Photo by Keira Burton, from pexels.com.
The master’s in Global Health is just a one year programme. This means that we only have one year to accomplish what most other programmes have 2 years to do. This includes classes plus a full thesis leading to a very packed schedule and no Christmas break. However, it is not all doom and gloom. All of our classes are fun and even though we do feel the pressure sometimes, this is grad school. The schedule for the courses in the programme varies for each semester. Therefore, in this blog I will explain the year long schedule as well as the course schedules.
Year long schedule
The master’s programme in Global Health has 7 courses. Six of these courses run from the last week in August to the first week of February; after which the remaining time is dedicated to the research needed for the thesis. Click here to see the schedule. The seventh course is the Degree Project in Global Health i.e., the thesis. The thesis actually begins in September and runs alongside the courses throughout the whole year. Until February when it becomes the main focus point of the programme. I will explain how that works below.
Semester 1 has 4 courses including the first part of the degree project, which has a 2-part registration on Ladok: the student grades and registration portal. The second semester has 2 courses at the beginning followed by the second part of the degree project. This is the actually the bulk of the work needed for the thesis.
The semester in Sweden differs from the semesters in the US, Canada or the Caribbean. A semester in those countries will usually have 4-6 courses that we attend weekly with regular assignments, midterms and eventually final exams at the end of November to December.
In Sweden, there is only one course a a time. This means for the first three/four weeks of the semester you will have the Introduction to Global Health course only, after which you will write the final exam. The course is then entered on to your transcript and is done forever. Each course is run like this except for the degree project in global health.
Just as stated above, there is only one course at a time during the semester. The length of the course varies depending on how many credits it is contributing to your transcript.
On a weekly basis the course runs from Monday to Friday and has so far never included a Saturday or Sunday. Each lecture is usually given by a different lecturer so the schedule sometimes depend on their own personal schedules. These lecturers might be in Sweden in which case we will have in person classes or they might be abroad or in the field which means we will have a zoom class. Classes do get moved around or cancelled sometimes but the schedule is always updated quickly on Canvas: the student e-learning platform.
On a daily basis, the Global Health programme has a general schedule of 9am-12pm for the first half of the day, then from 1pm – 4pm for the second half of the day. This varies according to your timetable of course, so you will need to check to make sure that the times do not change. Sometimes we are asked to come in for 8:45am especially on the first days and for some courses we end at 4:30pm or even 5, which will of course be indicated on the schedule.
It sounds tough, but this is a one year programme and we do want to have the most comprehensive training that we can get.
Some days we have mandatory classes which means that attendance is necessary, on others they are regular classes. Depending on the course we will have off days to do research or some afternoons off. These can be cancelled and is written into our schedule as self-learning.
Breaks vary by lecturer, but the standard is usually 45 minutes of teaching with 10-15 minutes of break at the middle of every hour. With of course the lunch break being at from 12-1. This short lunch means we have to rush and get food or bring our own from home. However, campus food is usually cheap and very convenient as shown in my last blog which you can check out for restaurants and prices on campus.
The Degree Project in Global Health (Thesis)
The degree project in Global Health is a year long course. We have our first introduction to the thesis course with our course leaders in the second week of September. They give us the run down on the course and the schedule for the year.
Global Health students begin looking/thinking about a project from that week. We send emails out to potential supervisors who we would like to work with and ask if they would be available. September to December is the time dedicated to finding a project and working on the project outline. The winter break isn’t actually a break for Global Health students. While the classes are online so people can travel, this is when the assignments are due for the thesis. We get started the week after the last course for the semester ends. The project outline, project proposal and the proposal seminars are due during this time.
After this, research or writing, begins and in February we have the elective methodology seminars which are workshops on writing the introduction and the rest of the thesis. These are all online since by this time most student have flown out to conduct their research or are doing so in Sweden. The half-time seminars are then held in March, with the final submission being in May.
So this is what the schedule looked like for the 2022-2023 MSc. in Global Health Programme. I am still in the programme so I cannot comment on the upcoming months but be sure to look out for my blog on a day in the life of a Global Health student next month.
Hi, my name is Zaynab and I am from Trinidad and Tobago, a country in the Caribbean. I am currently studying a Master’s in Global Health here at KI and am a blogger for the DA team. I look forward to sharing my experiences at KI and I also hope to expose students from the Caribbean to university life here in Sweden.