SPUM09032U Introduction to the Danish Welfare model and health system

Volume 2015/2016
Erasmus Mundus Master of Public Health

The course introduces Erasmus Mundus students to the Danish welfare model and health care system. The course discusses how the formation of the Danish welfare model has influenced and influences the structure and organisation of the Danish health care system as well as the health status of the Danish population. Studies have almost invariably concluded that population health is enhanced by the generous and universal welfare provision of the social democratic Nordic countries when contrasted to liberal states. However in contrast to their strong performance in terms of overall health, the Nordic welfare states do not have the smallest health inequalities. Using the generated insight into Danish welfare and health care system the course discusses this public health puzzle, which also challenges existing theories on social inequality.

Learning Outcome

At the end of this course the individual student should be able to:


  • Explain the Danish welfare model’s development and significance for the health care system
  • Explain the structure, organisation and performance of the Danish health care system



  • Discuss and evaluate the differences between the Danish welfare state and other types of welfare states
  • Discuss and critically evaluate relations between welfare provision and population level health



  • Plan public health studies in relation to the relation between welfare provision and population level health

The course literature is collected in a compendium

The course consists of seven sessions, in which invited experts lectures on different aspects of the overall theme. Each session is divided between lectures and group work which are organized on the basis of the students having read the assigned literature before coming to class. A list of recommended reading is provided for each session in order to enable the students to explore the topic further. The recommended reading can also be used in relation to writing the course assignment. The course also comprises two excursions, which provide a more hands-on experience of the themes discussed. The excursions consist of conducted tours at the Workers’ Museum and the Danish Medical Museion, both in Copenhagen.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 21
  • Exam
  • 48
  • Preparation
  • 69
  • Total
  • 138
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 48 hours
The exam is a written assignment based on five predefined questions. The questions pertain to a scientific article related to the course objective - the Danish welfare model and health care system. The student has 48 hours to elaborate the assignment.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assesment

To achieve the course attestation, the student shall be able to:

All questions should be answered. The assignment is evaluated in terms of whether it demonstrates obtainment of the course learning objectives. Answers should be substantiated with references from the course literature and other relevant literature. The answers should be clearly structured and the terminology in line with the one used in the course. The assignment is to be elaborated independently and be no longer than 5 normal pages. One normal page equals 2400 characters including space. The reference list is not part of the total count of characters.