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NEW: Core Course in Public Health and Health Equity (CCPH-HE)

The Core Course in Public Health and Health Equity is a 3 months course that prepares you to systematically analyse and address complex public health issues, covering epidemiology, health system aspects, and broader social determinants of health. The course focuses on health equity in low-resource settings and high-resource settings with disadvantaged populations. It can be taken as a stand-alone course or as part of the Master of Science in Public Health and Health Equity. It forms also part of the post-graduate training programme for physicians leading to a diploma as MD Global Health (AIGT).

09/09/2024 until 13/12/2024
14 weeks (full-time)
KIT Amsterdam

IMPORTANT: This new Core Course in Public Health and Health Equity is a merge of the former Core Course of Public Health and the Netherlands Course on Global Health and Tropical Medicine (NTC) and will start from September 2024.


The new core course can be taken as stand-alone course or as the core course of the Master in Public Health and Health Equity (MPH-HE).

In the Netherlands, the Core Course in Public Health and Health Equity (before NTC) forms part of the post-graduate training programme for physicians leading to a diploma as MD Global Health (AIGT).

Learning methods

The content of the course is oriented as much as possible to the working situation of the participants. Participants have intensive contact with highly qualified staff who are active in the field. Methods are varied and participants will learn through discussions, group work, lectures, case studies, exercises, serious gaming and self-study. Simulations and role plays are used to familiarise you with problem-solving in cross-cultural management and planning. Reading material is prepared and distributed beforehand. Online repositories are used for learning material; laptops and/or tablets are required.


Course Objectives

At the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse the health needs of different populations, explaining the role of the underlying determinants and the health system.
  • Identify public health research needs and assess research methods and results.
  • Discuss the principles and processes of designing and implementing public health, community-centred programmes, and interventions, taking into account the relevant policies, evidence, context, and perspectives of equity and human rights.
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively in multi-disciplinary, intersectoral, and multi-cultural settings.
  • Critically self-reflect, for continuous professional development, to become an agent of change in public health.

Your Profile

The Core Course in Public Health and Health Equity is aimed at health professionals, such as doctors, nurses and midwives, as well as social scientists, (health) economists, and other professionals, who already work in public health in low- and middle-income settings and/or with marginalised communities and are seeking a deeper understanding through training in public health. It is also directed at professionals working mostly in health service delivery who are considering a career switch to public health.

In addition, this course would prepare you to work with refugees or disadvantaged populations in a high-income country. You may aim to work at a national or decentralised level (region, district, local authority) with the government or for healthcare programmes with (inter)national NGOs.

Study load

The study load of the course is 20 EC. 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.

Full-time or part-time study

The full-time course takes 14 weeks. If you are unable to take 14 weeks off work, KIT’s course management is open to discuss other feasible possibilities.

It is also possible to follow only selected module(s) or module sessions of the course separately, but this will not lead to an official diploma but a proof of attendance with an overview of modules/sessions that you followed.

Graduation requirements

The course is assessed through an open book exam and a written assignment, covering the content of all modules.


Participants who fulfill all exam requirements of the core course receive a certificate. If participants follow the entire master programme and fulfill all exam requirements they will receive a master’s degree.


The course is jointly organised by the Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre (VU) in Amsterdam, the University Hospital of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and KIT Institute and is, as part of the Master of Science in Public Health and Health EquityNVAO accredited.

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Programme Structure

The course consists of four modules:

  • Equity and Global Health Concerns
  • Research Methods
  • Health Systems and Policy Making
  • Learning and Communication Skills and Professional Development

1. Equity and Global Health Concerns

The factors that have an important influence on health are known as determinants of health. Most of these determinants lie outside the direct influence of the health system, such as gender, education, culture, employment, and environment. Understanding these factors is important to effectively design and manage interventions in the public health sector. It is also essential in mitigating the effects of global threats, like pandemics.

This module provides you with an overview of the most relevant health concerns occurring in low-resource settings and/or with marginalised groups. These concerns include but are not limited to, communicable and non-communicable diseases, child health, and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). You will discuss the key players in addressing these concerns, as well as (interdisciplinary and intersectoral) response strategies to address health issues and inequities.

2. Research Methods

This module familiarises you with quantitative and qualitative research methods and how to critically appraise evidence provided in the relevant literature. Basic principles of statistics, epidemiology, and study design in the field of public health are discussed. A socio-cultural perspective on health, illness, health care, medical anthropology, and sociology are used to study issues such as which population groups have the highest health needs and why. This module also offers participants the opportunity to experience an outbreak investigation simulation.

3. Health Systems and Policy Making

You will look into the health needs of people, the demand for services, and the organisation of health service delivery. What are the factors that influence utilisation of health services and peoples’ health (care) seeking behaviour, especially by the poor and other disadvantaged groups? This module discusses health systems: their boundaries, actors, functions, and goals.

Effective health systems are essential to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), one of the key targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. Strong and resilient health systems enable countries to respond to shocks, such as Ebola and COVID-19, while continuing to deliver essential health services. Understanding and incorporating the voices of the people and communities that rely on a well-functioning (?) health system is central to adapting the system to a changing context, including the demographic transition and a change in disease burden concerning infectious and non-communicable diseases. Many countries have trouble providing access for the poor, due to limited (human) resources. This module explores the roles of the public and private sectors, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the organisation of health care across the continuum of care, including health promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, and rehabilitation.

4. Learning and Communication Skills and Professional Development

For a public health professional, it is essential to communicate confidently in intercultural, interdisciplinary, and international settings. Public health work is mostly teamwork. It requires leadership and giving and receiving feedback, to improve the quality and effectiveness of the work.

The first step towards becoming a more effective professional is to think about what kind of professional you aim to be and which core values you want to adhere to in your work. For example, how do you assure integrity and fairness in your (research) practice? In this module, you will reflect upon your personal and professional views and values regarding the ongoing developments in global health and your role in addressing global health issues in your future career.



Seperate sessions

Do you want to refresh your knowledge on topics such as HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, pediatrics, essential drugs, gender, traditional healing, health systems?

Now it is possible to follow separate sessions on these topics.
Please contact our course administration team for an overview of topics (e-mail to:

Admission criteria: Bachelor degree and relevant working experience.

Fees for separate sessions:

Example 1 day (6 hours) of class = 25 + 6*50 = EUR 325
Example 4 days (24 hours) = 25 + 18*50 + 6*35 = EUR 1,135

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Admission criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent academic training in either medicine or another field related to health care, such as health sciences, health economics, social sciences, or nursing.
  • A minimum of three years of health-related work experience in health systems not limited to (organisation of) individual patient care but including involvement with public/global health, in resource-constrained settings and/or with marginalised communities and proven interest in these areas.
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Computer literacy is essential: we use a virtual learning platform and digital tools in our education and assignments, and the exams are conducted online.

Application procedure

The application package is due 2 months before the start of the course (unless you need a visa, then it is due 3 months before start of the course).

Please upload your application  via KIT Online Application System.

The following documents should be uploaded:

  • A one-page letter of motivation
  • Copies of your diplomas
  • Copies of academic transcripts (grade reports), that are part of your diploma
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae and a list of publications if applicable
  • Proof of English proficiency (if applicable, see exemptions below)

What we expect from your motivation letter:

Please indicate in your motivation letter why you want to follow this specific course, why you want to follow the course at KIT Amsterdam, what do you expect to learn and how you will apply your newly gained competencies from the course in your work, what kind of benefits will it bring to your future career, etc. Describe a relevant problem you have experienced in the last two years that you would like to discuss during this specific course. Your motivation should be about ½-1 page. Please do not repeat your CV again.

Exceptions English proficiency test

Applicants who are exempted from the proof of English language proficiency:

  • completed an English-taught secondary or higher education degree in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Philippines, India, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Liberia, or
  • have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an English-taught programme accredited by NVAO in the Netherlands, or have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an accredited English-taught programme in another member state of the European Union
  • Note: For Dutch participants academic training is sufficient.

TOEFL-ibt Special Home Edition test

KIT will accept the TOEFL-ibt Special Home Edition test as it is the same research-based, valid and reliable TOEFL iBT test of academic English from ETS.
TOEFL-ibt Special Home Edition is now available in almost all countries, with the exception of Iran.

Candidates fulfilling the entry requirements will receive a ‘conditional letter of admission’, admitting them to the course provided that financing can be arranged. Once you have secured financial support and paid the course fee, you will receive a definitive letter of admission.

Note: Participants with a source of guaranteed financing have until 15th of July of the starting year of their studies to apply to the master programme. However, the course is often already full. Also visa applications are time-consuming and can take several months to process. Therefore candidates are therefore advised to apply and complete the financial process as early as possible (at least 2 months before the start of the course).


For cancellation within 14 days after the date of returning the signed financial statement no fee is required and 100% of the fee will be reimbursed if already paid. For more information on cancellation fees see financial statement.

Accredited Programme

The Core Course in Public Health and Health Equity is organised by KIT Institute in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre (VU) in Amsterdam and the University Hospital of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). It is NVAO and tropEd accredited, as part of the Master in Public Health and Health Equity.

In the Netherlands, the Core Course in Public Health and Health Equity (*) forms part of a post-graduate training programme for physicians, leading to a diploma as MD Global Health (AIGT). For more information, please visit:

(* formerly known as NTC, Netherlands Course on Global Health and Tropical Medicine)

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:

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Practical information

Course dates

The course is offered twice per year starting in March and September.

Upcoming course dates in 2024-2025:

Autumn 2024: 9 September until 13 December 2024
Spring 2025: 3 March until 13 June 2025
Autumn 2025: 8 September until 12 December 2025


Classes are held at KIT’s training facilities in Amsterdam.


There is a severe shortage of student accommodation in Amsterdam and participants are advised to contact KIT for information. KIT will endeavour to assist participants in their search for housing.

Visa requirements

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 a visa and residence permit. 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.

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.

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. KIT can assist with arranging insurance for participants.

European Credit

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 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.

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.


The arrangement of financial support to cover all study costs is the responsibility of the applicant.

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. There are scholarship opportunities from World Bank, MENA and KIT Fund. For more information on these and other possibilities,  go to the KIT scholarship web page.

Scholarship information

Coordinators and Support

Why Study at KIT Institute?

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  • Up-to-date approach to complex public health issues
  • Practice-oriented
  • Exchange between disciplines
  • Interactive Education
  • Development of personal and professional competencies
  • Network building
  • Participants from diverse backgrounds and countries
  • Personal tutoring
  • Teaching by highly qualified specialists
  • Positively reviewed by tropEd
  • KIT: international centre of excellence in international health and development
  • Accredited by NVAO

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New Course Brochure 2025

Welcome to KIT Institute, where tradition meets innovation in global health education. Our new Master of Public Health and Health Equity programs and short courses equip professionals to tackle health challenges and disparities. Join our vibrant community in Amsterdam and help advance health equity worldwide.

Interested? Find your ideal course in our new brochure.

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