Kliniken &… Institute Heidelberger Institut… Teaching Short Courses Short Courses in… Introduction in Social…

Introduction to Social Protection: A Systems Approach to Universal Social Protection

(in cooperation with AOK International Consulting) (60 h investment time, 2 ECTS)

Content Overview

This course introduces the social protection and relates it to international conventions and their reflection in the national legislation. Concepts and
means to protect the poor and vulnerable are developed. The course explains the origin and the history of social protection in Europe. It relates the
social protection to poverty in Europe and the structure of societies. As the course originates in Germany the country with the oldest mandatory
health insurance a special attention is paid to German health insurance, including also five other mandatory insurances existing in industrialised

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course the participants should be able to:

  • understand the political, ethical and societal importance of social protection
  • to understand the different aims of and approaches to social protection
  • to consider the supportive effects of the general national legislation
  • know the historical development of social protection in Europe
  • know the extent of vulnerability and poverty in industrialised countries
  • learn about the different approaches to social protection in different systems
  • know about the organisation of the different mandatory insurance schemes
  • be able to explain the benefits of the each branch of social insurance
  • understand the financial impact on the governmental budget and the individual income.
  • know the categories of quality and the steps of evaluation


The course is organized in two main modules.

Module 1: Principles of Social Protection

  • Unit 1: Decent living as a Human Right
  • Unit 2: Social protection for the vulnerable population
  • Unit 3: Social protection for formally employed
  • Unit 4: Cross cutting issues

Module 2: Practice of Social Protection in industrialized countries – focus on Germany

  • Unit 1: Social protection in Europe
  • Unit 2: Social insurances – focus on Germany
  • Unit 3: Evaluation of health systems

Target Group

Public health professionals, Social protection sector professionals, policy makers, private companies and relevant public administrations, project planners and coordinators, postgraduate students, independent of the geographical origin.


This course is held in English. Fluency in English (Reading, Speaking and Writing) is required.

Teaching and Assessment

The course is offered as a self E-learning course, providing a flexibility to the students to enter and complete the modules at their convenience. It uses a mixture of provision of content in lecture modus, case studies on a practical implication of the concepts, self-test questions, case studies. Two electronic platforms for organizational questions and technical questions give at any time the opportunity for direct contact to the main tutor of the course and technical experts, who are ready to answer questions and give additional input in case of need. The course is with 60 h students investment time, incl. modules completion, reading materials, discussions on the online platform, possible chats with tutors or experts.

Participants’ learning will be assessed on:

  • Full completion of the modules and assignments within the modules (60%)
  • Active participation in technical discussions on the platform of the course (10%)
  • Final test (30%)

General Admission € 480

Registration: All applications should be submitted online. The course is accessible at any time as soon as the registration is confirmed