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Study plan - Master in collaboration and public health

Autumn 2024

Public health is about the health status of the population and how health is distributed within the population. The Master's in Collaboration and Public Health is an interdisciplinary master program that provides competence to work with public health in the future.

The population is becoming more heterogeneous, with increased cultural and socioeconomic disparities. The aging population is growing, substance abuse and mental disorders in the population are increasing, and there is also an increase in demands on the child welfare services. Many of these groups have complex service needs. Other groups in need of long-term and complex services may include children and youth with various types of challenges, as well as individuals with developmental disabilities.

Public health work aims to reduce social inequalities in health and ensure participation and inclusion for all. Good community solutions with an inclusive and health-promoting orientation should characterize all sectors and services.

The Master's program focuses on how to organize and implement measures to preserve and improve the health of the population at a structural level, and on how collaboration in public health work around each individual user can take place.

Complex relationships and high demands for quality and innovation in services require knowledge and competence. The Master's in Collaboration and Public Health addresses health-promoting and public health-related issues and is based on professional knowledge as well as socio-scientific and health science knowledge. The program qualifies for user-oriented work, professional leadership, and innovation in municipal and specialist health services, as well as work in public administration and advisory services.

The program provides competence to:

  • Initiate, lead, and evaluate innovation and service development targeted at different user groups.
  • Lead, coordinate, and facilitate comprehensive and integrated services for users with long-term and complex needs.
  • Work health-promotingly and preventively with users with long-term and complex needs.
  • Facilitate user participation.

The program is aimed at individuals with recently completed bachelor's degrees and professionals who work with, or collaborate on, health-promoting and public health-related issues at various levels. This includes professions such as nurses, social workers, disability support workers, child welfare educators, other educational professionals, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, or individuals with other relevant social science or sports science education.

Graduates qualify for leadership positions in professional development within health enterprises or municipalities across different sectors, such as social services, child welfare, and employment services, as well as health services, education, and various activity and training programs.

The program consists of mandatory and elective courses. The program offers elective courses with specialization in services for children and youth, the elderly, various somatic conditions, mental health and addiction work, e-health and welfare technology, and guidance.


Bachelor's degree in health and social sciences, social sciences, public health, sports, or pedagogical subjects.

Applicants with other relevant education may be considered for admission.

The grade point average in the bachelor's degree must be at least C.

Learning outcomes

A candidate who completes the qualification has the following total learning outcomes defined in knowledge, skills, and general competence:

The student...

  • has in-depth knowledge of scientific theory, methodology, and
  • has advanced knowledge of the interaction between patients/users, the healthcare system, and the social environment
  • has in-depth knowledge of welfare policy requirements and regulations, and their management
  • has in-depth knowledge of service development and innovation.
  • has advanced knowledge of public health

The student...

  • can initiate and coordinate interventions in collaboration with patients/users with complex service needs from various sectors
  • is user-oriented, resourceful, and solution-focused in developing and implementing individualized services
  • can analyze the situation, identify, and prioritize relevant actions related to patient/user groups with both short-term and long-term complex needs
  • can understand and critically assess existing knowledge in light of fundamental values such as respect and the right to self-determination
  • can create and lead interdisciplinary coordination and innovation initiatives within and across agencies, with the aim of designing patient/user-centered and comprehensive service offerings

General Competence:
The student...

  • can conduct an independent, delimited research project under supervision and in accordance with applicable laws, scientific, and research ethical norms, and communicate knowledge derived from this
  • can work analytically and lead innovation and service development
  • can contribute with knowledge-based arguments in the welfare debate related to the field of collaboration and public health
  • is qualified for further research studies


The program is based on work and learning methods that promote student activity. Examples of this include resource lectures and dialogue-based teaching, various forms of group work, seminars, and written assignments that require reflection and analysis. In addition to planned learning activities, students must set aside time for in-depth study of the literature and for written assignments.

HVL uses online learning tools as a platform for learning and communication throughout the program. Information literacy will be emphasized, and as registered users of the university's system, students will have access to the library's resources, including various databases for national, Nordic, and international journals, as well as electronic data processing tools.

Students will receive guidance on written assignments. Further details are provided in the descriptions of the various subjects.


Compulsory learning activities must be completed and approved before taking the examination (cf. Regulations on Studies and Examinations at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, § 8.4). Each subject includes compulsory learning activities as outlined in the subject descriptions.

Various assessment methods are used in the program. Each subject is concluded with a final assessment. The type of final assessment is outlined in the subject plans.

Letter grades (A – F) are used in all assessments unless otherwise indicated in the subject descriptions.

Required progression

The student cannot submit the master's thesis for final assessment until all other subjects are completed.


All subjects have a clear international profile. This may include the use of relevant English-language literature, discussions of international academic issues in the various subjects, and lectures by international guest speakers. Students have the opportunity to gain international experience during their studies, in semester 3. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has collaborations with several universities abroad.