Universiteit Leiden

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Population Health Management (MSc)

Programme structure

The competence-oriented programme trains you to look and act with a cross-domain and innovative view; become an academic strategic partner who speaks the language of different domains, with focus on medicine, data science, behaviour and governance.

In all courses, project cases, research activities and internships is the practical translation of the academic competence at stake. Close connection with real-world health care practice is emphasized. You will be trained in research skills, but also in communication and presentation competences to argue and discuss different perspectives for new health care strategies in the complex arena of various stake holders.

The curriculum offers a seamless evolution from a monodisciplinary start to an interdisciplinary and eclectic expertise. 

Check our curriculum overview.

First year

In the first semester, after an introductory course on Population Health Management, students take four courses with monodisciplinary knowledge on epidemiology, governance, data analytics and behaviour.  The second semester covers interdisciplinary courses on topics like alternative payment models, syndemics and predictive modelling. The first year is completed with two courses on implementation: panel management and implementation. Two real life project cases, which run parallel to the programme, ensure the mutual consistency between the first year courses.

All first year courses:

Fundamentals of Population Health Management (5EC)

Study Design (5EC)

Health and Health Behaviour (4EC)

Governance (4EC)

Responsible Data Analysis (5EC)

Alternative Payment Models (4EC)

Projectcase I (6EC)

Syndemics (5EC)

Predictive Analytics (5EC)

Panel Management Next Level (5EC)

Implementation: putting PHM into action (5EC)

Projectcase II (7EC)

During two orientation weeks in the first year, you are supported in constructing your own individualized second year programme in which you choose a specialization in epidemiology, data science, governance or syndemics.


Integration of care increasingly requires collaboration between professionals and organizations in health care networks. Apparent competing interests need to be aligned for the health of the individual and the population. These developments go beyond every day practice and require advanced competences and skills in governance, organization and planning.


In disadvantaged populations, accumulations of risk factors intertwine with complex social problems that lead to an excessive burden of disease and interventions that are ineffective. In syndemic research and interventions, "context is key," as structural factors such as poverty, stigma, and oppressive social relations, are considered causally involved in pathways to poor health. In this course you will gain knowledge of syndemic theories and learn how to operationalise these in research and interventions.

Panel Management

For specific patient groups, a new strategic care pathway will be designed, based on a solid data analysis. This pathway needs to be implemented and monitored using existing data registries. Specific challenges are the implementation in an network of competing interests and the monitoring on indicators based on existing data registries. The effect of these new pathways for specific populations is assessed using mix methods techniques.

Second year

The first 30 ects of the second year are reserved for deepening your knowledge, skills and competences in one of the four in depth specialisations: Governance, Syndemics, Data Science or Epidemiology. Within the chosen field, you are allowed to make your own individualized programme. In order to help you make a good choice and create your individual programme, the coordinators organize two orientation weeks during the first year.

You will get the opportunity to follow courses at Leiden University or universities abroad combined with internships in national or international organizations or research institutes; we have a broad network of international partner universities. All acquired competences will come together in the final piece of the Master’s programme: the final research project.

​​​​​​​International experience

The international nature of the scientific field of PHM and its worldwide relevance demands an international environment. We encourage you to broaden you international scope during your second year by taking courses or arrange an internship abroad at one of our partner universities (among others: Johns Hopkins University Baltimore (USA), University of Newcastle (Australia), University of Cape Town (South Africa) and University of Toronto (Canada) or through our partner organisations (the LERU Association and the International Foundation of Integrated Care (IFIC)).

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