Erasmus Mundus Master Program in Public Health in Disasters (EMMPHID)

What is the EMMPHID?

The EMMPHID is organized by a consortium of three European universities (Karolinska Institutet, Université catholique de Louvain and Universidad de Oviedo) with the collaboration of other fourteen associated centers and institutions outside the European Union. The Kyrgyz State Medical Academy is fourteens associated center of the program.

What are the objectives of this program?

The aim of the master programme is to, through knowledge, experience and research build capacities that will reduce disaster risks and contribute to better and more targeted public health based relief following disasters. The Master has the following four objectives:

  1. To increase the knowledge and understanding of the disaster phenomenon, its different contextual aspects, impacts and public health consequences.
  2. To increase the knowledge and understanding of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) and to increase skills and abilities for implementing the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Strategy.
  3. To ensure skills and abilities to analyze potential effects of disasters and of the strategies and methods to deliver public health response to avert these effects.
  4. To ensure skills and ability to design, implement and evaluate research on disasters.

What is the academic structure and content?

The EMMPHID is one year course of 60 ECTS. The course will be taught mainly in English (some parts can be taught in French and Spanish) and its structure has three components:

  1. Common Disaster Core Component at Universidad de Oviedo (Oviedo, Spain);
  2. Specialiced Track Component with two options for the students: Public health response to disaster at Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden) or the Epidemiology and Research at Université catholique de Louvain (Brussels, Belgium);
  3. The Internship and Master’s Thesis.


The Common Disaster Core Component is a 20 ECTS course study at Universidad de Oviedo mandatory for all the students. The Masters will kick-off with an introductory two-week Module of 2 ECTS covering topics on disaster concepts and terminology and continues with an 18 ECTS Module focused on disaster risk assessment, risk management and risk reduction, the main disaster response systems and the study of disaster types.


The Specialiced Track Component is a specialized component where students will be assigned to one of the following options:

  • Option A – Track in Public health response to disasters developed at Karolinska Institutet and aimed to serve the educational need of disaster related professionals planning to work in disasters health response as well as those with previous experience from this field. In this track the students will first attend a Module 1 of 10 ECTS which includes in-depth focus on understanding and analysing the pre-disaster health contexts, the global burden of disease and other factors that determine the variations in health status. Then the students will attend Module 2 (10 ECTS) of Public Health response to Disasters focused on how to analyze specific disasters and how plan, design and deliver public health in different disasters and contexts This module aims at providing sufficient knowledge for the students to plan for the public health response to disasters and to understand how to deliver primary, secondary as well as preventive services, using different modalities in order to mitigate public health problems in disaster situations. It emphasises how to analyse the effects of the disaster, using different methods including needs assessments and how to, analyse plan an adequate public health response. The course builds on empirical experience from a number of disasters. Case studies and interactive exercises will be used as part of teaching the content highlighting the challenges of the resources scarce context, including problems related to security and ethics. This module will also include a block on how to plan for and carry out a Master Thesis –focusing on the disaster context.
  • Option B – Track in Epidemiology and Research at Université catholique de Louvain focusing on the application of epidemiological research in disaster issues. Students in this track will instead follow the Statistics part of the Advanced Disaster Epidemiology and Research Methods module and, due to the research oriented focus of this track it will also include a special Master Thesis preparatory course of 5 ECTS. The advanced research methodological module has special interest for the disaster related professionals interested in disaster research or in academic and educational aspects. Students will then complete 15 additional ECTS. The aim of this advanced module is provide the students with the required theoretical and practical knowledge to assess the impact of disasters on health and investigate the factors that contribute to increase these impacts. They will be specifically taught on survey and advanced epidemiological methods used to analyse this data, such as logistic regression. In addition advanced courses with practical exercises and lab work will cover sample size calculations in complex situations, advanced methods for case-control, cohort, and ecological studies, building on the basics already provided to the students in the first semester. Aspects of weighting, measures of association and stratification will be taught. Students will receive in addition strong grounding in qualitative methods as quantitative techniques are not always appropriate or indeed, applicable in situations of high insecurity or high population mobility. Finally, there will be two courses that will cover specific epidemiological applications and public health issues in emergency settings. The first will include the specific implications related to mental health, reproductive and gender-based violence will be covered from both public health perspectives as well as the international legal frameworks that govern response. Assessment of nutritional status will be covered in depth, including novel techniques for assessing nutrition. The second course will set the emergency applications in the broader setting of development. The students will receive lectures on the interactions between development economics and for example food aid in emergency and non-emergency situations. Here the connections between, nutrition, food and household economics will also be discussed. Other topics include demographic methods and their implications in assessing population mortality, anthropological aspects of health in developing countries including attitudes towards disease and health seeking behaviour. Other determinants of health such as maternal education and poverty will be discussed in depth to provide the students strong contextual frame within which the methods are articulated.


The track chosen in this field doesn’t imply that the student will finally be assigned to the selected strand. It will depend on the student’s profile and also on the specific requirements of each institution. The final decision will be taken by the Consortium of Universities who will decide the final strand of each student.

The final component of the EMMPHID course includes two complementary moments:

  • A hands-on, practical internship, in which they will collect the data for their Masters Theses. Internships will be co-tutored by the Masters supervisor and an external person belonging to the associated partner. All the students will fulfil an internship period, with a maximum of two students staying at each associated partner, subject to availability of places.
  • A Master’s Thesis and written report of the student’s personal work, aimed at developing independent and scientific thoughts and applications. Master Thesis will be connected to the activities developed during the internship and one chapter of the Master Thesis will describe the Internship activities and the outcomes that may be relevant to the Thesis. The research topics will be suggested by the students before starting the Master course. Based on the topic for the thesis, the supervisor and associated centres will be decided on and the thesis adapted accordingly. The thesis will be supervised by a PhD Professor belonging to any of the partner Universities and may also be co-directed by a professor or tutor from the associated organization where the student carries out the thesis’ data collection.

The EMMPHID subjects and credits are summarised in the following table:

Universidad de Oviedo


  • Introductory course (2 ECTS)
  • Evaluation, Management and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • (7 ECTS)
  • Types of Disasters (3 ECTS)
  • General Disaster Response (8 ECTS)

Karolinska Institutet


  • Public Health Response in Disasters (20 ECTS)

Université Catholique de Louvain


  • Advanced Disaster Epidemiology and Research Methods (20 ECTS)



  • Internship (5 ECTS)
  • Master Thesis (15 ECTS)

















How many students can apply for program?

The Master offers a maximum of 30 places for highly qualified students.

What are the requirements?

  • Hold a recognized in fields related to Health, Logistics and sociology (a minimum of three years of study at a university in a minimum of 180 ECTS credits or equivalent in accordance with the regulations of the country of origin university degree and European regulations).
  • Candidates who wish to pursue the itinerary of the UCL also must meet additional requirements. They must have completed university studies of at least 240 ECTS credits, including the following minimum requirements:
    • Basics of Public Health and Epidemiologic Methods (4-9 ECTS)
    • Introduction and basic principles of sociology, psychology or health economics (6- 10 ECTS),
    • Law and Bioethics credits (3-5 ECTS credits),
    • Specific issues of public health sciences and population (3-12 ECTS)
    • General approaches in public health, health promotion and systems health (4-9 ECTS)
    • Principles of statistics (3-9 ECTS credits),
    • General and financial management (4-10 ECTS credits),
    • Environmental Health (4-10 ECTS credits).
      The topics are required and described above may be present in any equivalent to 60 ECTS combination. Of these, up to 7 ECTS credits can be a thesis or a paper.
  • Cover letter specifying the reason for the choice of the desired option.
  • Double - sided copy of high school diploma and academic transcript of grades obtained during the last year referring to the diploma (mandatory under Belgian law)
  • A certificate of the total number of credits earned during training and the total number of credits per year of approved courses.
  • Having a good command of English. Applicants must demonstrate that they have IELTS with a minimum score of 6.6, with a minimum of 5.0 points in each section; TOEFL (pBT) with at least 575 points and 4.0 points in the writing section; TOEFL (iBT) with 79 points and at least 17 points in each section.

What is the application procedure?

Candidates must fill in the online application that can be accessed at the web-site and upload all supporting documents in digital form, including the relevant certificates and transcripts of previous studies. No original official documents need to be sent at application. Upon admission to the programme, pre-selected candidates must send in certified hard copies of the supporting documents by recommended mail stamped before the registration deadline. Only complete applications will be assessed. Incomplete applications may be rejected without further notification. A completed application consists of:

  • Personal information about the applicant – family name, name, date of birth, place of birth, nationality (2), address, sex, recent identity photo;
  • Passport copy, as proof of nationality
  • Diploma and transcripts (diploma supplement or list of the subjects taken during the study and correspondent marks) of their previous studies fulfilling the EMMPHID admission criteria. The diploma and transcripts must be original, certified documents, scanned and attached to the online application form. Applicants must provide a calculation of the average mark of the university degree that may grant them access to the Master course. Marks must be translated to a 0 to 100 scale using the adequate proportionality.
  • Syllabus or description of the courses taken in the fields of Health, Logistics, Sociology and those courses required by Belgian regulations for students of UCL study track
  • English language certificate to prove proficiency as stated in the EMMPHID admission criteria, as stated in section 7.1
  • Other language certificates in foreign languages
  • Motivation letter – this letter should present the applicant’s motivation to enrol the Master course, preferred study track and mobility, the competencies and skills he / she would like to achieve, future perspectives and aspirations after the Master course, etc.
  • CV with information about relevant experience and professional training. The list of past work placements should be well documented. The CV must specify the position held, main responsibilities and how long it lasted. Documentation of relevant courses, workshops, seminars etc can also be included.
  • Letter of reference – minimum 2 letters, preferably one letter from an academic viewpoint and one from an employer. Reference letters must be written in English and must be signed / stamped.

All application documents should be submitted in English. Applicants must provide official translation of any document in other language. Otherwise documents will not be taken into consideration.

What is the scholarship?

Contribution to travel and installation costs

  • € 3,000 per year for travel costs + € 1,000  for installation costs for scholarship holder resident of a Partner Country whose location is situated at 4.000 km or more from the EMMC coordinating HEI.

A contribution to installation costs is offered only to students residents of a Partner Country (1000 € for the entire course). It is an incentive to help covering the additional costs related to the issuing of visas, residence permits, etc. as well as temporary accommodation needs upon arrival in the first Programme hosting HEI. It is the responsibility of the consortium to verify the place of residence of the student candidate. The place of residence should be verifies on the basis of the provision of:

  • A residence certificate issued in accordance with the candidate’s municipality normal registration rules;
  • A certificate from the candidate’s place of work, study or training issued by the employer or institution in question.

Contribution to subsistence costs (for both programme and partner country scholarship holders)


  • € 1,000 per month for the entire duration of the EMMC study programme (24 months maximum).


Students must indicate in the on-line application form if they would like to be considered for an Erasmus Mundus Category A or a Category B scholarship, and they should also indicate their eligibility for these scholarships. According to the European Commission’s rules, candidates are not allowed to apply to more than three (3) Erasmus Mundus Programmes during one admissions cycle.

What are the Application and Registration Deadlines?

The deadline for submitting the application to the EMMPHID Programme is the 31st of December each year.


For more details, please contact Department of International Relations

Phone: +996 312 545859


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