Master of Science in Global Health


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Every day we are faced with important global health challenges of the 21st century, such as chronic diseases, mental illnesses, the aging population, the health consequences of climate change, pollution, and migration. These challenges can only be effectively addressed through an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, global approach that tackles the multiple causes and consequences. The Master of Science in Global Health provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to manage these complexities by giving you a sound theoretical basis, mixed with applied classes and an internship. Together, this training package prepares you to become a catalyst for change as a global health professional.

Course structure

Central courses

In the first year, the program is organized around two key themes. Semester I goes ‘Global’, providing students with the knowledge and insights into global health challenges and their determinants, as well as the global health policy and normative frameworks (Courses: 'Global Health Challenges' and 'Global Health Governance and Leadership'). Semester II investigates the ‘Local’, teaching students about the instruments that governments can use to formulate a local answer to global health challenges (Courses: 'Health Care Systems' and 'Health Promotion and Disease Prevention'). Several transversal courses run throughout the first three semesters. In these courses, students are instructed in 'Essential Skills in Global Health' (including complexity theory, systems thinking and evidence synthesis), and 'Research Methods in Global Health' (including key methodological insights relevant to global health).

Elective courses

Semester III and IV are the ‘Focal’ semesters, in which students will specialize in a specific Global Health Challenges – either focusing on ‘Global Health Policies and Programs’ or on ‘Research Methods in Global Health’ by selecting a number of elective courses offered by the five partner institutions.


In the second year, students will do an internship of 10 weeks. The aim of the internship is to put Global Health thinking into practice, to acquire skills and practical knowledge, and to get a better view of the Global Health domain, including the various actors, specializations and career opportunities that this encompasses.

Master thesis

The master thesis is a paper/dissertation in which the student independently develops a research project. The student carries out a scientific study in an independent and creative way with regard to a topic concerning Global Health. The master thesis can be seen as the endpoint of the program, in which the acquired knowledge, academic, and domain-specific skills and competencies are used to independently develop a research project and to bring it to a successful conclusion.

Practical information

The Master in Global Health is jointly organized by the five Flemish Universities in Belgium: Ghent University, Antwerp University, Catholic University of Leuven, Free University of Brussels and Hasselt University. Classes will be taught in Ghent, Antwerp, and Leuven. All places are easily accessible by public transport and students will be given access to student facilities on the three campuses.

Career perspectives

Students graduating from our ‘Global Health Policy and Programs’ option will be more oriented towards governmental institutions, international organizations, development agencies, non-governmental organizations or lobbying and advocacy. Those graduating from our ‘Research Methods in Global Health’ option will focus more on national and international research institutions working in fields related to global health.


Administrative application

To qualify for the Master’s program, students must have a Master’s degree or equivalent that complies with the minimum diploma requirements (verified by the UGent admissions service) and proof of English language proficiency.


  • Master’s degree
  • English language proficiency: TOEFL 550/213 or IELTS score 6.5

Motivational application

This procedure assesses the applicant’s interest in and basic knowledge of the field of global health. This is assessed through a personal motivation letter and an interview.

The personal motivation letter should include:

  1. a critical reflection on the contribution of the candidate’s field (his/her Master’s degree, work experience) to the field of global health, including an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses regarding the candidate’s position in global health studies (max. 800 words);
  2. the candidate’s motivation and expectations regarding the course (max. 400 words).

The responses will be independently evaluated by two people, and we will ensure that evaluators are familiar with the candidate’s country of residence and discipline. After the evaluation of the personal motivation letter, shortlisted students will be invited for a video interview.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

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