The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled the important role played by epidemiologists in diagnosing, identifying the causes, and controlling the spread of diseases. Epidemiologists conduct research, investigate, collect, and analyze data, and generate relevant insights that decision-makers can base on in the policy-making process.

At the moment, the global demand for individuals with epidemiological expertise is high. Having a degree in epidemiology is relevant not only for the current health crisis but also for preventing future outbreaks of other diseases and improving the quality of health education and care in whatever community you belong to. If you want to have the unique opportunity of tackling different health problems and contributing to the improvement of several communities’ healthcare systems, then studying epidemiology is perfect for you.

Listed below are a few of the best countries to study epidemiology abroad, along with some of the leading universities that can be found in each country.

Is an Epidemiologist a Medical Doctor?

Although epidemiologists do work that is closely related to the field of medicine, they are not considered doctors. Epidemiologists are more concerned with the causes and sources of diseases, but they are never in close contact with patients. They are not involved in diagnosing and treating patients. Sometimes epidemiologists work with physicians on a consultative basis regarding rare or new pathogens. We, unfortunately, do not have any courses to recommend for students who want to study epidemiology. We are consistently updating our database, so check back soon for available Epidemiology Courses for students from your country. In the meantime, browse through our Open Courses Page for related subjects.

Top Countries to Study Epidemiology

1. The Netherlands

  • Reason: high standards of a living, inclusive culture, English is widely spoken, good healthcare system, high-quality education

The Netherlands is a prosperous nation considered to be one of the best places to live, study, and work because of its safe environment, high standards of living, and culture that values equality, inclusivity, and freedom of expression. Dutch people are known for interacting in a friendly and casual manner, preferring to be addressed by their first names without formalities regardless of position or rank. Though Dutch is the country’s official language, more than 90% of the population can communicate in English.

The Netherlands also has an excellent healthcare system and is home to many of the world’s best universities to study medical sciences and public health. Programs that specialize in epidemiology are strongly focused on research to help students understand the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. Epidemiology majors also undergo work placement programs within and outside of the country to gain professional experience and be actively involved in solving communities’ real-life challenges in public health.

With top universities like Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Maastricht University, Radboud University, and the University of Amsterdam, it is no surprise at all that the Netherlands is one of the best countries to study epidemiology.

See Also: 7 Best Epidemiology Schools in the World

2. Australia

  • Reason: English-taught programs, government support in medical research and innovation, world-renowned universities

Five of the world’s top 50 institutions for medicine and health sciences can be found in Australia. The Australian government also provides a huge amount of support and funding to medical research and innovation. The country is a popular study-abroad destination not only for its outstanding education but also for its cultural diversity, English-taught programs, and numerous attractions and venues for different recreational activities.

Epidemiology degrees in Australia are designed to equip students with strong theoretical knowledge as well as different skills that are vital in conducting evidence-based epidemiological research in identifying causes of diseases, preventing their spread, and coming up with solutions to improving the public health system. Students also collaborate with various professionals in the medical field, policymakers, and members of the community in conducting research, workshops, and projects.

Some of the best universities for studying epidemiology in Australia include the University of Sydney, Monash University, Australian National University, University of Melbourne, and the University of Queensland.

3. Denmark

  • Reason: excellent healthcare system, free education for students from EU/EEA, scholarships, and part-time work opportunities for non-EU/EEA students

Another top destination for studying epidemiology is Denmark. It is one of the countries with the best healthcare system where all its residents, including international students, have free and equal access to diagnosis, treatments, and other medical services. Higher education is also free for students from countries within the European Economic Area and members of the European Union. Several scholarships are offered to non-EU/EEA students and they are also allowed to seek part-time employment while studying in Denmark.

Epidemiology degrees in Denmark aim to develop their students’ analytical and critical thinking skills by using different methods in collecting and interpreting research data. Case studies are also used for students to have a concrete illustration and develop an appreciation of how epidemiology research and practice can play a part in the decision-making process in the field of public health.

Some of the most well-known institutions that provide epidemiology majors in Denmark are the Technical University of Denmark, Aalborg University, Aarhus University, the University of Southern Denmark, and the University of Copenhagen.

Check out: 7 Cheapest Universities in Denmark for International Students 

4. Singapore

  • Reason: excellent healthcare system and superior education and research

Singapore is globally recognized for having one of the most excellent and efficient healthcare systems in Asia and the world. The country’s swift and effective measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as contact tracing, quarantine, and administering vaccinations, kept the number of severe cases and coronavirus-caused deaths low.

Education is also seen as an important factor in Singapore’s national development, which is why the government exerts lots of effort to constantly evaluate and improve the country’s educational system. Universities in Singapore have an international reputation for providing superior education and research in a wide range of fields including medicine and health sciences. Students taking epidemiology majors are trained to become experts in different methods of obtaining and analyzing data and converting them into relevant insights that would help in the planning and implementation of disease control policies and programs.

Some of Singapore’s top universities for studying epidemiology are the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Republic Polytechnic, and the Management Development Institute of Singapore.

5. Sweden

  • Reason: top-rated universities, focus on independent learning and self-development

Sweden is among the best countries to study epidemiology because it is where you can find some of the top 1% of universities and institutions that offer programs specializing in medical sciences and public health.

Swedish education is highly focused on independent learning and self-development, equipping students who aspire to build a career in epidemiology with essential skills to survive and thrive in the competitive and demanding industry. Universities provide a solid theoretical foundation in epidemiology, strong statistical and analytical skills, and practical hands-on experience.

Some of the best-performing universities for studies and research epidemiology in Sweden are Lund University, Karolinska Institute, University of Gothenburg, Umea University, and Uppsala University.

Discover more: 10 Best Scholarships in Sweden for International Students


We hope that you found this article on the best countries to study epidemiology informative and helpful. To know more about studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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