Standalone Courses

Standalone (Individual​ Study) Courses


Individuals may be eligible for admission into the MSc Health Policy & Management Programme without the University Admission Test if they achieve a minimum CGPA of 3.00 in three Standalone Courses or CGPA of 3.5 in two standalone courses. The validity of the standalone courses to be transferred to the MSc in Health Policy and Management will be for three years following the completion of the course.

The Courses

Programme Monitoring and Evaluation (2 credits)
The course focuses on principles and methods of programme monitoring and evaluation in health system. It will describe the historical development, purposes, formulation and importance of programme monitoring and evaluation for health, education and social service professions. It will also equip students with understanding about designing the programme evaluation. The course will help individuals to understand the concepts, principles and processes of monitoring and evaluation, apply knowledge and skills of designing monitoring and evaluation (M&E), develop comprehensive understanding of the application, and relate the application of Logical Framework Analysis and Result Based Management in programme planning and evaluation.

Class timings: 
One class per week of 2-3 hours on Saturday, January – March, 2015

Human Resource for Health (2 credits)
The course aims to plan and manage the health workforce so that health services meet health needs. It emphasizes the importance of linking Human Resource for Health with outcomes of the health system. Recruitment, training and deployment of skilled health workers is required at each level of healthcare system in every sector; public, private or not for profit. Retention of proficient and motivated health workers is vital for the achievement of national and global health goals. It is designed to provide an understanding of the significance of human resources in health outcomes, and human resource analysis and planning. The course intends to develop an insight on: the importance of the health workforce; current profile of health workers in terms of numbers, types and distribution; strategies required to have a relevant health workforce; and approaches for effective utilization of health workers.  The course will also equip individuals with skills to analyse the health workforce and develop a human resource plan in a given scenario.

Class timings:
One class per week of 2-3 hours on Saturday, January – March, 2015

Quality Management in Health Services (3 credits)
The course enables managers to work more collaboratively with quality experts within the organizations.  It offers an integrated approach to quality and safety using a ‘systems approach’ that overcomes many of the limitations of quality improvements. It will also introduce the basic concepts of Quality Management and will support participants to initiate/lead the broad based quality improvement efforts in their institutions.

Class timings:
One class per week of 3 hours on Friday, January – March, 2015

Strategic Planning for Health (2 credits)
Leaders in a health system can structure their daily decisions better if they have a wider perspective and vision. This course equips the participants with the theory and tools of strategic planning. By the end of the course each participant will develop a four-step strategic plan for an organisation, preferably their own, that includes an assessment of internal and external environment, determination of organisational direction, establishment of strategic objectives, and development of an implementation and monitoring plan.

Class timings:
One class per week of 2-3 hours on Saturday, January – March, 2015

Health Sector Reform (2 credits)
This course helps participants to learn a structured approach for identifying health sector strengths and deficiencies and developing sustainable reform policies to improve health system’s performance. The course develops critical thinking on what is meant by health sector reform, its conceptual basis and exposes participants to different aspects of reform including regulation, financing, re-structuring, decentralization, drug reforms, etc. in the context of low- and middle-income countries. 

Class Timings: 
One class per week of 2 hours on Saturday, April – June, 2015 
Injury Prevention & Control: Principles & Practice (2 credits)
This introductory course on injury control provides the essential knowledge and skills to understand the public health burden of injury; think through challenges in prevention and control of injuries in the local epidemiological, environmental, economic and policy milieu.  The course would also address violence and disaster in the public health framework and will focus on a health system response to injuries including care of the injured through a trauma and emergency care system. This course examines the strategies used to engage policy makers and other stakeholders for having multi-disciplinary and inter-sectorial collaboration.

Class timings:
One class per week of 2 hours on Saturday, October – December, 2015 

Qualitative Research Methods (2 credits)
This course provides a theoretical, practical, and critical understanding of qualitative research and its application in health research. Different paradigms, political and ethical issues are also highlighted to promote a more critically informed inquiry process. The course follows the actual research process beginning from development of a research question, to conceptualising a research framework, identifying an appropriate methodology, developing specific set of skills for conducting key informant interviews, observations, focus group discussion and analysis. A hands-on practical analysis on using the computerized NVIVO programme is also provided.

Class timings:
One class per week of 2-3 hours on Saturday, October – December, 2015 

Organizational Management
The course aims to equip students with basic healthcare management concepts and develops skill sets for organizational analysis. It offers an integrated approach to organizational management, particularly in the context of health care institutions. It enables the students to learn innovative ideas in health care management and prepares them for a leadership role in professional organizations. It also enables students to learn various challenges prevalent in health care and prepares them to effectively manage these.

Class timings:
One class per week of 2-3 hours on Saturday, October – December, 2015 
Enrolment Requirements
  • ​An MBBS degree; or
  • A master’s degree in basic sciences or any social sector related subjects (business, economics, management, anthropology, sociology, demography, psychology, behavioural science, etc.);  or
  • A four-year bachelor's degree or equivalent in health sciences, social sciences, administration or related field.
  • The course does not have prerequisite coursework; however it is intended for individuals who have had minimum 1 year past work experience in health-related field and/or social sectors.  
How to Apply
Application for admission can be downloaded from here​

Applications must be submitted at: 
Office of the Registrar
Graduate Programme Admissions
Aga Khan University
Stadium Road, P.O. Box 3500
Karachi 74800
Fax: (092-21) 34934294
For query please contact:
Department of Community Health Sciences
Aga Khan University 
Tel: (092-21) 34864855 or 34864916

Course Participants

These courses are an opportunity to take advantage through such a wonderful academic faculty at AKU and improve our understanding and our critical thinking along with polishing our writing skills be it for any of the studies or research. No doubt, overall its one incredible learning experience".
Dr Saqib Ali Shaikh, Section Officer, Public Health, Govt. of Sindh

"This on campus course was just great! I was able to take care of my clinical commitments and then change gears and come into a class for my education. Would like to see more such standalone courses and guidance towards putting them together towards a University degree."  
Dr Hasanat Sharif, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University

"I am learning various ways of applying techniques in such an easy way that it turns tricky tools into smooth sailing boat. Classes are very interactive which boost participants’ level of confidence in pouring in their valuable ideas."
Dr Durenaz Jamal, Deputy Program Manager, EPI-Sindh