Master in International Health (MIH)

The Master of Science in International Health (MIH) aims to develop the capacity of health professionals working in clinical care, at the interface of national health systems, in international organisations and on global health challenges.

IMPORTANT: We have changed the set-up of our Masters programmes. As from September 2024 we offer a single Master programme: the Master of Science in Public Health and Health Equity.
March 2024 is the last time the MIH programme will be offered in the current format. Go to our ‘practical information‘ section for more information.

Start date (Spring 2024)
Course fee
See: 'Practical Information'
1 year (FT); up to 5 years (PT)
KIT Amsterdam, and optionally elsewhere in Europe
Application deadline
2 months before start of course (in case the participant needs visa: 3 months!)

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 this programme is designed for you.

Studying the MIH at KIT allows you to design a programme that is tailored to your specific needs and goals, with a combined offer from tropEd institutes around the globe – of approximately 100 different advanced modules to choose from. With this good variety, the MIH prepares you optimally for your desired field of work – whether that be maternal and child health, HIV and AIDS, disaster settings, research, health systems and policy, human resources for health or another area.

The MIH can be completed within 1 year (fulltime), and (part-time 5 years) and as a “blended programme” with face-to-face and online modules, depending on your availability. This flexible programme targets health professionals who are unable to take long periods of leave from home or work to follow an academic programme.

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

The logo of an NVAO accredited programme

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.”


“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.”

Learn more about Mariam’s experiences: watch video


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


“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.”


"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.”


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


“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.”




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?

Experts in International Health work across national, regional and global boundaries, focusing on health problems of disadvantaged populations integrating the complexity of social determinants of health and globalisation. Key elements are a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach, generating and applying evidence from personal experience and other contexts, disciplines and actors. In addition, professionals working in the field of International Health, master issues related to health systems management and organisation across the continuum of health care, and keep an equity-based approach while analysing
health problems and the provision of health services. The expert functions as an advocate aiming to improve the health of the population most in need, and assists in the mobilisation of resources and capacity building. Given its global extent and its implications across sectors, the COVID-19 epidemic is a clear example of how experts in International Health can play a role by contributing to the generation of evidence and through the design, implementation and evaluation of the response.

Course Objectives

The MIH provides health professionals with the competencies and attitude required to effectively deal with current challenges, understand and analyse international health issues, conduct applied research, and develop adequate, appropriate and evidence informed responses in a global context.

After the programme you will be able to:

  • Advocate for and address equity and human rights in international health
  • Identify and analyse current and emerging health problems and its determinants in different population groups
  • Identify the needs for and generate ethically sound evidence to address health problems through research and evaluation
  • Formulate effective responses and contribute to its implementation in health systems management and organisation across the continuum of healthcare
  • Initiate and manage collaborative relations and communicate effectively across disciplines, sectors and cultures within complex environments
  • Critically self-reflect your own cultural competence, motivation, practice and values, adjust them accordingly, and act as an agent of change.
  • Programme

    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 3-month core course, Netherlands Course on Global Health and Tropical Medicine (NTC), provides you with basic knowledge on a wide range of topics related to international health needed to follow the advanced modules and to complete the final thesis. The NTC will also help you to be aware of the perspectives of equity and gender while analysing health problems. The course consists of five modules: introduction, social determinants of health, health needs and responses, 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

    The advanced modules will help you to acquire and develop the needed competencies and attitude to allow you to work in the field of International and Global Health. With support from the course management, you will make an individual study plan. The study plan will include advanced modules that can be taken at KIT and at various universities and institutes throughout the Netherlands, Europe and around the globe. The availability of distance-based modules (e-learning) also allow you to continue your studies from home or wherever you currently work. KIT encourages students to expand their professional network and diversify their learning experience by following modules in different countries and different tropEd institutions. See advanced modules for all courses from KIT that can be taken as advanced module. For modules at other institutes see or Dutch/Flemish universities.

    Study tour
    During the programme, a study tour will be organized to expose students to international organizations and/ or organizations working on public health issues.

    C. Thesis

    Under the guidance of a content expert, you will work on your thesis. During this phase you will identify and define a relevant health problem of interest to you. You will systematically analyse this problem and make suggestions for its solution based on qualitative and quantitative information from a primary study, secondary data analysis or a literature review. While working on your thesis you are not required to stay in the Netherlands.

    Part-time option

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

    For more information, please check our course administration office (e-mail:

    Learning methods

    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:


    Your profile

    If you are a health professional (for example medical doctor, nurse, midwife, other health professional) working in clinical care and you aspire to develop or expand your career in international health, with an individual study plan, then the MIH is ideally designed for you.

    Admission Criteria

  • Admission to the Master’s programme is possible for an applicant who has obtained a Bachelor’s degree obtained at an institution of academic higher education, [in] medicine, nursing, midwifery, dentistry, physiotherapy. Students with a Bachelor degree in Public Health or social science with proven work experience in health service delivery can also be admitted. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree obtained at an institution outside the Netherlands may be asked for additional methods to prove that they meet the admission requirements.
  • Two years of relevant work experience,  incl. work experience in low and middle income settings and/or with disadvantaged communities.
  • Proven proficiency in spoken and written English academic TOEFL or IELTS test. A minimum written TOEFL score of 550, iBT TOEFL score of 80, computer based TOEFL score of 213, or an IELTS academic score of 6.0 is required. (See below for exceptions)
  • A good motivation
  • 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)
  • 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. 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
    Due to the global Covid-19 situation 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 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.
  • Practical information

    IMPORTANT: We have changed the set-up of our Masters programmes. As from September 2024 we offer a single Master programme: the Master of Science in Public Health and Health Equity. This is a merge of our current Master in International Health (MIH) and Master of Public Health (MPH).

    March 2024 is the last time that the Master in International Health can be started in its current format.
    Participants who study, or plan to study the Master in International Health in part-time modus will receive a Master in International Health diploma if finishing at the latest by August 2026. After August 2026 only the new Master of Science in Public Health and Health Equity diploma can be given.

    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):

    In 2024:

  • 4 March 2024 (last start in current format). For later dates see Master of Science in Public Health and Health Equity
  • Fees

    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.
    When starting the core course in March please keep in mind that this means finishing within 1,5 year! 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 11.940 (fee academic year 2023-24)

    Part-time student
    Course fee part-time (excl. Advanced Modules!):
    EUR 12.600 (fee academic year 2023-24)

    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
  • Funding

    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 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).

    Visit our scholarship information page for an overview of the possibilities for financial support.


    Unless otherwise specified, classes of the core course are held at KIT campus in Amsterdam or through our online platform. The KIT campus is located in the heart of Amsterdam.


    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 participant, but in practice KIT will try to support as much as possible.

    KIT will secure accommodation for participants with an OKP or KIT Fund scholarship and assist others in their search for housing with some practical information. Note that when accommodation is arranged by KIT it is for the full duration of the academic year. A shorter rental period is not allowed.

    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 a visa or residence permit 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:

  • Full document of the Code of Conduct Rules and Regulations
  • More information on complaints procedures.
  • 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.

    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
  • Apply online

    You can find all information about our online application system on this page 

    Apply online now

    Why study at KIT?

    • 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

    Coordinators & Support

    Photo of Fernando Maldonado Costa

    Fernando Maldonado Costa


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    Photo of Francine Egberts

    Francine Egberts


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    Photo of Susan Huider

    Susan Huider

    Course Administration Officer

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