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Public Health Science

Why do different groups of people show different health development? Do different living conditions for men and women affect their health development? What preventive actions for health in the population are cost-effective?

These are some of the questions you will be able to answer after studying public health. Public health science is an interdisciplinary area. As a public health scientist, you will have the opportunity to utilise your knowledge and understanding to enable the prevention of disease and improve health in society from different perspectives. The conditions so people can live a healthy life can be created in different ways within society and at different levels. These conditions can be provided at community, group and individual level with the help of various organisations.

Public Health Science (Folkhälsovetenskap) is an internationally established science that provides knowledge about the health of the population. Focus is on factors that govern the health development in a given population such as poverty, social inequality, ethnicity, gender, and environment. Within public health science, you will learn how to develop methods for implementing, analysing and evaluating health promotion at individual, organisational and societal levels. The work of the public health scientist leads to health advantages for both the individual and society. 

Three profile areas

Gender studies
How do the different living conditions of men and women influence their health development? How, based on this, can one propose preventive and health promotion measures?

How can the health situation of an entire population be described and analysed? With the help of statistical methods, the risks for illness and sickness can be assessed and preventive and health promotion measures planned.

Health economy
How can it be calculated if public health investments pay off? With the help of economic theories and methods for health related issues, estimates of health economy can be made for investments in public health.

Through gender studies, you will learn how significance of different living conditions on the health of men and women.
Through studies in epidemiology, you will monitor and analyse the causes for the spread of diseases in national and global populations. In the field of health economics, you will focus on the relationship between limited resources and the population's health.  

Sahlgrenska Academy offers the following programmes in Public Health Science:

  • Bachelor's Programme in Public Health Science with Health Economics
  • Master's Programme in Public Health Science with Health Economics
  • Master's Programme in Global Health

Public health science is an internationally established discipline that provides the student with an understanding of the population's health at the local, national and international level. This area focus is on factors controlling health development. The work of the public health scientist brings health benefits both for the individual and for society as a whole.

Future work areas
With your broad knowledge base, as a public health scientist, you will often have a coordinating and driving role within a team. You will probably work together with many other professional groups, associations or companies. The tasks can involve making a survey of the current health situation, planning, performing and evaluating various health promotion activities.

Examples from the field of work are working for improved lifestyle with people of all ages, preventing mental illness, running drug and crime prevention schemes or working to reduce injuries and accidents.

As a public health scientist, you can choose to do research, work in public services or in private companies. There are also opportunities to work for international bodies and non-profit organisations.


Page Manager: Katarina Englund|Last update: 11/2/2015

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