Draft Thesis Proposal – University of Copenhagen

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Master of International Health > Admission > Draft Thesis Proposal

How to Prepare a Draft Thesis Proposal

Applicants to the MIH in Copenhagen are asked to prepare a draft thesis proposal of max. 4 pages, based on a field study or on a critical review of articles referring to a relevant problem within international health. It is important the thesis proposal is relevant in a low- or middle-income setting.

Why is a draft thesis required?

  • Experiences from Masters programmes indicate that a subject for a Masters thesis must be identified early on
  • The applicants have the opportunity to present their proposal
  • The MIH course managers may plan special sessions to suit the requirements for the majority of students

How is a draft thesis designed?

  1. A working title could be for instance

    • A critical review: "From population control based family planning programmes to sexual and reproductive health and rights"
    • "Quality of care in the prevention and treatment of childhood diarrhoea in a country"
    • "Tuberculosis control by case finding and –holding in a district of a country"
    • "Organisation and utilisation of child health services in a district", etc.
  2. Describe the background for the choice and why the study is considered relevant
  3. Formulate the problem to be studied
  4. Explain the objective(s) of the study
  5. Describe which analytical perspective(s) will be used
  6. List material (data, sources) and methods to be used for the study: Old (retrospective) or new (prospective); quantitative (statistics, simple questionnaires, collection of blood samples, etc.) or qualitative (in-depth analyses of limited number of samples or in-depth interviews, etc., or both)
  7. Indicate whether the proposal needs acceptance from authorities, people, or patients
  8. Refer to relevant literature
  9. Draft a timetable
  10. If not merely a desk study, consider ethics and finance

Useful Hints

It is recommended that you select a subject in which you may already have collected some data, or that you use a concrete example of a health-related problem with which you have worked personally. If you are short of ideas, do not panic, but think of the top ten health problems in your locality, including problems related to health systems and services.


The draft thesis proposal is only meant to help to design your study optimally; it is not an examination before admission! The draft thesis proposal of Danida-sponsored applicants should be relevant to programmes/projects. Please note that course fee does not cover expenses related to field work. Programmes/projects are consequently expected to cover field expenses, and they must confirm their willingness  to bear these expenses.


The University of Copenhagen, with its commitment to high standards of academic integrity, regards plagiarism as a very serious offence. Plagiarism is defined as using someone else's work as your own, without citing the source. This includes direct copying, rephrasing, and summarizing, as well as taking someone else's idea and putting it in different words. Students who practice plagiarism may be expelled.