Postgraduate Certificate in Tropical Medicine and International Health (TMIH)

The postgraduate course in Tropical Medicine and International Health provides health professionals with a broad and interdisciplinary training. It combines clinical and biomedical knowledge and skills with a systemic approach to health care organization and disease control. The broad perspective of international health policy and specific inputs from social sciences will help students grasp the complex picture of health and health care in low-resource settings. The integration of these different disciplines is a key feature of the programme.
For most students, this course will be the start of a challenging career in international health, while for others, who already have experience working in low and middle income countries, it offers the broad perspective needed before specialising. Through its new flexible structure in two course components, students can register for the whole programme or for selected course components.

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives of course component 1: Introduction to International Health (IIH)
  • Discuss determinants of health in general and of health care seeking behavior in particular
  • Analyze the main biomedical, clinical and epidemiological aspects of the major health problems in developing countries in order to manage their prevention and control at population and individual level
  • Organize primary health care services taking into account local priorities and resource availability as well as the perspective of communities and patients
  • Describe the major issues in international health policy and development cooperation
  • Critically analyze disease control programs, applying scientific tools and methods
  • Collaborate professionally in multi-disciplinary teams
Learning objectives of course component 2: Tropical Medicine and Clinical Decision Making (TMCDM)
  • Master the biomedical, clinical and epidemiological features of tropical diseases and micronutrient deficiencies
  • Perform basic laboratory tests and interpret their results
  • Rank the most appropriate diagnoses according to likelihood, explore a differential diagnosis and discuss clinical management in low and middle income countries through an in-depth analysis of the epidemiological context, clinical epidemiological findings, laboratory and imaging results, taking into account the scarcity of resources


The first Course Component 'Introduction to International Health' is accredited as core module of the Master of Public Health - Orientation International Health of the tropEd network.

Teaching and learning methods

The course uses a combination of state of the art lectures, interactive classes, individual study and exercises, coached team work, practical laboratory work and problem-based learning. The lecturers have extensive experience overseas and come from all departments of the ITM. Their field experience and scientific work feeds extensively into the course. Distinguished external lecturers complement specific areas of expertise.


During and at the end of course component 1, theoretical exams are organised consisting of multiple choice questions and integrated essay questions. At the end of course component 2, theoretical (multiple choice exam) and oral exams are organised, as well as a laboratory skills exam. Students who pass a course component receive a credit certificate.
The two credit certificates are required to be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate in TM&IH.

Admission requirements

Applicants need a degree in medicine.
Other health professionals, with a university (master) degree in biomedical or pharmaceutical sciences are welcome to apply for the first Course Component 'Introduction to International Health' (see elsewhere on this website).
Also masters in health economics or sociology are welcome to apply for this first Course Component 'Introduction to International Health' on condition that they are holder of a university master degree and have a minimum of 2 years relevant professional experience in international health in low-or middle income countries.
Nurses and midwives with a university (master) degree can also apply for the first Course Component 'Introduction to International Health' provided they have gained minimum 1 year of professional experience.
You can also apply for each course component separately in the Short Courses section of our website
- 'Introduction to International Health'
- 'Tropical Medicine and Clinical Decision Making' (only as MD)
If you previously finished one of the two course components succesfully, you can enroll into this Programme to follow the other course component and obtain the Postgraduate Certificate in TM&IH.
Note: documents required at application: copies of academic degrees, copies of transcripts of academic records (scores), curriculum vitae, proof of English language proficiency, passport size photograph, motivation letter (forms are presented online during application procedure)

Selection criteria

For organisational purposes, a maximum of 60 students is admitted.  Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Programme director: Bruno Marchal
Secretary: Gerlinde Segers
Tel: +32 (0)3 247 66 61


The course study load is equivalent to 30 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and accumulation System credits).