Learn about the vital role healthcare plays in violence prevention and peace-building both globally and locally

3,710 enrolled on this course

Case: bomb at a hospital
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Violence affects health in many ways, from the micro (individual) to the macro (societal). This course will help you understand how healthcare professionals can build peaceful and healthy societies by recognizing, responding to, and helping prevent various forms of violence.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognise and respond to signs of domestic violence or torture in clinical practice
  • Provide appropriate healthcare in conflict areas and for refugees
  • Prepare for the health effects of climate change and nuclear war

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds “A bomb blast at the district hospital this morning has left between 10 and 20 people injured. The explosion happened at dawn, damaging the hospital kitchen in the side wing of the building…” As health professionals we care for the life, health and well being of our patients. Violence, weapons and war cause enormous suffering and misery, and endanger what is important for us. Violence at different levels is one of the greatest determinants of ill-health and death. As healthcare professionals often meet both the victims and perpetrators of violence, we have a unique role in preventing violence and building more peaceful societies My name is Ingvild Fossgard Sandøy. And I’m Adi Vyas.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds This MOOC has been made by the University of Bergen in collaboration with the European Medical Peace Work partnership. Together we’ll be introducing you to this very important field. How well equipped are we as health professionals to address violence and suffering in homes, in our work places, and on our borders ? How do we uphold our professional values, and how can we be accountable to the people we serve? Can we tackle problems that seem to lie far “upstream”? Medical Peace Work is an emerging field of expertise which combines healthcare, violence prevention, and peace-building. This MOOC will introduce you to the key concepts, opportunities and dilemmas in medical peace work.

Skip to 1 minute and 40 seconds So join us as we explore these important global health issues through the lens of public health and peace practice. Whatever your professional background, together we can begin our journey towards a healthier, more peaceful world.

What topics will you cover?

Basic concepts in medical peace work, including:

  • Types of conflict
  • Forms of violence: direct, structural, and cultural
  • Hierarchies of violence: collective, interpersonal, and self-induced
  • Levels of violence: mega, macro, meso, and micro
  • Preventing violence
  • Understanding peace as the negation of violence and the capacity to deal with conflicts positively
  • Risks and limitations of medical peace work

Six case studies demonstrating how health professionals can:

  • Engage in conflict-sensitive peace-health work in war and post-war settings
  • Provide appropriate healthcare for refugees
  • Recognise and help in healing victims of torture
  • Recognise and respond to domestic violence in clinical practice
  • Respond to a nuclear explosion
  • Prepare for the health effects of climate change

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe how conflict, violence, and peace are related to health
  • Assess and respond to signs of domestic violence or torture in clinical practice
  • Design healthcare for refugees and in conflict areas
  • Identify the health effects of climate change and nuclear war
  • Contribute to medical peace work efforts globally and locally

Who is the course for?

This course has been created for people with some experience in healthcare. It is particularly relevant to students in clinical healthcare professions (such as medicine, nursing, and allied health) and equally relevant to those working in broader disciplines (such as public health, global health, and development studies).

Who will you learn with?

I teach courses on global health and sustainability at several institutions, including Queen Mary University of London, the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (UK) and Azim Premji University (India).

Deputy Chief Medical Officer in the City of Bergen, Norway. Specialty: Community medicine. Doctorate: Occupational medicine. Master's degree: Peace and conflict transformation. Coordinator of MPW3.

Professor of Public Health at the University of Bergen. Research interests: sexual and reproductive health; interpersonal violence. Teaching: Public Health, Medical Peace work, Epidemiology

I am a Lecturer at University of Bergen (Norway) & Medical Advisor at the Ministry of Health (Sydney, Australia). I'm interested in global health, sustainable healthcare, and peace work. Tw @adipodean

Who developed the course?

University of Bergen

The University of Bergen (UiB) offers first-class education and cutting-edge research at our location in the city centre of Bergen, Norway.

Endorsers and supporters

supported by


supported by

Medical Peace Work

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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