Health in Emergencies and Refugee Health

A blended learning course: 7 weeks online - 2 weeks in Copenhagen

This course is currently being  updated and redesigned and will be offered in 2021 Spring Semester. 

Photo: Alamy

Recent disaster- and conflict-related crises have demonstrated the overwhelming need for skilled professionals who are able to respond adequately to complex emergencies.

The University of Copenhagen offers a blended learning course on Health in Emergencies aimed at professionals working, or aiming to work, with national or international emergency management agencies, relief organizations, national governments or the UN system.

In order to develop a solid base for action, the course offers a combination of state-of-the-art theoretical knowledge, familiarisation with the newest guidelines and agreed approaches, as well as practical exercises through group work.

The course aims at providing participants with an in-depth understanding of the complex range of issues involved in planning, implementing and accounting for health interventions in contemporary emergencies. This includes an understanding of the rapidly evolving humanitarian reform process, and the roles which may be taken by local, national and international partners.

Application deadline is 1 February 2021 - APPLY ONLINE NOW!


School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen
The is a blended learning course. The first seven weeks can be followed online. The last two weeks take place on campus in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Course leader:

External Lecturer Kristoffer Vogler


This is an optional advanced course in the Master of Disaster Management programme. This course can also be taken as a stand-alone course. Information about fees and admission requirements below.


This course is currently being  updated and redesigned and will be offered in 2021 Spring Semester. 
First seven weeks  is a part-time online course (10 hrs/week) with online lectures, discussions and quizzes, self-study and small assignments. Last two weeks  are full-time lectures, field visits, exercises and exam in Copenhagen.

ECTS credits:




Learning Outcomes

The course aims at providing participants with a broad state-of-the-art overview of the issues involved in providing health interventions in different emergency settings – the epidemiology of excess mortality and morbidity, the agreed guidelines and the role definitions (local, national and international actors). Emphasis will be placed both on ‘conventional wisdom’ as well as on divergent views, and on critical analysis.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to: 


Demonstrate knowledge on health issues in different settings and accepted approaches/guidelines to deal with them; 


Analyze and apply this knowledge to a variety of settings, adjusting to time and resources available;


Design and develop appropriate public health management strategies for humanitarian response, including planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation  


The course addresses the following aspects related to disaster- and conflict related emergencies

  • Context analysis, e.g. fragile settings, different types of emergencies, health resilience and risk reduction
  • Legal and ethical frameworks, e.g. human rights, international humanitarian law, refugee convention, guidelines on internally displaced persons, codes of conduct.
  • Operational aspects of humanitarian interventions, e.g. needs assessments, health systems, control of communicable diseases including outbreaks, mental health, reproductive health, violence and injuries, , approaches to non-communicable disease, environmental health/water and sanitation, nutrition
  • Coordination and roles in different stages of emergencies, e.g. ongoing humanitarian reform process, role of national governmental and non governmental actors. A focus on the humanitarian worker, e.g. health, media training 

The basic textbook of the course is Public Health in Humanitarian Action.


This course is a blended learning course.

The first seven weeks consist of part-time online learning, which can be undertaken from anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer with an internet connection. Moderated online discussions, online tests and short-recorded lectures are central parts of the online learning experience.

The last two weeks of the course take place in Copenhagen, and will include lectures, site visits and a final exam. The campus weeks of the course is based on interdisciplinary teaching and problem oriented learning and seeks to draw on students' own experience as a resource. Both lectures and group work are important components. Group work will mainly be used in relation to specific case studies. For each session, we consider the current state of research, as well as policy and practice and critically examine the underlying paradigms. Students are expected to actively participate in the learning process and prepare for the sessions by studying distributed and recommended reading materials.

Some information about online learning  During the online weeks students will only meet and interact with tutors and fellow students in the University of Copenhagen's online learning platform.

A typical E-module is composed of:

  • An introduction to the topic
  • An overview of the purpose, the subjects and the intended learning outcome
  • A short study guide
  • Learning resources (which can be text, audio and/or video files)
  • Several exercises called E-lessons.

The E-lessons are online learning activities, which can be questionnaires, assignments or online discussions. The roles of the teachers are to assist student learning by serving as E-moderators for the various E-lessons.

Assessment Procedures:

Individual 4-hour written exam using essay questions. Grading according to the Danish 7-scale - external moderation.


The applicants must live up to the Master of Disaster Management admission criteria.

Class size:

The number of participants is limited to 40. The course may be cancelled if there are less than 12 participants.

TropEd accreditation:

Accredited 2013.


Reduced fee: DKK 12,500 (approx. EUR 1,666)
For students from EU/EEA or Switzerland.

Normal fee: DKK 18,000 (approx. EUR 2,400)
For all other students.

For approximate exchange rates between DKK (Danish Krone) and other currencies please contact your bank or visit the currency calculator All fees are subject to regulation.


We do not offer any scholarships, nor can we assist in finding funding, but on our page about scholarships we have collected some information that might be useful.