to deal with current
challenges effectively. The MIH aims to enable you to understand and analyse international health
issues, conduct applied research, and develop adequate and appropriate responses in a global
context. After the programme you will be able to:

  • Advocate for, and work to address the principles of equity and human rights in
    international health.
  • Identify current and emerging health problems in different population groups and analyse the
    key factors that influence these problems.
  • Identify the needs for, and generate ethically sound evidence to address health problems through research and evaluation.
  • Formulate effective responses and contribute to their implementation taking into consideration
    health systems management and organization across the continuum of healthcare.
  • Initiate and manage collaborative relations; communicating and interacting effectively
    across disciplines and cultures within complex environments.
  • Continuously examine and critically self-reflect on their own cultural competence, motivation,
    practice and values, adjust them accordingly, and act as an agent of change.


This Master’s degree in International Health is a flexible programme, allowing for full-time or part-time study.
You can choose from hundreds of accredited advanced modules from the tropEd network.  This way you can design a programme that fits your individual interests and future plans.

The programme is taken in the following order:

A. Core course (NTC), (20 EC)
B. Advanced modules (20 EC)
C. Thesis (20 EC)

Note: 20 EC is approximately equivalent to four months of full-time study

A. Core course

The core course, the Netherlands Course on Global Health and Tropical Medicine (NTC), covers the basics on a wide range of topics that participants need to follow the advanced modules and complete their thesis. The course consists of 5 modules: introduction, determinants of health, health problems, basic research methods and health systems.

For a more detailed description see: The Netherlands Course on Global Health and Tropical Medicine (NTC)

B. Advanced modules

In the advanced modules you can deepen your skills and knowledge on selected topics. With the support of the course management, you make a personal study plan. The advanced modules can be taken at KIT and at various universities and institutes throughout the Netherlands, within and outside Europe. Students are encouraged to follow modules in different countries. Participants who would like their degree to be certified by tropEd must take the advanced modules at tropEd member institutions. See:

Visit Geneva: MIH students are invited to a study trip to Geneva to visit the World Health Organization (WHO) and other UN organizations.

C. Thesis

Under the supervision of an adviser who is a specialist in the topic, participants will write a thesis on an important health problem that they wish to address in their working life. They are asked to systematically analyse a problem and make suggestions for its solution based on qualitative and quantitative information from a literature review or primary study.

Part-time option

The programme can be completed within 1 to 5 years, depending on your availability.  

Learning method

The MIH aims for increased competency of health workers. The content of the course is practice-based and oriented as much as possible to the working situation of participants. Contacts between staff and participants are intensive throughout the course. You will learn through lectures, discussions, group work, individual presentations, case studies, exercises, study visits, ‘serious gaming’, self-reflection, self-study and written assignments including a thesis. You will receive study material before each module. Online repositories are used for learning material; laptops and/or tablets are required.

Study load

A total of 60 EC credit points must be accumulated for successful completion of the MIH program. The European Credit Transfer System (EC) facilitates transfer of course credits between institutions at the same academic level. One EC requires 28 hours of student time, which includes class time and independent study.


The MIH is offered across Europe by members of tropEd, a global network of institutions for higher education in international health. This network enables you to follow part of your training at European, African, Asian and Latin American universities and institutions. KIT is a longstanding member of the tropEd network. More information see:


The MIH is designed for medical doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals with at least a bachelor’s level education who are developing a career in international health.

Admission Criteria

  • Academic training at least to the level of a bachelor’s degree, either in medicine or a paramedical science like nursing, midwifery or public health
  • Two years of relevant work experience,  incl. work experience in low and middle income settings
  • Proven proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Computer literacy is expected

The application package is due three months before the start of the course.

Please upload your application online:

The following documents should be uploaded

  • A one-page letter of motivation
  • Copies of your diplomas and grade reports
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae and a list of publications if applicable
  • Proof of English proficiency (if applicable)

KIT and VU University Amsterdam require all master applicants, who have not completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, South Africa, Uganda or who have not obtained an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma to enclose proof of English language proficiency in the form of the internationally recognised TOEFL or IELTS tests.

A minimum TOEFL score of 5.5 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 is required. Please note that candidates must take the Academic test and not the General one.
TOEFL test can not be older than 3 years.
For Dutch participants academic training is sufficient.

Candidates fulfilling the MIH entry requirements will receive a letter of conditional admission, admitting them to the course provided that financing can be arranged. Most sponsors and agencies providing fellowships will ask you to submit this letter of conditional admission along with your fellowship application. Once you have secured financial support and provided evidence of proficiency in English you will receive a definitive letter of admission.


For cancellation within seven days no fee is required and 100 per cent of the fee will be reimbursed if already paid. For cancellation by candidate see cancellation fees:

In case of cancellation, you will be required to pay the following cancellation fees:

  • 100% of the course fee if you cancel 14 days or less before the first day of the course.
  • 75% of the course fee if you cancel 15-21 days before the first day of the course.
  • 50% of the course fee if you cancel more than 22 days before the first day of the course.
  • 0% of the course fee if you cancel 14 days or less after returning the financial statement. Any fee already paid will in this case be reimbursed by KIT.


Course dates

The MIH core course is offered twice each year, starting in September and March. Upcoming start dates for the core course (see also Netherlands Course on Global Health and Tropical Medicine / NTC)

  • 4 March 2019
  • 9 September 2019


This Master in International Health is a flexible programme, allowing for full-time or part-time study.

Full-time student finishing within 1 year (when starting core course in September) or part-time finishing within 1,5 year (when starting the core course in March; the offer of advanced modules is limited in the period September-December, thus not allowing to finish within one year).

Course fee full-time (excl. Advanced Modules):
EUR 10.920 (2019)

Part-time student finishing within 5 years
Course fee part-time (excl. Advanced Modules):
EUR 11.530 (2019)

Prices as mentioned above include the core course tuition fee, course materials, tutoring for the thesis and advisory services for the duration of the programme.

The price does not include:

  • fees for advanced modules, taken at KIT or elsewhere
  • living expenses and housing
  • travel and transportation costs
  • student visa (if applicable)
  • insurance
  • other incidental expenses


The arrangement of financial support to cover all study costs is the responsibility of the applicant. Please note that KIT does not offer financial support.

Unfortunately there are no OKP (former NFP) scholarships available for the Netherlands Course on Global Health and Tropical Medicine (the NTC is the core course of the MIH/Master in International Health).

For the list of KIT Masters and short courses (which can be taken as Advanced Modules for the MIH) that are eligible for OKP, and more information follow this link: OKP page

Visit for possibilities of financial support.


The core course takes place at KIT’s training facilities in Amsterdam. Advanced Modules may be taken at KIT and at various partner institutions in The Netherlands or at tropEd institutions elsewhere in Europe. More information:


There is a severe shortage of student accommodation in Amsterdam and participants are advised to contact KIT for information. Finding accommodation is the own responsibility of the students, but in practice we try to support as much as possible.

Visa and residence permits

Citizens of most EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands. Visit the Nuffic website for the latest information on visa requirements.

MIH participants from other countries will need an ‘Authorization for Temporary Stay’ to enter and stay in the Netherlands for longer than three months. This visa should be applied for through KIT.

Participants admitted to the course will receive detailed information as well as a list of documents KIT requires to secure their visa. Applicants should take into account that in some countries this procedure can take several months.

Insurance requirements

The Netherlands has no national health insurance. According to Dutch law, all participants of international courses and any accompanying dependents are required to have health, accident and third party insurance. Dutch insurance companies offer reasonable rates to foreign students. KIT can assist with arranging insurance.


The Master in International Health (MIH) is organised by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and is accredited under VU by the Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO) under CROHO code 70048. For the full report follow the link.

European Credits

The European Credit Transfer System (EC) facilitates the transfer of course credits between different institutions of the same academic level. A module comprising 28 hours of formal teaching and private study is equivalent to one EC credit point.

Code of Conduct

KIT Royal Tropical Institute follows the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education. By signing the Code of Conduct, the institutions of higher education oblige themselves to offer international students education of good quality. Follow the link to the website with the following information:

In addition KIT has a formal complaint procedure in place that is fully in line with the Code of Conduct and guidelines of VU. Students receive these complaints procedures in the Course Handbook and exam regulations before the start of the academic year.

Mexico Alejandra Gonzalez Ruiz

“The lecturers and classmates from different backgrounds and different countries, enriched the MIH courses with knowledge and personal experiences which made a delightful learning process. Together, we learned about current global health issues, the best evidence based strategies and we contributed to develop each other’s skills. Back in my country, Mexico, with the new skills and knowledge, I could improve the ARVs supply chain system nationwide as an essential part of delivering high quality health care to people with HIV/AIDS.
Alejandra Gonzalez Ruiz, MIH, MD, Mexico

“After 15 years experience as a nurse in the field of migrants health, I has lucky to have taken a study break. My enrollment at the KIT and the Erasmus + Master in International Health (MIH) helped matching the extensive field experience with the theory. The MIH eased my return to work with greater responsibilities and a scientific way of looking at things. Making my dream of carrier growth real. I am grateful to all the support I have and continue to get.”

Mariam Abdelkerim, MIH. Background: Nurse in refugee health (Chad)
Worked as health programme manager in Cox Bazar Bangladesh for International Organisation for Migration.
Learn more about Mariam’s experiences: watch video

Ofori-Amankwah_Gerhard“I gained immensely from my time studying at KIT and other tropEd institutes. It brought me in contact with various facilitators and their teaching styles, different students from varying backgrounds, different cultures and world views relating to issues that face humanity today. Furthermore, upon graduation, it has afforded me a platform to reach out and share ideas, thus maintaining a bond of friendship with those I met during my period at KIT, Heidelberg and Bergen.”

Gerhard Ofori-Amankwah, MD, MIH, Ghana.



Oktavia_Martiani“I loved studying the core course of my MIH in Amsterdam. I think there was much more interaction among students and teachers then in other institutes. Also they had some innovative teaching methods (with simulation) which I found very interesting and impressive. KIT Amsterdam is just one of my best experiences. It was very helpful for my career, knowledge and experience. Also the international network that I gained throughout the courses.”
Martiani Oktavia, Indonesia, MIH, now working as National Consultant TB Unit (SSA) at WHO Indonesia.


steven-van-de-vijver“The NTC was a perfect preparation for my work as tropical doctor. I was trained in both clinical aspects as more public health related issues by KIT facilitators who had a lot of experience and expertise. This helped me enourmeously during my work in the field. At the same time it was the start of my knowledge, network and carreer in international health. Later I studied the Master in International Health and am currently working on research on heart and vascular diseases in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya.”

Steven van de Vijver from the Netherlands, followed NTC in 2006. Graduated as MIH student in 2011. Educational background medical doctor.


Ogbe_Omotese-Ekpen“I really enjoyed the group exercises because it really helped to be able to listen to the opinion of classmates from different cultures especially concerning international health issues like gender , TB, HIV etc.. Group work helped boost our interactive skills with each other and also solve problems together by putting all our different perspectives into consideration.”

Omotese Ekpen Ogbe from Nigeria, followed the NTC as part of the MIH. Educational background: medical doctor.


Mena_-Marisa“What I liked the most was the learning-by-doing approach of the NTC: one day you are playing the role of an European doctor in trouble with her/his staff in Africa to understand the importance of cross-cultural communication and the next you are constructing from zero a health system and looking at the consequences of your decisions for the patients.”


Marisa Mena from Spain, followed the NTC as part of the Master of Science in International Health.


Camielle-noordam“The Masters in International Health has proved to be the right ticket to a most satisfying continuation of my career…”

Camielle Noordam from the Netherlands, followed the NTC as part of the Master in International Health. Educational background: Nurse. She worked for Unicef New York and is currently pursuing her PhD.



Jeremias Naiene“I can put in practice the knowledge I gained during the NTC now in Liberia. The interaction with people from different backgrounds and especially people from different cultures was very useful. It allowed me to adapt quickly in a new environment when I came to Liberia to support the Ebola Outbreak response. The topic of health systems was also useful, since I am using it to support the restoration of health services and rebuilding of health system after Ebola outbreak in Liberia.”

Jeremias Naiene, from Mozambique, MIH. Currently working in Liberia with United Nations
Mission for Ebola emergency response WHO.


Career opportunities

Possible career possibilities having completed the MIH:

  • National Representative for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the field of international health
  • Programme Officer working in international organisations dealing with international health, such as Doctors without Borders, World Vision;
  • Policy Adviser working in national organisations or governmental institutes dealing with international health issues