Migration and health

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Objectives: The objective of the course is to provide knowledge about immigrant health and health rights from both a Norwegian and an international perspective. The course will cover the main features of somatic and mental health including the immigrants┬┐ life trajectories and reasons for migration and migrant status as determinants of health. The course will focus on practical communication skills for intercultural clinical encounters, and will teach the students how to evaluate research in this scientific area.

Contents: Basic concepts on culture and migration; Main theories and mechanisms to understand immigrant health; Burden of disease among migrants; Mental health; Nutritional Health and Displacement; Labour trafficking, Interpreters and cross-cultural communication; Equality versus equity in health care services.

Learning Outcomes

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


The student:

  • can describe the key statistics on migration and health in Norway and globally
  • can explain knows concepts and theories regarding immigrants and their health
  • can explain the health related rights in Norway and internationally, including Human rights
  • knows about the common age-specific physical and mental health problems among immigrants
  • understands how migration can affect physical (including nutritional) and mental well-being
  • knows the basic concepts used regarding refugees, displacement, forced migration and labour trafficking


The student can:

  • recognize and manage cultural and linguistic barriers associated to migrant health
  • develop and apply cultural awareness to care provision
  • use an interpreter in an appropriate manner
  • consider and analyze immigrant health in a life-trajectory perspective
  • recognize problems related to work and health among migrants and discuss the topic
  • recognize problems related to nutrition and health among migrants and discuss the topic
  • apply simple strategies to include immigrants in health research when appropriate
  • recognize the importance of cultural differences when studying the expression of problems, and can attend to these in research and in clinical practice.

General competence

The student:

can use their basic cultural competence and cultural awareness in both research and health care practice. The student understands the relation between being a migrant and health, and is able to reflect on different solutions to solve the challenges in research and in the clinical encounter.

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring, January
Required Previous Knowledge
Proficiency in English at a level corresponding to TOEFL 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) or IELTS band 6.0 is expected.
Access to the Course
Students enrolled in the medical study at UiB, students at the master programme in Global Health, students enrolled in similar other master programmes at UiB or other partner universities.
Teaching and learning methods

Total working hours: 90

Face to face lectures, including case based learning (CBL) and Team based learning (TBL) and role playing elements from 8:30 to 12:00 four days a week for 2 weeks (32 hours)

Group work / role play based on previously defined exercises Wednesdays and every afternoon during 2 weeks and work on individual assignments (34 hours)

Assignment production on group and individual basis (24).

Total number of students: 40 (25 places reserved for medical students)

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • 80% attendance on practical sessions like group work is required
  • Accepted presentation of group work
  • Forms of Assessment
    Group work presentations: At the beginning of the course the student will be presented with the exam text which they will work with in groups throughout the course. The assignment will require the students to use evidence based knowledge and to reflect on how this knowledge can be used to strengthen practice. Students will be given an assigned theme at the beginning of the course in groups of 4-5 students. They will work on this for two weeks. The theme will have to be solved based in evidence base knowledge but will also have a part of self-reflection and a last part of possible concrete applications of the knowledge to their future work. All projects will be presented during the last day in joint sessions.
    Grading Scale
    Assessment Semester
    Course Evaluation
    Electronic course evaluation by each student at the end of the course.
    Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care