Postgraduate Certificate in Tropical Medicine and International Health (TMIH)

The Postgraduate Certificate in Tropical Medicine and International Health provides health professionals with a broad and interdisciplinary training. It combines clinical, epidemiological and biomedical knowledge and skills with a systemic approach to health care organization and disease control. Additionally, the broad perspective of international health policies and 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.
This course targets (junior) health professionals with a concrete interest and/or career perspective in international health. Professionals with significant experience in low- and middle-income countries are advised to explore courses which go beyond the introductory level (e.g. master degrees or more specialized short courses).
The Postgraduate Certificate programme consists of two course components (short courses):
- Introduction to International Health (IIH)
- Tropical Medicine and Clinical Decision-making (TMCDM)
Here students can register for the whole postgraduate certificate programme. To register for one of the two short courses please go to the specific course description on the course overview page.

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives of course component 1: Introduction to International Health (IIH)
  • Identify and analyse interrelated determinants of health and major health problems of populations in a cross-disciplinary perspective in low- and middle income societies
  • Critically collect, analyse and appraise qualitative and quantitative data relevant for the improvement of health and health care in low and middle income societies
  • Plan sustainable improvements of health systems considering the diverse intercultural settings as well as social and ethical responsibilities
  • Clearly communicate and work professionally in a multi-disciplinary team
Learning objectives of course component 2: Tropical Medicine and Clinical Decision Making (TMCDM)
  • Explain the epidemiological, clinical and laboratory features of tropical diseases and micronutrient deficiencies in a tropical setting
  • Explain the specificities of clinical presentation and management of tuberculosis and HIV infection (and related diseases) in tropical settings
  • Analyse the performances and pitfalls of laboratory tests in a tropical district hospital and interpret their results within a given clinical context
  • Search and obtain online information on relevant and updated clinical or diagnostic procedures, in low-resource settings;
  • Make a sound differential diagnosis and provide adequate clinical management, adapted to tropical hospital settings with scarce 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

  • A university degree in medicine.
Other health professionals, with a university (master) degree in nursing, biomedical or pharmaceutical sciences can be exceptionally admitted (please consult the course secretariat)
  • Proficiency in the course language: students for whom English is not their first language must provide evidence of a 6.5 IELTS score (or 580 TOEFL score).  Exemption from this requirement may be granted to those who successfully completed higher education in English or at a Flemish higher education institution.

Selection criteria

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


You can also apply for a single course component. See the Short Courses section of our website for specific information on following short courses and their admission requirements
- Introduction to International Health (IIH)
- Tropical Medicine and Clinical Decision Making (TMCDM)


Programme director: Bruno Marchal
Secretary: Marianne Hilgert
Tel: +32 (0)3 247 64 71


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