Master in Health Promotion and Community Care -

Short description

The study program is carried out in partnership with Lillehammer University College, Hedmark University College and Gjøvik University College.
The program qualifies students for a wide range of health promoting work. This includes planning processes, management and leadership, disciplinary development and research, and action oriented local community care both in Norway and internationally. Locally, health promotion care is developed through joint effort between local social welfare services and various academic communities.
The master promotes an action oriented approach for the strengthening of local communities and to promote welfare services for marginalized groups. Cooperation between user groups and overall local population is a prerequisite for successful promotion of public health. This master also explores political and administrative processes on various levels.
MHPCC focuses on practice oriented research and development and students will carry out research and development work in cooperation with local health and welfare services. With a foundation in MHPCC’s ideological concepts both students and teachers may therefore contribute to local research and development.
The master emphasizes a health and social care practice based on a reasoned understanding of health care on the individual, group and systems levels. In the implementation and evaluation of students’ projects and other activities attention will be given to the strategies for promoting involvement from volunteer and social networks of local communities. The master focuses on the relationships between local, national and global conditions. Its insights is thus relevant internationally.
Conceptual framework
MHPCC’s conceptual framework may be summed up in four bullet points:

  1. Health promoting care in the local community. The term local community should be understood as municipality or district, or other settings as work place, educational institutions, organizations or welfare institutions.
  2. A salutogenic and resource oriented approach. This is understood as a positive approach and identification of the positive qualities of local communities. The central characteristics of the salutogenic approach is such different from the disease preventive apporach. The latter is problem-oriented and focuses on the prevention of disease and injury. Meanwhile, the former should be understood as a process where individuals are made capable of improving and maintaining their health (Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion 1986).
  3. Health promotion work for exposed groups. Various forms of action research focusing on exposed groups is one of the focal points of MHPCC. This involves initiating processes and organizing activities through a bottoms up perspective. Action research involves researching in effort with, rather than on, the groups and individuals of interest.
  4. Action and practice oriented knowledge acquisition. MHPCC’s action oriented characteristic is maintained through an emphasis on experiential practical skills, theoretical knowledge and context-based resource mobilising competences. The master’s basic epistemological concept lies in the understanding that knowledge is not fixed and invariable but rather in constant change and development.

Program objectives
MHPCC’s overarching objective is to contribute to social justice, participation and equality as well as to contribute in improving the conditions for exposed and vulnerable social groups. This implies that the program will view existing social structures and processes that entail social injustice, oppression, and abuse of authority critically.
The program aims to:
* give a wide set of skills within health promotion work, care and local community development.
* give knowledge of methods and tools for initiating and implementing social alteration and development processes in various contexts.
* give the practical competence to implement health promotive processes and to lead social alteration and development work in various local communities.
* promote skills crucial for leadership, planning and disciplinary development positions within the fields of resource mobilization and innovation.
* promote participation and successful cooperation in local settings.
* promote commitment, values and skills needed for individual assessments of the characteristics of successful local development work.


MHPCC will credit 120 ECTS credits. The program is organized as a course based (seven courses) part-time study over four years. This program is classified as a master’s degree according to section 5 in the national regulation’s framwork for master degrees (“Forskrift om krav til Mastergrad”). It is organized as a experience based master’s degree due to the need for and emphasis put on the students’ prior professional experience as a substantial contribution to the skills and knowledge gained through the course of the program. By individual agreement students may complete the program before the scheduled four years.

Expected learning outcomes

The National Quality Assurance Framework of Higher Education was established by the Ministry of Education and Research in 2009. The framework consists of the categories knowledge, skills and general knowledge. The framework is furthermore divided into three cycles in which the master’s degree level is located within the second cycle. Having completed MHPCC the student will have achieved:

  • Basic knowledge of how international and national contexts influence local communities and of the global health challenges facing the world today.
  • Thorough understanding of the impact of social justice, participation and equality on public health.
  • Thorough knowledge of multidisciplinary and multiscientific perspectives within health promotion work and care in various types of local communities, both domestic and internationally.
  • Insights in a range of methods and practices in local community care.


  • Be able to analyse and critically relate to the characteristics of successful local development work, as well as to identify opportunities for successful development projects within different contexts.
  • Have the practical competence within resource mobilizing work aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable and exposed groups.
  • Be able to contribute in networking and cooperation between various professions.
  • Be able to contribute to innovation within the public health and welfare system.

General competences

  • Be able to implement professionally and ethically responsible planning and documentation processes on individual, group and community level in various contexts.
  • Be able to initiate, plan and carry through resource mobilization work in order to promote public health and welfare in cooperation with user groups and local population.
  • Be able to communicate professional challenges, analysis and assessments based on individual experience and knowledge within health promotion and local community care.
  • Have further developed their commitment and their personal considerations of what constitutes successful local development work.


Health promotion work in the local community is viewed in an international context. The relationship between the global and local phenomenons is an integrated part of the program. There are opportunities to gain international experience through shorter and longer stays abroad.

Target Group

MHPCC’s target group are professionals within a wide range of professions. This may be health and social workers, teachers, law enforcement professionals, technological and environmentally oriented professionals, HSE professionals, politicians and public administrators, and professionals within culture, sports, or outdoor activities. The program should also cater to individuals with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences.

Admission Criteria

The general requirements are as a minimum a three years bachelor’s degree within health and social care or welfare studies in addition to two years of relevant professional experience. Relevant experience should be understood as work in public, private or NGO sector. Applicants with other relevant higher education at the cand.mag, bachelor’s or undergraduate level as well as the required two years of relevant professional experience may be granted admission following an individual assessment.

Applicant ranking is based on a competitive points system based on the grades from the lower level education upon which admission is sought as well any professional experience beyond that of the minimum two years relevant experience.
Calculation of grade point average to competitive points system
The numerical grade average will be converted to letter grade systems by the following scale:
1.0-2.2 equals A which grants 5 points
2.3-2.5 equals B which grants 4 points
2.6-2.7 equals C which grants 3 points
2.8-3.0 equals D which grants 2 points
3.1-4.0 equals E which grants 1 point
Additional points for professional experience beyond that of the minimum requirement are granted according to the following scale:
Each year in a full time position grants 0.5 points.
Each year in a 50 percent part time position grants 0.25 points.
A maximum of three points may be granted for the additional years of professional experience.

Admission requirements may be adjusted according to the general national requirements for admission to master degree studies.

Course Structure

The program consists of a total of seven courses:

Year Semester Course owning university college Course ECTS
1 Fall Hedmark University College MHL4001: Introduction to action oriented health promotion work and care in the local community 15
Spring Hedmark University College MHL4011: Welfare, ethics and mobilization in the local community 15
2 Fall Lillehammer University College MHL4021: Philosophy of science and research methods in health promoting local community care 15
Spring Lillehammer University College MHL4031: Local development work in a globalised world: a multitude of practices 15
3 Fall Gjøvik University College MHL4041: Planning local development work 15
Spring Gjøvik University College MHL4051: Implementing local development work 15
4 Fall Gjøvik University College MHL4901: Master’s thesis in health promotion and community care 30
Total ECTS credits 120

The program is structured in seven courses. These cover themes and perspectives on health promotion work, care and quality of life for exposed groups, as well as development and innovation in the public welfare system. The listed courses are all obligatory and their insights all build on each other. Attendance to all course sessions is obligatory. Any absence beyond that of 20 percent may be compensated through other activities following individual agreement with the relevant course manager.

The course profile consists of multidisciplinary insights. Emphasis is put on insights from public health science, social science, including international policy studies, human and environmental studies, nursing science, and educational studies. The course contents will be viewed in global, domestic regional and local contexts. Action and user oriented research constitutes key components of the program’s methodological approach.

Teaching and evaluation methods

The program is executed using flexible online teaching methods in combination with regular course gatherings. Sessions last for three days and are held three times per semester. Most course sessions will be held at the course holding university college. The online teaching platform used is Fronter, and students’ active participation on the platform between course sessions is expected. Various teaching and study methods will be used, including lectures, seminars, project work, individual and group guidance, student-led team work and study groups. Course lectures will present and discuss subjects relevant for the various academic and professional disciplines in the curriculum. Refer to the individual course descriptions for detailed info regarding study methods, evaluation and academic content.

Organization of learning activities

The program’s study methods will highlight individual students’ experiential knowledge through a discussion of professional issues. The objective is to promote reflection on an experiential and scientific foundation. The interactive model of learning will maintain a balance between one-way lectures and student-teacher dialogue.

Student-led base groups in between course sessions will be facilitated. These groups will act as the students’ primary study group between the course sessions. Base groups are fixed student-led groups that persist through one or more of the program’s courses. The students are expected to form base groups by themselves following the course manager’s guidance. The various base groups will conduct the group based final exams. For the term paper needed for course 4 students will visit a project in Norway or abroad. A 2-4 weeks visit to the Manavodaya-institute in India will be facilitated. Students willing to attend one of the courses 3-6 at a university abroad may be welcome to do so following individual agreement.

Technical Prerequisites

In order to follow the program students are required to have access to a computer with Internet access.

Table of subjects