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Global Public Health (BSc Major of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges)

Although the world has made tremendous progress in health, education, sanitation and hygiene, global public health challenges still exist. Disparities in health exist between and within nations as evidenced by inequalities in disease burden, mortality, nutrition and environmental well-being. How does the health of humans, animals and the planet interconnect? How do stress and nutrition influence the occurrence of disease in future generations? And how can we understand the colonial legacies of today’s global health policy and public health interventions?

The Major BSc. Global Public Health is part of the Bachelor's programme Liberal Arts and Sciences: Global Challenges at Leiden University College in The Hague. Students choose a Major at the end of their first year and their focus is largely on their Major in the second and third year of their studies.

Jyothi Thrivikraman

Major Convener Global Public Health

Jyothi Thrivikraman

''In the Global Public Health Major you will develop skills to understand how biology, the social and physical environment, medical innovations and health policy contribute to health around the world. With training in both quantitative and qualitative methods, students engage with communities in the Hague and beyond.''

Tenny Miller

Alumna Global Public Health

Tenny Miller

'' The variety of enriching activities including playing an infectious disease outbreak detective game, debating the ethics of nutritional fortification, and designing my own programme gave me critical thinking skills that I use daily in my master’s.''

''This major sits at the intersection of biomedical sciences courses with a policy and development approach to health. Being taught by dedicated professionals greatly enriched my understanding of the diversity of expertise and opened my eyes to the many possible paths I could take after graduation. The variety of enriching activities including playing an infectious disease outbreak detective game, debating the ethics of nutritional fortifi cation, and designing my own program gave me critical thinking skills that I use daily in my master’s.''

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The Gloabl Public Health Major

The interdisciplinary Global Public Health Major at Leiden University College The Hague covers biomedicine and policy within a critical global health lens. The main goal is to make a difference in the health communities by examining individual, sociocultural and environmental factors that impact well-being. It combines both a biomedical as well as social perspective on global health. We want to highlight the biomedical sciences track, which collaborates with the LUMC and adds a health sciences approach and the health data science track, which combines innovative approaches, such as AI and data science for health. This broad interdisciplinary major prepares you for a future career in global health practice and non-profit/NGO sector focused on health and development

In this major, we explore questions such as....

  • How will climate change aff ect the emergence of infectious diseases and living with chronic diseases?
  • How do individual, structural, and social determinants influence population health?
  • How can latest technological innovations such as artificial intelligence change medical practice and what are the ethical, legal and social aspects of these innovations?
  • How can we connect academic and community-based knowledge around health and well-being?
Core tracks of the Global Public Health Major
Core tracks of the Global Public Health Major

What does the future hold?

Due to the broad nature of the Liberal Arts & Sciences degree and the strong interdisciplinary skills developed in the programme, graduates are in demand on the labor market. Liberal Arts & Sciences students go in many different directions after graduation. Your major is a key stepping stone in your path towards a Master's degree or future career.

It is common for Liberal Arts & Sciences graduates to pursue a master's degree, to further challenge themselves and to specialize. The master's builds on knowledge gained in the major as well as the programme as a whole. Some examples of master's programmes that students with a major in Global Public Health pursued:

  • MSc Global Health and Development @ Copenhagen University and University College London
  • MSc Epidemiology @ various universities
  • MSc Health Economics, Policy & Management @ Copenhagen University
  • A/MSc Medical Anthropology @ University of Amsterdam/Oxford University, UK

During and after their studies, students pursue many different extracurriculars, engage in internships or follow master's degrees. Due to the wide variety of experiences and goals, each career path is different. Some examples of career paths that students with a major in Global Public Health pursued:

  • Non-Profit/NGO Sector: working in health and development, humanitarian emergencies
  • Health Policy Officer for international or bilateral aid agency
  • Public Health Officer (local or state)


Read more about this unique study programme on the programme website, see our upcoming events or read how to apply!

Chat with a student from this Major



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