Methods in Global Health Research



Mål og innhald


The aim of this course is to introduce the students to different scientific perspectives and research paradigms (traditions), and to facilitate the development of research skills relevant to global health.


The course comprises an introduction to the theory of science and ethics; qualitative research methodology; epidemiology and statistics. It provides an overview of the theory of science related to the use of different research methodologies for global health, as well as key concepts and approaches to study design, data collection methods and analysis related to theses methodologies. Global health issues are used as the basis for formulating both epidemiological and qualitative research questions. Students are introduced to the principles of data collection, processing and interpretation of epidemiological and qualitative data and are given individual and group assignments for both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to develop their skills. The assignments include written and oral presentations on own and group work as well as peer review of other students`assignments. Ethical considerations and analytical approaches are emphasized. The course also includes critical reviews of research articles.

The seminars and group assignments require compulsory attendance. All teaching and group work require student preparation prior to the face-to-face meetings.


On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student should be able to:

  • Explain/describe the philosophical underpinnings of research methodologies used in global health studies
  • Describe the theoretical foundation and concepts of qualitative study designs in research
  • Discuss the principles of causality in research
  • List relevant databases for scientific literature and explain the principles of literature reviews
  • Compare different research concepts and epidemiological study designs such as randomized controlled trials, observational studies (cohort studies, case-control studies, cross-sectional studies,)
  • Describe qualitative research methods (observations, interviews, group discussions and document analysis)
  • Explain fundamental statistical concepts and methods relevant to global health research, including methods for reporting and summarizing data
  • Use tables and graphs, report descriptive statistics for continuous and categorized data from data sets
  • Recognize ethical challenges in global health research; integrity, accountability and social responsibility and their possible consequences.


The student should be able to:

  • Search systematically for scientific literature in global health
  • Critically evaluate scientific literature in global health
  • Formulate appropriate objectives, study designs and methods for data collection and analysis and argue for these choices
  • Describe what is required of an ethically sound study
  • Explain and justify choice of research tools
  • Develop a qualitative interview guide and plan a qualitative interview
  • Conduct basic coding/analysis and establish thematic categories of qualitative data
  • Apply statistical methods
  • Estimate disease occurrence
  • Estimate and interpret risk associations
  • Discuss measures to increase trustworthiness in qualitative research and how to minimize bias and confounding in quantitative research
  • Describe the characteristics of a good visual and oral presentation

General competence

The student should be able to:

  • Reflect upon the role of different disciplines and research methodologies in global health research relevant for low- and middle income countries
  • Critically evaluate and interpret results from global health research and its relevance, societal and ethical implications

Studiepoeng, omfang

15 studiepoeng

Studienivå (studiesyklus)



Krav til forkunnskapar

A Bachelor`s degree level in medicine, dentistry or related disciplines in health, natural or social sciences is required for admission.

Proficiency in English at a level corresponding to TOEFL 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) or IELTS band 6.0 is expected.

The students must have basic mathematical understanding. This involves:

  • Using mathematical symbols and basic formal mathematical language to solve problems and present solutions.
  • Being able to create adequate figures, graphs and tables
  • Being able to calculate with whole numbers, fractions, decimal numbers, percentages, root expressions, exponential expressions, log transformations

Being able to calculate probability.

Delvis studiepoengreduksjon mot INTH302
Krav til studierett
Students enrolled in the master programme in Global Health, students enrolled in similar programmes at UiB or other partner institutions.
Arbeids- og undervisningsformer
Lectures, group work, seminars, quizzes, exercises, presentations, peer review
Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet

Compulsory attendance of seminars and workshops, individual- and group assignments.

In Epidemiology there will be 8 quizzes which the students have to pass.

Students have to submit an individual assignment as part of the literature search seminar.

Each student also must submit peer assessment of the home assignments of two fellow students.


Mappevurdering som inneheld:

  1. Muntleg eksamen om ein vitskapeleg artikkel (30%)
  2. 4 fleirvalstestar (20%)
  3. Skriftleg eksamen (6 timar) (50%)

Studentar som får karakteren F får ta konteeksamen i samsvar med standardprosedyrer ved UiB.

ECTS A-F (F = fail)
The reading list will be made available on Mitt UiB.
Students evaluate the teaching according to the quality assessment requirements of the University of Bergen.
Hjelpemiddel til eksamen
Programutvalet i global helse
Professor Ingvild Fossgard Sandøy
Administrativt ansvarleg
Institutt for global helse og samfunnsmedisin