Department of Public Health

Our impact on public health is multifaceted: We train experts. We study various issues that influence public health, as well as the health care system and its operations. We develop new research methods. We teach the principles and methods of scientific thinking and research, as well as the prevention of diseases. We influence political decision-making in health-related matters. We also provide information and expertise to citizens.

The Department organises basic education in its field primarily in medicine, dentistry and the Master’s Programme in Translational Medicine, but participates in organising other teaching as well.

Further information on basic education courses organised by the Department.

Instructors and researchers at the Department supervise theses completed during advanced studies in their own research areas. Those interested can contact them directly. 

Spe­cial­ist education in oc­cu­pa­tional health care

The objective of the programme is to educate specialists who are capable of independent work, familiar with the connections between work and health, proficient in occupational health care practices and able to conduct multidisciplinary cooperation. The education is organised in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Occupational health education at the University of Helsinki (in Finnish only)

The Virtual University in Occupational Health Care offers online learning material that supports specialist education, various online courses and an opportunity for networking nationally with other physicians completing specialist education.

Virtual University in Occupational Health Care

Spe­cial­ist education in health care

The objective of the programme is to educate specialists who understand public health and preventive health care, and who are able to study, produce and, above all, apply population data in planning and managing services.

Train­ing for im­me­di­ate su­per­visors in­cluded in spe­cial­ist train­ing for phys­i­cians and dent­ists

When the decision on admission is dated 1 August 2009 or later, physicians and dentists completing a specialist training programme must also complete training for immediate supervisors.

Further information and registration

Fur­ther infor­mation

Further information on specialist training in health care and occupational health care, as well as the training for immediate supervisors is available at the Faculty of Medicine website and at


Basic studies in public health are available to those students of other faculties whose studies require a basic understanding of the social and other factors affecting the occurrence of diseases, the preconditions and methods for investigating these factors, the prevention of diseases and the social impact of diseases.

Further information

Right to pur­sue minor sub­ject stud­ies

Those applying for the right to complete basic studies in public health must submit an informal and well-founded application by email to or by mail to

Professor Ossi Rahkonen

Department of Public Health

PO Box 20 (Tukholmankatu 8 B)

00014 University of Helsinki

The right to study is granted by Professor Rahkonen. The right is valid for two academic years with the possibility to apply for continuation.

Registration for teaching and examinations

Further information and examination registrations at Participants must submit the examination subject, student number and contact details.


The Department conducts active postgraduate education. Each year, more than ten researchers receive their doctoral degree from the Department. Departmental researchers are central to the Doctoral Programme in Population Health. Doctoral programme operations are coordinated by the Doctoral School in Health Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine.

The multidisciplinary scientific research conducted at the Department is of a high standard. The high scientific quality of the departmental research is based on solid research traditions, as well as comprehensive research cooperation both in Finland and abroad.

Central research areas include

A consulting unit in biostatistics operates at the Department, providing statistical guidance to researchers working at the Meilahti Campus. Further information is available on the unit website.



Contact details

Head of de­part­ment

University Lecturer Tuomo Laihiala

Deputy head of de­part­ment

professor Tea Lallukka 


Department of Public Health

PO BOX 20 (Tukholmankatu 8 B)

00014 University of Helsinki

Telephone: 0294 1911 (switchboard)