Course Syllabus


Public Health and Migration: Access, Politics, and Human Rights


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Semester & Location:

Spring 2022 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Core Course Study Tours:

London (5-10 November) 

Major Disciplines:

Public Health, Sociology



Faculty Member:

Jad Shedrawy 

Program Director:

Susana Dietrich

Academic support: 

Time & Place:

Mondays and Thursdays, 14:50-16:10, D-410

Course Description

Migrants, including refugees, asylum-seekers and economic migrants, are those who voluntarily or involuntarily move to new locations, such as Sweden. Upon arrival, some may be suffering from tuberculosis, HIV or other diseases rarely occurring in Sweden, or – particularly in the case of forced migration – from trauma and other mental illness. This course provides insights into why people migrate, and addresses the health status and care needs as well as the legal, financial and cultural barriers to accessing healthcare faced by the migrants. Through contemporary case studies, students will analyse the dynamics between migrant health needs and the existing health care systems while understanding the main components structuring these systems. The course will also cover the health challenges in humanitarian crisis with focus on refugee camps in different settings.

While there are no specific pre-requisites for this course and I welcome all students and backgrounds, it will be beneficial to have basic knowledge of communicable and non-communicable diseases, disease prevention and healthcare interventions .Thus, students with no or limited prior knowledge of Global Health, might expect to put in an extra effort in the beginning of the course, to get up to speed with the focus and academic rigor of the course.


Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe current trends and patterns in migration
  • Identify key health challenges facing migrants
  • Describe the key elements of  health systems and how it is challenged by migration
  • Understand the role of different actors and international organisations in providing health care in humanitarian crisis.
  • Design public health interventions for migrants



Jad updated-1.jpg  

Jad Shedrawy

A reseacher working within the fields of Health Economics, Migrant health, Health Policies and Infectious Diseases Control. Jad obtained his PhD at the Global Public Health department at Karolinska institutet which focused on health economics and Tuberculosis control. Msc in Health Economy, Policy and Management. Bs in Pharmacy. With DIS since 2019.


Individual peer-reviewed scientific articles and books will be assigned for individual lectures.

Books and reports

International Migration, Health and Human Rights (2013) Report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR)

Migration and health in the European Union (2011) Book edited by Bernd Rechel, Philipa Mladovsky, Walter Devillé, Barbara Rijks, Roumyana Petrova-Benedict, Martin McKee and published by the WHO Office for Europe.


Geneva and the call of internationalism: a history. (2011) Book by Joëlle Kuntz. Editions Zoé



Agyemang, C. (2016) Lonely and bored stiff: challenging phase for ethnic minority and migrant health in Europe.
Eur J Public Health. 26: 898-899

Behtoui, A. and Olsson, E. (2014) The Performance of Early Age Migrants in Education and the Labour Market: a Comparison of Bosnia Herzegovinians, Chileans and Somalis in Sweden, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 40(5):778-795

Brochmann, G. and Hagelund, A. (2011) Migrants in the Scandinavian Welfare State: a social policy problem. Nordic Journal of Migration Research. 1(1): 13-024

Dellenborg, et al. (2012) Transcultural Encounters in a Medical Ward in Sweden: Experiences of Health Care Practitioners. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 23(4) 342–350

Doctors of the World (2015).  Legal Report – Access to Health Care. Médecins du Monde/Doctors of the World

Gilliver et al. (2014) Recent research on the mental health of immigrants to Sweden: a literature review. European Journal of Public Health.  24(Suppl 1):72-79

Grosser, A., et al. (2016) Inclusion of migrants and ethnic minorities in European birth cohort studies—a scoping review. Eur J Public Health. 26: 984-991

Hjern, A. (2012) Migration and public health. Health in Sweden: The National Public Health Report 2012. Chapter 13. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. 40(Suppl 9): 255–267

Kalengayi, F.K.N. et al (2015) Perspectives and experiences of new migrants on screening in Sweden. BMC Health Services Research. 

Kumagai, Jillian (2016) Sweden: uncensored. The Atlantic. 13 April 2016.

Lavenex, S. (2016) Multilevelling EU external governance: the role of international organizations in the diffusion of EU migration policies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42:4, 554-570.

Pacheco, L.L., Jonzon, R., Hurtig, A.K. (2016) Health Assessment and the Right to Health in Sweden: Asylum Seekers’ Perspectives. PLoS One. 

Pittaway, et al. (2010) ‘Stop stealing our stories’: The Ethics of Research with Vulnerable Groups. Journal of Human Rights Practice 2(2):229-251

Smith, A.L. (2016) Sweden struggles to stop radicalization at home.  Al Jazeera. 23 feb 2016.              

Smith, J. (2016).  Europe is failing to help a generation of traumatised children. The Guardian. 27 December 2016

Traub, J. (2016). The death of the most generous nation on earth.  Foreign Policy. 10 February 2016.

Unseem, R. and Downie, R.D. (1976)  Third-Culture Kids. Today's Education 65 (3):103-5

Visser, M.A. and El Fakiri, F. (2016) The prevalence and impact of risk factors for ethnic differences in loneliness Eur J Public Health. 26: 977-983


Field Studies

Two field studies are being planned .  The first  is to Fotografiska Museum . The second is about segregation and migration in Stockholm.


Approach to Teaching

Different teaching formats will be used. The course will be a mix of interactive lectures, class discussions, group work, student presentations and peer feedback. A major part of the course will be based on debating issues, and students are expected to engage actively in oral presentations, discussions, group work and exercises.



To be eligible for a passing grade in this class all of the assigned work must be completed. Late assignments will be accepted, but the grade for the paper will be reduced. The factors influencing the final grade and the proportional importance of each factor is shown below:

Component Weight
Participation 15%
Midterm exam 30%
Study tour paper 20%
Group projects 35%




Participation and engagement is measured in regards to both attendance and academic activity level during class and study tours. 

Midterm exam

the exam will cover the material discussed in class, the reading material and the main points discussed during the core course week.   

Study tour paper

Students will write a 2000-word essay, analysing and critiquing the role of different actors in addressing migration. Further details on the assignment will be given at the beginning of the term. 

Group project - Health systems and Migration

In groups of 3-5, students will investigate the health system of an EU country and analyse the healthcare provided to migrants and refugees within this country.  The project will focus on highlighting the challenges faced by the health system by migration and the lessons that can be learned from that specific case.

Group project - health interventions

In groups of 3-5, students will design a public health intervention targeted towards migrants. Working with others is an important element of preparation for the labor market, where group work is the rule rather than the exception, and this group project will contribute to the development of collaborative skills. Further details on the assignment will be given at the beginning of the term. 


Core Course Week and Study Tours

Core Course week and study tours are an integral part of the core course.  We take the classroom on the road and see how theory presented in the classroom is translated into practice in the field. You will travel with your classmates and DIS faculty/staff on two study tours; a short study tour during Core Course Week and a long study tour.

Expectations for study tours

  • Participate in all activities
  • Engage in discussions, ask questions, and contribute to achieving the learning objectives
  • Respect the destination, the speakers, DIS staff, and your fellow classmates
  • Represent yourself, your home university and DIS in a positive light

While on a program study tour DIS will provide hostel/hotel accommodation, transportation to/from the destination(s), approx. 2 meals per day and entrances, guides, and visits relevant to your area of study or the destination. You will receive a more detailed itinerary prior to departure.

Travel policies: You are required to travel with your group to the destination. If you wish to deviate from the group travel plans on the way back, you need approval from the assistant program director and the study tours office.   


Core course week, including short study tour

During the Core course week, will travel to Malmö to analyse how migration shaped the city , knowing that it is the city with the highest percentage of migrants in Sweden. Students Will also learn about migrant rights and compare Stockholm and Malmö cities.

Students will then have two days in Stockholm during which they will further focus on migration and also discuss writing and presentation skills.  The core course week activities are subject to change.

Long study tour to London

Students will travel to London to visit different organisations, academics and professionals that deal with migration questions in The UK and the EU.


Expectations of Students 

  • Laptops may be used for note‐taking, fact‐checking, or assignment in the classroom, but only when indicated by the instructor. At all other times laptops and electronic devices should be put away during class time.
  • Reading must be done prior to the class session; a huge part of the class is dependent on discussions in class.
  • Students need to be present and participating to receive full credit. The final grade will be affected by unexcused absences and lack of participation. Remember to be in class on time!
  • Classroom etiquette includes being respectful of other opinions, listening to others and entering a dialogue in a constructive manner.
  • Students are expected to ask relevant questions in regards to the material covered.

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 

 DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due