Field course in Sri Lanka on Cross-disciplinary Health Research – University of Copenhagen

Global Health > Studies > Summer courses > Sri Lanka Field Course

Field course in Sri Lanka on Cross-disciplinary Health Research

Understanding health research methods, possibilities and challenges in a middle-income setting

Group photo from previous course

The University of Copenhagen’s School of Global Health offers a three-week field course in global health and research methods. The course is a close collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (webpage). If you are interested in increasing your knowledge on health research through fieldwork experiences, working in cross-disciplinary groups and with local university faculty members, this is the course for you.

The course aims at providing you with an understanding of health research methods, possibilities and challenges in a middle-income setting as Sri Lanka. You will be introduced to and gain a good understanding of significant health challenges in contextual urban, rural, private and government health systems.

Furthermore, you will gain a basic understanding of the broad variety of health research methods and designs, as applied by Sri Lankan and international researchers including clinical and epidemiological research, biological fields-sampling, GIS-mapping, community surveys and qualitative/humanistic health research.

Through lectures, field and institutional visits, group work and discussions, and the development of a research proposal the course includes:

  • Introduction to research methods in a middle-income setting 
  • Introduction to the health system and public health institutions in Sri Lanka​
  • Introduction to selected current health challenges and selected health topics
  • Introduction to selected health research trends in Sri Lanka
  • Introduction to the traditional Ayurvedic health system

There is emphasis on cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural group work throughout the course.

Topics which can be explored during group work where you will develop a research proposal include (but are not limited to): 

  • Mental health (may include topics of self-harm and suicide prevention, child and youth mental health, maternal suicide prevention)
  • Environmental health including vector-borne diseases, disease control and interventions (may include dengue and leptospirosis)
  • Maternal/reproductive and child health
  • Non-western medical systems/local healing practices (e.g. Ayurvedic medicine and Buddhism)

(Topic areas are subject to change depending on availability of resource persons)

On-site (Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka) 21 July - 10 August 2019
Exam 9 August 2019

Credit points: 7.5 ECTS

Who can participate?

This course is aimed at postgraduate/master level students with an interest in some aspects of human health. This includes relevant academic background, in e.g. veterinary medicine, environmental health/geography, humanistic aspects of health, epidemiology, medicine, anthropology, public health, engineering and biology.

You must have a basic knowledge of research methodology and be able to read and write English at a scientific level.

If you have not completed your bachelor degree on date of application, please upload relevant documentation on how far you have reached in your studies (credit wise etc.) as well as an account (signed by a Study Secretary or other authority) of how far it is anticipated you will have reached by summer, proving this is equivalent to a bachelor's degree.

Selection process

After the application deadline the admissions committee will go through all the applications and select the course participants, based on an assessment of who will profit the most from the course. Priority will be given to applicants with experience from working in the field.

We strongly encourage all applicants to put energy and care into the statement of motivation-section of the online application, as this is the main selection criteria.

How is the course structured?

The course is inter-disciplinary, applying different learning activities including lectures, field visits, independent group work, report writing, group presentations and self-reflection.

You will be divided into groups of 5-7 members. Each group focus on one specific health topic and will pursue insights into this area of health research through lectures, field visits, small scale data collection, group work, oral presentations, debates with health professionals, group discussions, report writing, self- and group-reflection.

One month before the course starts, supervisors will contact the groups and propose possible research topics. The groups will do a mini-review of the literature, decide on a focus within the broader topic and develop objectives and a rough plan for how the group will approach the topic during the field work in Sri Lanka. This has to be sent to Sri Lankan supervisors 2 weeks prior to the start of the course.

When the course starts, the groups and supervisors will decide on the final plan (minor field visits might have to be agree on and planned prior to course start).

The course ends with a research symposium with group presentations. This will also be attended by interested supervisors, student assistants and faculty staff.


You will be hosted by and receive input from several experienced Sri Lankan researchers. You independently pursue insights, through field visits into a specified health topic while guided by a Sri Lankan faculty member or health expert, in coorporation with Sri Lankan post graduate students as co-researchers and interpreters.

Professor Flemming Konradsen, Post Doc Jane Brandt Sørensen, course coordinator Emil Mølgaard Morell and other staff from the University of Copenhagen will be present in Sri Lanka during the course programme.

Faculty at the University of Copenhagen’s School of Global Health has had academic collaborations with several educational institutions in Sri Lanka since 1994.

For more details, please read the course description in UCPH's course database.

How do I apply?

You apply through the link in the top right hand side of this webpage.

The online application form will be available on this web page mid-January 2019. The application deadline is 1 April 2019.

How much is the tuition fee?

You are exempted from payment, if:

You are enrolled at a Danish university and the course is part of your master's programme. Danish students must provide a pre-approval of credit transfer from their home institution upon application.

You are a student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH,  and the course has already been approved for your study programme. Please study the overview of study programmes, where preapproval of summer course is not required.

You are an exchange student and attend the course as part of your Erasmus+ exchange semester (min. 3 months stay).

You are an exchange student nominated through Nordplus express or Nordlys.

Fee-paying participants:

All other participants (students, working professionals, etc.) must pay tuition fee according to the information below.

EU/EEA citizens 6,000 DKK
Non-EU/EEA citizens 9,375 DKK

The fee covers participation in the course. It does not cover course materials, travel, accommodation and living expenses during the course.

Full payment of course fees must be transferred in May. Payment details will be forwarded upon acceptance.

Budget and practicalities for all participants:

All students must cover costs concerning travel, travel insurance (mandatory for the entire course period), visa, vaccinations, food, and accommodation (organized by the course administration at a low rate in mid-range hotels, shared rooms). Students are required to ensure proper vaccinations and visa before travelling. Apart from the expenses listed above, students must cover their own daily expenses. If these expenses are maintained at a minimum level, living and travel expenses during the course can be expected to amount to DKK 4.500 excluding the flight ticket.

Refund policy

You can only get a refund of your tuition fee, if you cancel at least two month prior to the beginning of the course including e-learning modules.

Can I apply for a scholarship?

Unfortunately,  the University of Copenhagen does not offer any scholarships or tuition fee reductions.

Contact information

If you have questions about the course content, please write to

Course responsible: Jane Brandt Sørensen

Course administration: Emil Mølgaard Morell


Information about accommodation, travel arrangements and other practicalities is provided after acceptance to the course.

Please study our websites for more information about Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the University of Copenhagen.


Please consult the FAQ for the faculty's summer courses, if you have additional questions.

The information may be subject to change.