Kliniken & Institute … Institute Heidelberger Institut… Thesis and Oral Exam …

MScIH Thesis and Oral Exam

The Master of Science in International Health is a research degree. Hence, in the final stage of the programme full-time and part-time students have to develop and submit a research thesis under the guidance of an academic staff member from Heidelberg University.


There are three possible ways to complete a thesis research project:

     1. Systematic Literature Review

Students may decide to conduct a systematic literature review guided by their research objective. A good systematic literature review needs a clear line of argument. As such it is not a mere description of what others have publishes, but rather takes the form of a critical discussion.

In their systematic literature review students should show insight and awareness of different arguments, theories, and methodologies. It should be a synthesis and analysis of relevant publications and should be linked to the students' rationale at all times.

     2. Data Analysis

Students may decide to conduct an analysis of already existing data with regards to their particular research question. In this case students will not only have to collect relevant data, but also justify and engage critically with potential biases of these data sets.

For their data analysis students should also decide which methods are appropriate to the type of data they are collecting and the aims of their research.

     3. Field Research

Students may decide to conduct field research as part of their master's thesis. On-site collection of primary data takes place in cooperation with a partner institution in the host country.

Thesis supervisors assist students in identifying suitable research site, but travel arrangements must be made by the students themselves. Unfortunately the Institute of Global Health cannot provide any financial assistance. Student must be able to finance their projects themselves.

Oral Exam

Once their master's thesis has been reviewed and accepted, students will have to pass a final oral exam, which covers content from the core course, the advanced modules and their respective thesis.