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Epidemiology, MS


120 ECTS - MS degree

. . .

Do you want to gain skills and practical training in research?


Do you intend to take on leadership roles within the many divisions of health sciences?


Do you want a great foundation in using statistics in researching health and health-related factors?


If so, the master's programme in epidemiology might be for you.

About the programme

Students finish 60-90 ECTS credits of courses and a 30-60 ECTS credit final thesis project.

  • The programme gives students the practical skill set for using epidemiological methods for research within the health sciences, and how to interpret results
  • It supplies students with a great foundation in using statistics in researching health and health-related factors 
  • It's a fantastic preparation for those who want to gain skills and practical training in research or intend on taking on leadership roles within the many divisions of health sciences
  • Students are encouraged to do exchange studies at another university for one semester.

Mode of study

  • Two years of full-time studies
  • All of the core courses and most electives demand physical presence, so the studies are not optimal alongside working full-time
  • All core courses are finished in the first academic year, in addition to some electives
  • In the students' second year, they choose their concentrations
  • The electives can be picked from various different departments within the school, in accordance with the instructor

Admission requirements

Graduate studies

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree (BS, BA, or comparable) from an accredited college/university. A specific field of study is not required, but our students are expected to have a solid background in methodology. International applicants for whom English is not their first language must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score as proof of English proficiency. Minimum scores accepted are 79 on the TOEFL internet based test or a IELTS score of 6,5. Applicants are evaluated for entrance, based on the following criteria:

  • Grade point average (in general a GPA equivalent to the Icelandic 7,25 (first) is a prerequisite for admission).
  • Performance in specific courses, such as methodology and statistics.
  • Statement of purpose and objectives.

See what it is all about

Students' comments

Heiðrún Hlöðversdóttir
Public health sciences student

I was especially drawn to the multi-disciplinary approach of the public health sciences studies. My background in psychology was useful as the master's program is, to some extent, built on the foundation of scientifical methodology and statistics.''

''The studies have given me an invaluable insight into the careers of different health-related occupations, whether it's through my teachers or fellow students with different educational backgrounds and experiences.'' 

''One of the best qualities of the programme is being able to choose from a multitude of different courses, crafting your course path based on your personal interests.

Friðgeir Andri Sverrisson
Public health sciences student

One of the main reasons I chose the master's programme in public health sciences was the flexibility in selecting a broad range of classes from different subject areas.

The programme has strong foundations and a good core but also attracts individuals with different backgrounds, which promotes the possibility of cooperation all across society. After i finished my studies and embarked on the job market, I found this to be the case as my experience in the programme was instrumental to my job search.

The freedom to choose from an array of diverse courses ensured my highest satisfaction and increased skills in the areas I wanted to master, especially in relation to further learning and working abroad.

Hjördís Lilja Lorange
Public health sciences student

The public health sciences programme has been an extraordinary experience where I've dealt with many exciting challenges. In my studies I've adopted critical thinking and learned techniques to systematically approach scientific topics. The well-organized courses give you a chance to dive into various public health subjects, like the most current threats to public health today.

I couldn't be more pleased with the excellent professors who all have profound knowledge of the topics and pass on their knowledge in a both entertaining and exciting manner.

The knowledge and experience I gained from the master's programme exceeded far beyond my hopes and I've benefitted immensily from my studies.

Mynd að ofan 
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After graduation

Epidemiologists often work at hospitals, governmental institutes, or universities. Many are employed by the private sector, ranging from insurance companies to pharmaceutical companies, whether in Iceland or abroad.

The professional possibilities after graduation are endless.

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Examples of professions:

  • Research
  • Working on public health initiatives
  • Policy making
  • Education
  • Health promotion
  • Prevention

Social life

The student organisation of the Faculty of Public Health Sciences is called Iðunn and is active in making social life for students fun. Iðunn organises all kinds of events such as field trips, visits to companies and organisations, and more. All students in Epidemiology automatically become members of Iðunn. 

Iðunn's Facebook page

University's social life

Contact us

The Centre of Public Health Sciences
Sturlugata 8, 102 Reykjavik
Tel: 525 4956
E-mail: publichealth@hi.is

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