The PhD in Global Public Health has a duration of four years (240 ECTS). In the first year of the programme, students undertake compulsory teaching units that make up 33 ECTS and optional units that make up 27 ECTS. From the second to the fourth year student are assigned to their thesis project (180 ECTS).

An innovative curricular structure is envisaged for the current programme with a twofold objective: to attract students from different backgrounds; and, to increase employability of students upon completion of the cycle.

Appropriate study design, data collection and analysis are essential for public health and medical research. Therefore, strong emphasis is given to research methods (12 ECTS) as the basis for the student’s work. Four core areas shall be covered:

– Epidemiologic Methods will provide students with the skills required to plan, acquire, analyse and interpret data from experimental, cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies using suitable methods.

– Statistics will provide the quantitative underpinning and methods required in all stages of public health research, in order to accurately quantify the effect of risk factors and health interventions on individuals or populations.

– Meta-Analysis and Systematic Reviews will expose students to the importance of collecting and summarizing and critically appraising previous research.

– Qualitative methodologies will widen the students’ understanding of the principles and practices of health research, enabling them to compare advantages and disadvantages of different data collection methods and to select the ones more suited for their present and future work.

Regarding the object of research, four broad areas are the core:

– Global Health, Population Health and Social Determinants (4 ECTS) will be designed to broaden and enrich the students’ experience through presentations on key public health topics, past and current. A broad spectrum of population-based, prevention oriented issues relevant to the professional practice of public health in domestic and international communities shall be covered.

– Health Policy Economics Organizational Theory and Management (6 ECTS) will introduce students to concepts and tools in those fields, in order to provide them with the skills necessary to be effective professionals in those areas. A focus on analytic methods and depth of evaluation in specific issues will be at the centre of this unit. Issues as policy formulation and resource allocation to health and disease control in national and international settings will also be addressed.

– Environmental and Occupational Health and Physical Determinants (4 ECTS) is a course designed to prepare students to develop an understanding of environmental and occupational hazards on human health and to explore the means for their recognition and control. An approach to health planning, through the design of specific programmes and projects on occupational and environmental health, will be promoted, aiming at suitable environmental and occupational risk assessment and management.

– Health Promotion, Health Education and Health Protection and Disease Prevention (4 ECTS) will address issues that brought new challenges to public health such as the high prevalence of chronic diseases along with emerging infectious diseases, increased life expectancy and low fertility rates. A key starting premise is that demographic and environmental changes, as well as increased health inequities and scarce resources demand for a new paradigm for action and research.

A specific topic on Research Ethics (3 ECTS) is also contemplated. The challenges posed today to researchers involve complexities that are many times difficult to disentangle. Ethics, moral, bioethics and law will be key topics, as well the relevant legal framework. Issues like confidentiality of personal data and informed consent, as well as procedures for data collection, management and property will be addressed. Specific issues concerning biological data, biobanks management, e-health, and m-health will be covered.

Optional units in the first year

Register for the Optional Units here.

Portuguese official journal Diário da República – Despacho n.º 12412/2014