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Master of Science

Studying in Antwerp:
a life-changing experience

Students in the classroom

Students, researchers, medical doctors and nurses from all over the world come to ITM to specialise in tropical medicine and public health in a stimulating international environment.

Our research-focused courses encourage independent learning and stimulate the exchange of ideas, while making full use of the latest media technologies. We do our utmost to prepare our students for a successful continuation of their careers after their stay in Antwerp.

Our advanced master’s courses, short courses and PhD programmes focus on tropical medicine and public health with an emphasis on low-resource settings. We place special importance on neglected diseases and also devote considerable attention to tropical veterinary health and zoonotic diseases.

In 2014, we also revisited and modernised ITM’s alumni interaction. Career development support and communication are central to the new policy.

Thanks to our scholarship system, ITM students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. In our Master of Science programmes (MSc, “Master after Master”), policy makers, health managers and researchers are able to enrol in our courses at different stages in their careers. In 2014, 67 students completed an MSc degree at ITM.

In preparation for the 2015 evaluation and accreditation of ITM’s master’s programmes, one of our first steps was to carry out a thorough self-assessment of the 2014 cohorts. A survey was taken among the last eight MSc cohorts and it demonstrated the sustained impact of our programmes on the careers of our alumni.  We also began reflecting on future areas of development and identified key priorities, such as increasing our efforts to tailor our programmes to the individual needs of our students, both in terms of content and mode of delivery, and to more actively demonstrate the importance of our programmes for health professionals world-wide.

In 2014, staff and student seminars were organised to discuss the optimal use of different approaches to master’s thesis supervision. We further strengthened the three tracks of the Master’s (MSc) in Public Health; ‘Health Systems Management and Policy’,  ‘Disease Control’ and the ‘International Health’ track, which is an international tropEd collaboration. In 2014, the first student graduated in Antwerp from the flexible International Health track, which allows a student to follow courses at different tropEd member institutions.

In 2014, the Master’s (MSc) in Tropical Animal Health became a single-track master’s programme on animal health, merging the ‘Epidemiology’ and ‘Disease Control’ orientations. The reorganisation of the current master’s programme marks a first step towards a joint MSc degree between ITM’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases from the University of Pretoria (DVTD-UP), for which a formal agreement was signed on the 25th of November 2014. This joint MSc, which will start in January 2016, focuses on tropical veterinary and zoonotic diseases and the One Health concept.

Postgraduate Certificate Courses

The Postgraduate Certificate Course in Tropical Medicine and International Health (TM&IH) consists of two modules, as the name suggests. ITM’s specific expertise in clinical decision-making and pharmaceutical management led to the development of  two optional sub-modules.  Teaching will likely shift from “English and French” to “English only” as a result of the increasing preference of Francophone students to join the more international student group found in the English edition.

The learning tasks of the reformed Postgraduate Certificate Course in Tropical Medicine for professional bachelors, based on the “Four component – Instructional Design” (4C-ID) approach, were fine-tuned. This course will continue to be organised in English and French.

Short courses

In total, 209 students enrolled for a short course or MSc module in 2014. A new blended short course in Ethics in International Health Research (3 credits), partly face-to-face, partly e-learning, was designed and piloted in January 2015. For the first time, the blended SCREM (Short Course in Clinical Research & Evidence-based Medicine, 9 credits) used the distance learning component for the recruitment of students and the competitive attribution of scholarships.

Doctoral training

ITM offers doctoral training in fields ranging from molecular biology to health systems research in collaboration with Belgian and international universities. In 2014, 25 of our PhD students obtained a PhD degree. Currently, 105 PhD students are enrolled at ITM.

Interns and master’s thesis students

Fifty-one interns were given the opportunity to gain specific knowledge and develop unique skills at ITM and nine master’s students from other universities developed their thesis project at our institute under the guidance of our expert faculty.