FAQ for students

I am a student and I would like to know more about the tropEd masters programme.

1. About the masters programme

The tropEd Masters Programme provides a unique synergy of experiences and expertise of leading international (Global) health institutions within Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. As a health professional, it will equip you to work more effectively in a multicultural and multi-professional environment, introduce you to multiple perspectives and offers a flexible study structure with the assurance of an international recognized education. You will benefit from the added value of the tropEd Network label, which represents high quality education, cultural and linguistic diversity, equity and access (social aspects and gender equity), democracy, and unity of teaching and research; lifelong learning: keeping contact through alumni network meetings and returning for further education and research; enhancing the employability of graduates with a European master’s degree.

International (Global) Health integrates multiple disciplines and sciences such as public health, tropical medicine, economics, management, social and political sciences. It has a clear geographical dimension with a focus on Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, as well as a poverty dimension with a focus on low-income societies. This being said, a MIH degree is generally considered equivalent to the “older” MPH degree in regards to employability in International Organizations, where considered the MIH as an entry criterion. Public Health is hereby considered the field where health systems of usually nation-states are looked at, regardless of their income levels.

2. About the enrollment in tropEd

Selection of participants is guided by a programme emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach to international (Global) health. Students are recruited from a variety of backgrounds including medical doctors, nurses, social scientists, health educators, and health managers. Applicants must hold a first degree – at least equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree – in a relevant field. Each application is individually assessed by the home institution or, in the case of joint degrees, the consortium. Admission requirements vary slightly between home institutions.

Please check the webpages of the tropEd home institutions. Application deadlines differ from institution to institution. Note that institutions begin their academic year in different months. The deadlines to apply also vary, from 2-6 months before the academic year begins.

You should send your application to the tropEd Masters programme to the tropEd home institution where you wish to mainly be based.

Each tropEd home institution has different guidelines concerning documents to submit with your application. The most frequently required documents include: curriculum vitae, academic degree certificates or professional diplomas with academic transcripts, 1-2 page draft thesis proposal, personal statement, recommendation letters, English proficiency test results, work certificate, school-leaving certificate (university entrance qualification), photographs, copy of passport, etc.

Not always. Only the DTMPH course from tropEd home institutions can be recognized towards a tropEd Masters degree.

The two year field-experience and one year in low and middle income countries is a criterion which you must fulfill before you submit or defend your Masters thesis, in order for you to eligible for tropEd recognition of your degree. Students who choose a part-time study mode can work in between courses during the five-year period. If you complete your degree without meeting this criterion, you will not be eligible for tropEd recognition, although your home institution may still accept you on a programme and award you a degree. You can seek further details from individual institutions.

You should be physically present in a low- or middle-income country and working in a field in related to international (Global) health. Whether the job is paid or not is not decisive. Compulsory internship during study time for your the first degree is not to be counted for the working experiences towards the Masters degree.

You can choose a full time study plan for one year or a part-time study plan for up to a maximum of five years.

The study period is calculated from the date that you start your core course to the date you complete all of your degree components, including any thesis defense. Interruption of study leaves officially granted by the home institution will not be included in calculating the 5-year period.

This will be depending on the regulations at your initial home institution and the institution you wish to transfer into. You will need to enquire at the specific home institutions.

Participating institutions may assist tropEd students in obtaining total or partial financial support. Students are, however, strongly encouraged to apply for financial support in their home countries.

Candidates who already hold a masters degree related to international Health, e.g. Master of Public Health are not excluded from tropEd recognition of an MIH degree they complete at a partner institution. However, some home institutions may have a selection criterion which means they would not offer you a place if you already have a similar degree.

As a tropEd student, you will agree your plan of study with the course director or programme tutor in your home institution. In some cases, you will need to sign a Learning Agreement which contains the list of course units or modules you plan to take. For each course unit/module, the title, the code number and the ECTS credit are indicated. The personal tutor or the person who has formal authority to commit the home institution will be the counterpart who signs this agreement. The Learning Agreement guarantees the transfer of credit for courses passed successfully by the student. Of course, it may happen that a programme of study must be modified since many students choose a part-time study period for five years. In such cases, the Learning Agreement must be amended as soon as possible and signed again by the two parties concerned. Only in this way can complete recognition of study results be guaranteed.

The main languages of instruction within the tropEd network are English, French, and Spanish. A sound knowledge of the English language is considered necessary for the successful completion of the programme. Proficiency in English is required and must be demonstrated by a TOEFL score of at least 550 points paper-based or 213 points computer-based or 79-80 internet based, an IELTS band score of at least 6.0 or an equivalent approved test. Some institutions require the higher level of the English test result. To study in partner institutions where the main language of instruction is not English, you may have to provide evidence of equivalent proficiency in the relevant language.

3. About optional modules

The tropEd network currently offers over 160 different courses on various international and global health related topics. Whether you wish to take a Short Course as part of your Master Program, for continuing professional development or just to refresh your knowledge in a particular subject area, the tropEd network may have what you are looking for. You can search our full list of short courses by various criteria in the advanced search function area. Alternatively, you can also use our course google calendar to get an overview of all courses offered within the network by starting date. Since the dates of the courses are updated in a different time, you are strongly recommended to search the courses by institution.

Your personal tutor or course director at your home institution will advise you on how to choose your optional modules. This is the person who will also sign any learning agreement with you.

Most of the tropEd institutions have agreed on a simplified application procedure for tropEd students. When applying, you should state clearly that you are a tropEd participant and indicate your home institution. Every institution has its own registration and admission procedure in addition to its specific legal requirements. tropEd students are expected to follow them in order to register for modules.

Some of the courses offer scholarships for students coming from developing countries. For more detailed information please see each course descriptions on the tropEd website.

It is different from institution to institution. Some institutions will take the course participants based on first-come, first-serve policy; other institutions will select the participants after a certain deadline. For detailed information please refer to the course descriptions of each course from the tropEd webpage.

A distance learning course is any course in which all the teaching is conducted by someone removed in space and/or time from the learner, with the effect that all the communication between teachers and learners takes place through an artificial medium, either electronic or print. A Blended learning course is a course combines the distance learning part and an on campus part. The students have to travel to the campus for a certain period of time to meet each other in person.

To qualify for tropEd recognition, you can take a maximum of 10 ECTS credit points from distance-based optional modules.

The tuition fees of advanced modules are varied from free to more than 500 Euro per ECTS credits. For detailed information concerning tuition fees, please see the course description of each module on the tropEd webpage. The difference between the tuition fees does not indicate the difference in quality levels of the courses. It is only based on the different policies agreed by different countries or states.

It is possible to apply for two part-time, optional modules at the same time only if the combined ECTS of the two modules does not exceed the maximum of 1.5 per week, and they do not have learning hours that takes place at the same time, eg. course sessions, assessment due dates, etc. You would be expected to attend 100% of the contact sessions for each module, including lectures, group work, seminars, assessments, etc. You will not be granted extensions for course work submission, exams, etc. because you are taking a second course. The study plan must be discussed and agreed with your personal tutor or course director and duly signed. The principle is, that students are able to manage the workload of the two courses and can earn a maximum of 1,5 ECTS credits per week.

To receive a tropEd degree in International (Global) Health(any Master degree in International (Global) Health awarded by a tropEd home institution), you must gain at least 60 ECTS credit points, of which at least 20-25 ECTS credit points must be from advanced modules. To receive a tropEd recognition of this Masters degree, students must gain a minimum of 10 ECTS credit points at other institutions than their home institution, and outside the country in which the home institution is based.

These ECTS credits are counted as being from the home institution and country of the home institution. The ECTS credits awarded through blended courses are count as being from other institution than home institution and the country where the institution is.

When a student has successfully completed advanced modules at the partner institutions, an original tropEd grade report will be sent to his/her home institution. In case these courses are listed in the learning agreement of the student, these ECTS credits will be included in the transcript of this student.

4. About Thesis

All topics related to International (Global) Health, especially topics concerning low and middle-income societies can be selected as thesis topics for tropEd Masters Programme.

A tropEd masters thesis is equivalent to 15 to 20 ECTS credits, depending on the home institution.

Thesis supervisors should be an assistant professor, associate professor or a professor employed at the Faculty. External supervisors, depending on expertise/specialization may be appointed. External supervisors can be specialists working in other parts of the university, other universities, other research institutions or international organizations.

A thesis supervisor can be found during the study time of the core course and advanced modules. Personal tutors at the home institution will also assist students in finding a thesis supervisor based on his/her thesis outline.

The thesis outline is the first draft and it will help you clarify and streamline your ideas for you thesis. It will also help your personal tutor find a suitable thesis supervisor for you. Thesis writing is a learning process, it is likely that you may want to change and revise your outline later on. The thesis proposal is the document you will hand in to be counted as part of your Masters study. Once it has been approved, students should stick to the thesis proposal. Any changes to this will require a newly submitted thesis proposal.

The tropEd general thesis guidelines is just for your reference. Each institution also have its own guidelines, which you must follow.

5. About the degree

The tropEd network delivers recognition of Masters degree in International Health. It is worldwide recognized. tropEd has special arrangements with WHO regarding internships for tropEd students and alumni and is recognized by the European Commission and all European member states as one of the best teaching and training networks within Europe.

The tropEd Master of Science degree in International Health qualifies the holder to apply for a research degree training programme (PhD) in certain countries. In some countries, e.g. Norway, a PhD programme will require a 120 ECTS credits master degree and therefore the tropEd degree will not be applicable.

tropEd recognition is a statement about standards in education and training in the member institutions, as all provision is subject to external quality control. Eligibility for tropEd recognition demands that participants study in a minimum of two member institutions in different countries and have at least two years of field experience ans one year in low- and middle-income countries or an equivalent professional experience.

After a student has completed his/her study, copy of his/her documents will be sent to the tropEd reviewers by the home institutions or students. After the reviewer proved the documents, qualified students will be awarded a certificate of tropEd recognition.

6. Other questions from students

Normally home institutions will offer you the admission letter to the Masters Programme in Europe. With this letter, you can start your study visa application. Letters will also be sent to the Embassies if necessary. More details please see Handbook of Pre-Arrival and Registration Information .

To study in Europe, health insurance is necessary. tropEd home institutions will offer you detailed information and will assist you in signing a contract for health insurance. More details please see Handbook of Pre-Arrival and Registration Information .

Most of tropEd member institutions offer learning support for the national language of the institutions (Danish, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, and Swedish). Students will be offered free language classes at the respective universities’ language departments. In several institutions, free local language classes are held twice per week after lecture time specifically aimed at tropEd students participating in the core courses.

In case you would like to ask the institution to help you in finding accommodation, a letter of authorization will need to be signed. Accommodation is usually organised in student hostels, campus apartments or through internal housing exchange programmes. This assistance is available to students via e-mail correspondence. More details please see Handbook of Pre-Arrival and Registration Information . A tropEd student forum and group mails can also be used as the information pool in finding accommodation.

An official Alumni association is under preparation. There is a Global Health next generation network will help you to find our alumni and relevant activities.

At this moment tropEd offers not only education at the master level. A Trans Global Health programme-Erasmus Mundus joint PhD programme is now launched as well.

The elected student representative (SR) represents the students for two years at the General Assemblies (GA) which take place three times a year. The elected SR is regularly invited to actively participate in General Assembly meeting and in all of its ad-hoc task forces. Before the GA and the SR sends out an e-mail to all tropEd students, asking for comments and feedbacks related to the master programme. The collected information is presented by the SR in an anonymous way at the GA and the feedback as well as important news and developments of the tropEd network are communicated back to the students in an e-mail after the GA. The SR is also part of ad-hoc task forces of the network during these two years. At the end of the term of duty, the SR organizes the new elections for the new SR and communicates the results to all students and to all tropEd representatives.

Every two years, a new student representative (SR) is elected by the student population. This procedure is conducted by the current SR via e-mail. All tropEd students are asked to send a letter of motivation to the current SR if they are interested in being the new SR candidate. These letters of motivation are distributed by the current SR to all tropEd students and they are asked to vote for a SR and also to vote for a vice SR. The results of the elections are communicated to all tropEd students and also to all tropEd representatives.

In 2019 a new tropEd students working group takes over the function of the former student representative. The group members are:

Kate Morgan – IS Global, Barcelona
Vanessa Sakalidis – Swiss TPH, Basel
Abduljabbar Umar – Swiss TPH, Basel
Miriam Müller – Heidelberg Instiute of Global Health, Heidelberg

E-Mail: tropedstudents@gmail.com

Fifteen years of the tropEd Masters in International Health programme: what has it delivered? Results of an alumni survey of masters students in international health

L. Gerstel1, P. A. C. Zwanikken1, A. Hoffman2, C. Diederichs3, M. Borchert3 and B. Peterhans2

1 Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
3 Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charite – Universit€atsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany