Master of Public Health: track in Sexual and Reproductive Health and RightsApply online now
|Course dates (2018-2019)||17-09-2018 until 06-09-2019|
|KIT application deadline NFP applicants||01-04-2018|
|NFP application deadline||tba (April 2018)|
|KIT application deadline other funding||15-07-2018|
|Fee||EUR 16.841 (2018)|
This course is targeted at those who aspire to management positions in the public health. The MPH Track in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is specifically for those who wish to work in SRHR focus domains which may include HIV and AIDS.
The Master of Public Health/International Course in Health Development (MPH/ICHD) is an annual 12-month Master of Public Health programme organised by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). Participants can choose from the following study tracks: Health Systems Policy & Management track, Sexual and Reproductive Health track and the track in Health Systems in Fragile and conflict-affected Environments.
The MPH is accredited by the Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO).
Public health in a changing environment
Health systems in low-and middle-income countries face a wide range of complex challenges. These challenges include, but are not limited to: the inequalities in health and healthcare; the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases; the challenges presented by the unfolding demographic transition; the health needs in fragile environments, and the call for equity.
The worlds of international and national health governance and financing are also increasingly complex and interconnected. Globally, there is also a greater recognition of, and emphasis upon the importance of working in partnerships, at all times, to provide evidence-based public health solutions for continuously improving the quality and responsiveness of health services. Providing an effective response to these issues requires well-trained professionals able to solve complex public health problems systematically, using a partnership approach.
The MPH/ICHD is designed to develop the capacity of senior health managers to use an integrated,
multi-disciplinary approach to address health problems in their country.
At the end of the programme, you will be able to:
- Critically assess population health status and identify population health problems, risk factors and
determinants, and determine health needs.
- Appraise the role of health systems in terms of fundamental goals, functions, actors and performance.
- Influence effective policy-making and strategic planning concerning interventions aiming at
improving public health, taking into account scientific evidence, good practice and local context.
- Creatively implement, cost-effective, quality client-centred strategies and interventions.
- Monitor and evaluate health interventions by effectively managing human, financial and logistic
resources in the dynamic global and local context.
- Work professionally across different sectors, different cultures, disciplines and institutional levels, with private and public actors, and through advocacy, communication and networking.
- Identify research needs; commission research, and critically analyse and translate research results into policy and practice.
- Incorporate a pro-poor and equity approach in all actions.
- 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.
MPH/ICHD participants have the option choosing between three tracks:
- MPH/ICHD track in Sexual and Reproductive Health
- MPH/ICHD track in Health Systems Policy & Management
- MPH/ICHD track in Health Systems in Fragile and Conflict-affected Environments
First trimester: Core modules for all tracks
- Epidemiology and statistics
- Learning and communication skills
- Social determinants of Health
- Health systems and policy making
- Health planning
The introduction to the MPH/ICHD starts with learning and communication skills that will be needed throughout the course. These include skills in internet searches for health-related information and literature, use of the library, and presentation and writing skills.
In the first trimester students are introduced to the broad categories of factors that influence health: culture, lifestyle, socio-economic, political and natural environments and the impact of the health care delivery system. Throughout the course there is a strong emphasis on the gendered nature of many of these factors.
Basic concepts and tools for the analysis and discussion of health problems through modules in health planning and management are introduced, including health economics and financing and epidemiology and statistics. The basic knowledge and skills acquired or reinforced in the first part of the course will be applied to a practical strategic planning exercise carried out in small groups. Towards the end of the first trimester, students begin to clarify their thesis topics and investigate the literature related to those topics.
Second trimester: advanced modules for all tracks
Advanced modules for track in SRHR
- Sexual and reproductive health including HIV/AIDS
- Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Policy, Governance and Finance
- Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Organising effective responses
Students write most of their thesis at this stage, and make a class presentation leading to a debate.
- Visit to WHO
- Oral examination
With guidance from an advisor, participants write a thesis on an important health problem they have been involved with in their country. The aim is to systematically analyse the problem and make suggestions for its solution, based on qualitative and quantitative information participants have brought with them, and on literature review.
The last three months of the course are devoted to finalising the thesis with individual tutoring and visiting the World Health Organisation in Geneva. In the week before the oral examinations, students practice presenting their thesis to each other in class.
The content of the course is practice-based and oriented as much as possible to the working situation of participants. Contact between teaching staff and students is intensive throughout the course. Students learn through lectures, discussions, group work, individual presentations, case studies, exercises, study visits, an internet-based virtual learning environment and ‘serious gaming’, self-reflection, self-study and written assignments including a thesis. They receive study material before each module. During the lessons students share information about health issues of countries in which they have worked and compare experiences. Online repositories are used for learning material. Laptops and/or tablets are required.
A total of 60 EC credit points must be accumulated for successful completion of the ICHD/MPH programme. The European Credit Transfer System (EC) facilitates transfer of course credits between institutions at the same academic level. 1 ECTS requires 28 hours of student time, which includes class time and independent study.
Each module is assessed by means of either a written examination or a take-home assignment. At the end of the programme, an independent external examination committee assesses the thesis and the candidate’s oral examination.
If the overall assessment is satisfactory, the degree of Master of Public Health is awarded. Candidates who do not meet the requirements for the degree may be eligible for a certificate of attendance.
Part-time programme Master of Public Health
For part-time options click here:
Part-time Master of Public Health
- Academic training to at least bachelor’s degree level, either in medicine or in another field related to health, such as health sciences, economics, social science or nursing.
- A minimum of three years of experience, including managerial responsibilities in health related services in a low resource country.
- Proven proficiency in spoken and written English.
- Computer literacy is expected.
The number of participants is limited. Because there are always more applicants than places in the course, a selection must be made of those meeting the above mentioned criteria. The selection committee takes into account country of origin, experience and professional background in order to compose a group with a mixture of professional and geographical backgrounds. An adequate representation of women is also sought; women with appropriate training and experience are especially encouraged to apply.
For students who wish to apply for the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP), the entire application package to KIT is due at the latest by 01 April 2018.
NFP application deadline (tba, expected): April 2018. See our NFP page for more information.
For other applicants the application package is due two 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 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.
For Dutch participants academic training is sufficient.
Candidates fulfilling the MPH/ICHD entry requirements will receive a letter of admission, admitting them to the course provided that financing can be arranged. Once you have secured financial support and provided evidence of proficiency in English, you will receive a definitive letter of admission.
Note: Participants with a source of guaranteed financing have until 15 July 2018 to apply to the MPH/ICHD. However, visa applications can take several months to process and candidates are therefore advised to apply early.
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.
FAQ Online Application System
Do you have a question about our Online Application System? Then you can find the answer in our FAQ Online Application System:
Classes are held at KIT’s training facilities in Amsterdam.
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 or fellowships.
Some candidates are sponsored by their own governments, universities or employers while others apply for fellowships offered through the United Nations and its specialised agencies such as UNICEF, WHO, WB, UNDP or through other international programmes, such as those of OECD, EU or OAS. For more information on these and other possibilities, go to the KIT fellowship webpage.
Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)
One possibility for obtaining a fellowship is through the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP). The application procedures from Nuffic will change as from October 2014. Visit this website for recent updates.
The NFP application will have to be done via an application system (ATLAS). NFP application deadline for 2018-2019 (tba, expected): March 2018.
Please note that the academic application to the Royal Tropical Institute has to be received at the latest 1 month before the NFP deadline (so 01 February 2018). You are advised however to apply to the Royal Tropical Institute as early as possible.
See the detailed instructions on NFP fellowship application procedures.
The Netherlands Government does not grant a fellowship unless it is assured that the candidate’s government and employer agree to his or her participation and that the candidate will be admitted to the course. For this reason, it is essential to first gain admission to the MPH before applying for a fellowship.
KIT will secure accommodation for participants with a NFP fellowship and assist others in their search for housing if the request is received before 1 May. After this date we cannot guarantee accommodation. Note that when accommodation is arranged by KIT it is for the duration of the course. A shorter lease period is not allowed. There is a severe shortage of student accommodation in Amsterdam and participants are advised to contact KIT for information.
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.
Participants from other countries who will stay for longer than three months in the Netherlands will need an ‘Authorization for Temporary Stay’ (MVV) and residence permit to enter the country. 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 may take several months.
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.
Unless their current insurance policy covers their stay in the Netherlands, participants must insure themselves and their dependents in the Netherlands. Dutch insurance companies offer reasonable rates to foreign students. Please note that holders of a NFP fellowship are automatically insured but their dependents are not.
For more information on insurance visit the Nuffic website.
The MPH/ICHD is accredited by the Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO).
A number of advanced MPH/ICHD modules are also accredited for the Master’s in International Health programme organised by tropEd, a network of European institutions for higher education in international health. KIT and the MPH/ICHD were positively assessed during a review by tropEd.
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.
“As a manager and a clinician, the ICHD has given me the skills to formulate and implement programs and interventions to resolve pertinent health problems at national and community levels. For example, the knowledge and skills acquired from the HIV responds module and the findings of my thesis constitute the basics advocate for policy change in PMTCT of HIV in Ghana. Overall, the course has given me the confidence to analyze a public health situations and formulate policies to address the bottlenecks.
I am delighted that I am no more limited to seeing patients at consulting rooms and theatres but also prepared to influence policy to impact positively on the health of the Ghanaian society at large.”
Peter Baffoe, MD, Senior Specialist Obs/Gyn, MPH Track in SRHR, (Ghana) Currently: Medical Director, Upper East regional hospital
“This course gave me a great opportunity to learn and analyse experiences from different countries as everyone shares his/her country’s practices. The web lectures were interesting and I always looked forward to watch them.”
Roma Karki, Buthan, current MPH student, on Course on HIV Policy,
Governance and Financing (e-learning) which she followed as part of MPH SRHR track.
“Studying at KIT helped me to have a critical mind adn to really think out of the box. I work now for the National Cancer Prevention Centre in Zambia. We have screened close to 200,000 women in the cervical cancer programme which has never happened before in this country. Though the incidence and mortality rates are still high there has been massive awareness on the disease. We have also managed to have international recognition on the programme and have trained people from 11 other African countries. I could not have succeeded in all that without the training in public health at KIT.”
Sharon Kapambwe from Zambia, MPH, background medical doctor. Currently working as director of National Cancer Prevention Centre
“The MPH study program was comprehensive and mixed of theories, practices, skills, tools to apply the knowledge, and real examples from developing countries. Program topics were all interesting and relevant to practical work in the field. With what I learned I can contribute to strengthening the policy and strategies relevant to health in Afghanistan.”
Khalid Sharifi from Afghanistan, MPH/ICHD 2010, background medical doctor, now working as Managing Director of Afghan NGO, Social and Health Development Program (SHDP).
“My year at KIT was a non-stop learning experience. I expected to earn a Masters’ degree, to further my career in community based medicine and hopefully continue towards a Ph.D. Actually: I got so much more! I must admit: the course was tense. Every three to four weeks, we had exams. I have been stressed and nervous a lot. But it helped. I learned to be better in time-management and found ways to collect data and find enough time to reflect and analyse the facts.
The course was so practically implemented. It is so “easy” to talk about theory, but to actually implement it is ten times harder. We were constantly challenged to think how to include theory in real life situations. The Health Planning Game was one of the interactive teaching tools that really helped.”
Omaima Mirghani Hanafi Mustafa from Sudan, background as Medical Doctor followed the MPH/ICHD Track in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. She is currently working for MoH in Sudan as a liaison manager between (international) NGO’s and national Government.
“In our time, organizations and technology are evolving so rapidly that health care professionals must continually seek new skills and perspectives that enable them not only to respond to change, but also to anticipate it. And this is exactly what we were trained in KIT. Besides these academic competencies that are making a lot of difference in what I do now, staying and studying in Amsterdam also had positive effects in many ways; the principles of ‘equal opportunity for all people, irrespective of gender, age, race or religion’ were visible in all aspects of the Dutch life.”
John Kingsley Krugu from Ghana, MPH/ICHD 2010, background in biological sciences, now PHD Research Fellow at Maastricht University.
“Every single module in this ICHD/MPH program has been practically very useful for me. During the course, I completed 8 writing assignments of different public health issues that boosted my interest and confidence in academic writing. In addition to the topics which polished my existing capacity in programming, I got new knowledge and practical skills on financing, human resource, research and statistics which are also of equal importance for the success of programs. This course has upgraded my capacity in public health to be able to work with more professional manner while ensuring equitable and effective implementation using the scarce resources that we have.”
Swe Swe Aye, MPH/ICHD 2013. Background: Medical Doctor (Myanmar)
“I studied the MPH/SRHR at KIT. Every module of this program was logically sequenced and used up-to-date approach to address complex public health issues. Different methods of classroom sessions were used: interactive lectures, discussions, group work, case studies, exercises, workshops, role plays, student presentations, games, self-reflection, debates, written assignments including a thesis, and study visits were very attractive to me. It gave me ability and opportunity to improve my knowledge on current global trends and concept on SRH and human rights.
During this year I had the opportunity to learn not only from tutors but also from my friends of more than 20 different countries in the class, in the trips and even in group assignments and health resource allocation game. We discussed together the ways how to improve public health challenges especially SRHR and got new useful ideas on how to do better.
Through the simulation exercise in the health planning module, I recognized that different people from diverse backgrounds and countries have different ideas.
I got invaluable added knowledge and practical skills on research, statistics, financing, human resource, leadership, management and presentation. I realized the importance of continuous learning to sharpen the knowledge and skills continuously.
I realized the needs of my country better by looking at it from an international perspective. I am very motivated help in improving health in Myanmar by applying the gained knowledge and skills from this course.
When I started the MPH/SRHR course I had expected to get more internationally-focused, comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge and skills in public health and development. Now I feel that I have achieved more than what I had expected. The year at KIT not only changed me professionally but also personally. I would like to recommend this course to public health managers all around the world. “
Thida Win from Myanmar, background medical doctor. Assistant Director, Department of Public Health, Myanmar ministry of Health.