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university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: studies: master’s degree programme in public and global health: courses:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences
Master’s Degree Programme in Public and Global Health

Elective studies in 2017-2019

Mental health and services: global issues
Mental health: using the knowledge and adding to it
Migration and health
Introduction to ethics in health research
Ageing of the populations 
Work and health
Epidemiologic research methods
Child and adolescents wellbeing in the global south and north
Project cycle management
Nordic welfare systems: Past, present, and future
Health in disasters, conflicts and complex humanitarian emergencies

Mental Health and Services: Global Issues

Course leader: Sami Pirkola, Professor

Teacher responsible: Kirsti Nurmela, University Instructor

Is depression simply sadness? Why should we fight such a natural feeling? Global estimates suggest that in the near future depression and other mental disorders will cause the largest burden of disease worldwide, when measured by disability and loss of quality of life. In this web-based course you will discuss current challenges and action plans for local and global mental health promotion. You will familiarize yourself with the situation in your own country and learn steps how to improve it. Students from other countries will give you valuable feedback.

Mental Health: Using the Knowledge and Adding to it

Course leader: Sami Pirkola, Professor

Teacher responsible: Kirsti Nurmela, University Instructor

Mental disorders have a huge impact on  the functioning and quality of life of people all around the world and they should therefore be prioritized high on global health- and other policy agendas. In addition to psychiatric epidemiology, awareness of societal- and service-related research is important when promoting mental health and preventing mental health problems. This web-course is an introductory course on the research of mental health issues. After completing the course students will be able to prepare a viable research plan on mental health topics, evaluate and utilize research reports for preparing the research plan and discuss the specific ethical concerns in mental health research. The course is organized non-stop and will be completed entirely online in the Moodle learning environment.

Migration and Health

Course leader: Dr. Mikko Perkiö, Global Health and Development

Forced and voluntary forms of migration are current and challenging issues in an increasingly globalised world. Various crises force people to leave their homelands as refugees. Polarizing social conditions in Central Africa and the Middle East feed into the migration crises we are seeing in the Mediterranean region. Migration has its own demographics which may affect the health of the migrant in many ways, both short and long term. Also multicultural encounters within health care are explored in this course.

The migration of health workers redistributes skilled health professionals and contributes to health-related disparities. The course analyses the dynamics of the global health work crisis and investigates mitigation strategies, such as skills transfer and local capacity building.

An Introduction to Ethics in Health Research

Course leader: Anssi Auvinen, Professor

The course deals with values inherent in all research as knowledge production as well as issues specific to research on health issues. Conducting research and communicating the findings also has a codex called good research practice. The course unit on research ethics provides students with a general introduction of ethics including concepts and theories, as well as ethical questions encountered in different phases of research, and guidelines concerning ethically sound research conduct. Special focus is on good research practice and its violations. After completing the course, students will, be familiar with the key ethical concepts and theories as well as development of the ethical standards for health research and know the principles of good research practice and recognize its violations.


Course leader: Anna-Maija Koivisto, University Instructor

Deepen your knowledge and increase your skills in biostatistics! In this course, students will become skilled in using the most important regression models and recognising assumptions and the limitations of these methods. You will learn hands on how to use statistical software to carry out analyses, with an emphasis on the interpretation and critical evaluation of the results. The course also includes a practical element where students conduct a small survey with a questionnaire. Upon completion of the course students have an improved understanding of biostatistical methods and will have developed new strategies for analyzing quantitative data.

Ageing of the Populations

Course leader: Marja Jylhä, Professor

There are more and more people every year in the world over one hundred than ever before. We all want to live forever – or do we? How do we really view old people and their needs? This course looks at the basic global trends of population ageing as related to health as well as implications for service delivery, family, culture and working life. We address the determinants of health, functioning and wellbeing in older populations and the challenges of ageing to health and social services. Participation in this course familiarizes the students with the consequences and implications of ageing on health and wellbeing in a global context.

Work and Health

Course leader: Clas-Håkan Nygård, Professor

Work can both promote and undermine health. Issues such as how politics and policies influence working life, how chemicals used in agriculture and industry affect the health of families and communities are addressed.  We look at the major issues of work-place safety, wellbeing at work, ergonomics, and contemplate why governments should invest in occupational health. The course covers the current key concepts, trends and challenges in work life.

Epidemiologic Research Methods

Course leader: Anssi Auvinen, Professor 

Basic Epidemiology was just the beginning! Now you will develop your skills and master the various epidemiologic study formats such as cohort and case-control studies, as well as randomised trials that are commonly used in the field of public health. You will learn how to study causes and consequences of disease and wellbeing. When reading scientific literature you will be able to ascertain if the study really answers the question you have in mind - and what it would take to conduct a study which will.

Child and Adolescents Wellbeing in the Global South and North

Course leader: Anneli Milen, Professor for Global Health and Development

The next generation of experts should be capable of enhancing child and adolescent health beyond national borders.  The causes of child-health inequality are deeply rooted in the global economy and geo-politics, both of which impose an inequitable economic landscape. This limits the possibilities of individual states to combat poverty and the related stress on families. Additionally, suppressive local practices can in some instances impact upon child and adolescent health outcomes. During this course we will grapple with current global problems specific to child and adolescent health, and explore solutions.

Project Planning and Management

Course leader: Anne Konu, University Lecturer

As an expert in public and global health, you will inevitably run into work organized as a project. A project is a cycle, with a beginning and an end, the results of which must be sustainable in the long-term. Various methods exist to define a/the key problem in detail as well as options to solve it. In planning a project, the emphasis should be on defining tangible goals and the measurable results to be achieved. A realistic budget and action plan are the backbone of any project. Managing the implementation of a project requires specific skills and tools. Learn to avoid the pitfalls in managing health projects!

Annariina KoivuNordic Welfare Systems: Past, present, and future

Course leader: Dr Annariina Koivu

The welfare system is one of the Nordic countries’ characteristics, which has aroused admiration and interest in many parts of the world. This course offers an introduction to the Nordic welfare system and its transition. It will provide basic knowledge of the Nordic welfare society in general and the Finnish one in particular. Based on comparative research approaches, the course determines the position of the Finnish welfare system among the other European countries by paying attention on health, work and labour, social security, gender and equality, family and care policies, child protection and economy of the welfare state. The course includes several workshop activities including health and welfare system related field visits.

Annariina Koivu

Health in disasters, conflicts and complex humanitarian emergencies

Course leader: Dr Annariina Koivu

Disasters affect close to 400 million people each year. Exploring issues ranging from the debates around the global response to the Haiti earthquake to vaccine-preventable diseases among prolonged conflicts, this course develops and broadens the students’ understanding of health and healthcare in various disaster contexts. The course includes an interactive group exercise at the Tampere Training Center for Skills and Simulation on infectious disease outbreak control, as well as guest lecturers who share their field-level experiences on humanitarian emergencies. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of key concepts of disaster management and humanitarian response and their significance in different contexts.

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