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Evidence based public health, 4 Credits

Swedish name: Evidensbaserat folkhälsoarbete

This syllabus is valid: 2016-09-05 and until further notice

Course code: 3FH060

Credit points: 4

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Public Health: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Established by: Programme council for the International Master Programme in Public Health (PRPH), 2016-05-18

Revised by: Programme council for the International Master Programme in Public Health (PRPH), 2016-05-18


”Evidence based” has become fashionable both in research and decision-making, and the idea claims to bridge research and decision-making. This idea has its roots and is most developed in medicine, but has obviously relevance even in public health.  However, most actions suggested in public health have a different nature than in medicine. While patients are treated individually in medicine, public health research often suggest collective interventions in living conditions such as access to food, education or decent working conditions. These features of public health interventions of course require other methods than in medicine to collect evidence. In parallel with lectures and exercises, the students read the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” written by Daniel Kahneman.  This book challenge our view on rationality in individual and collective decision-making

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

After completion of the course the student is expected to:

  • Describe different methods for synthesize scientific evidence.
  • Understand how scientific knowledge is used outside the universities for individual or collective decision-making.

Skills and abilities

After completion of the course the student is expected to be able to:

  • Analyze the relationships between context and ideal evidence.

Judgement and approach

After completion of the course the student is expected to:

  • Achieved an analytical and critical approach which allows to judge the evidence necessary for action.

Required Knowledge

For non-programme students applying as single-course students, the requirements are 120 ECTS, of which a minimum of 30 ECTS are within one of the following: health sciences, environmental health or social sciences.

English proficiency equivalent to English B/6 from Swedish Upper secondary education. Basic entrance requirements for higher studies in Swedish language proficiency is also required if the course is taught in Swedish.

Form of instruction

Teaching is concentrated to two weeks during the course period. Teaching methods are mixed; lectures, seminars, group-discussions and home assignments. Seminars, group-discussions and home assignments are mandatory. The course is given in English.

Examination modes

The course is examined individually through active participation in mandatory individual or group-exercises.

Mandatory seminaries and group-exercises can be awarded fail (U) or pass (G), while individual exercises can be awarded fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG).

The whole course is graded Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with Distinction (VG). In order to be awarded Pass for the entire course, it is required that all examination parts must be passed.

It is only allowed to complete a fail. To complete only for being awarded a higher grade is not allowed.

If there are special reasons, the examiner has the right to decide whether another form of examination can be used. A student who has failed two tests for a course, is entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it. A written request is submitted to the director of studies.

Other regulations

Students have the right to examine whether previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired can be credited for the corresponding course at Umeå University. Application is submitted to Studentcentrum/Examina. Details on crediting can be found at Umeå University’s student web, www.student.umu.se, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal of accreditation may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies to the whole or part of the application for accreditation is refused.


Valid from: 2016 week 1

Kahneman Daniel
Thinking, Fast and Slow
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux ; London : Allen Lane : 2011 :