Course Evaluating complex interventions in Public Health


Course leader: Helle Terkildsen Maindal

Language: English

Graduate school: Faculty of Health

Graduate program: PH

Course fee: 2,400.00 DKK

Status: Course is open for application

Semester: Spring 2023

Application deadline: 13/02/2023

Start date: 13/03/2023

Administrator: Annette Poulsen


The students will be sent a reference list in advance. A voluntary information meeting (online) is provided before start of the course.

The course P302/03 Evaluating complex interventions in Public Health is being offered by the Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University, 2023.

Criteria for participation: University degree at Master level in Public Health science, Sport sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy or master’s degree in other fields and/or postgraduate research fellows.

Recommended knowledge for participation: Participation on the course on development of complex intervention would be considered an advantage, but not a requirement.

Aim: The aim of this course is to introduce a framework to guide decisions in how to evaluate public health interventions targeted health behaviour. The course will include quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods evaluation designs and system approaches to evaluation. The MRC model for complex interventions in health will form the basis of the course. The course build to some extent on the former course in developing complex interventions. However, this course can also stand alone.

Learning outcomes: 

  • Insight into evaluation of complex interventions based on the UK Medical Research Council Model
  • Overview of different complex intervention evaluation strategies
  • Insight into evaluating complex interventions using quantitative research designs
  • Insight into evaluating complex interventions using qualitative and mixed methods research designs

Workload: The full workload of the course is expected to be 51 hours.

Content: Course participants will gain insights into models and frameworks used in relation to the evaluation of complex interventions. The participants will gain experience to recognize and adopt appropriate methods based on a wide range of evaluation designs. Central to the course will be mixed methods, i.e. how the integration of quantitative and qualitative research designs play an important role in the evaluation of both processes and effects of complex interventions. Further, the participants will be introduced to systems approaches in evaluation drawing on socio-ecological models and whole system to public health interventions and programs.

Teaching method will be lectures and a high level of interaction with participants’ presenting their own practical examples of interventions. The course relies on peer-feedback as well as other feedback forms, to enhance learning. Preparatory work is expected through forwarding a project description of own or shared study, which will be develop on throughout the course. Concrete examples, methods and techniques will be taught in the course, aiming to provide a toolbox to the participant at the end of the course. Student driven workshops will also be part of the program, developing on provided examples. Parts of the course may be relying on digital technologies.

Preparation: The students will be sent a reference list in advance. A voluntary information meeting (online) is provided before start of the course.

Instructors: Teaching will be delivered by experts in the field of public health interventions development and evaluation including Professor H. Terkildsen Maindal (programme lead for health promotion and intervention research), ass. Prof K. Ryom (Health Promotion and Intervention Research) and postdoc Anders Blædel Gottlieb Hansen (Social Science, Public Health), senior researcher Anna Mygind Rasmussen (General Practice).

Venue: Aarhus University, Aarhus

Participation in the course is without cost for:

  • PhD students, Health Research Year students and Health Research Honours Programme students from Aarhus University
  • PhD students enrolled at partner universities of the Nordoc collaboration
  • PhD students from other institutions in the open market agreement for PhD courses

Course dates:

  • 13 March 2023 09:15 - 15:30
  • 14 March 2023 09:15 - 15:30
  • 15 March 2023 09:15 - 15:30