Section of Social Medicine

Social medicine is a core discipline within public health. At the Section of Social Medicine, we investigate life course social, psychosocial, psychological, physiological and behavioural determinants of health and function, as well as the socioeconomic consequences of disease and functional decline, with a focus on social inequality. 

Building housing Section af Social Medicine

We address current societal challenges such as: health problems in socially vulnerable population groups and neighbourhoods, functional limitations and multi-morbidity in the ageing population, health consequences of psychosocial stressors in the working environment and private life, inequity in the use of health services and rehabilitation and consequences of infertility and fertility treatment. Further, we develop and employ a wide variety of epidemiological, psychometric, demographic and qualitative methods in population and patient based cohort studies and in intervention studies. Data sources include comprehensive surveys, clinical and register data, qualitative research interviews and fieldwork, as well as high resolution mobile phone derived data. 

Complex interventions based on detailed knowledge about target populations and their needs, are executed to develop co-created solutions to important societal challenges. Furthermore, the section conducts evaluations of the implementation and outcomes of these interventions using a mixed method research approach. The section quantifies and compares the expected health consequences of major policy initiatives and interventions also from a clinical perspective. 

Our research identifies potential action points for organized societal efforts limiting further health deterioration and social adversities. We continuously contribute to the development of health promotion, prevention and rehabilitation nationally and internationally. In line with the University’s 2023 strategy, we collaborate closely with a number of international research environments, Danish municipalities, regions and stakeholders to increase the societal impact of our research findings. 

The Section of Social Medicine is responsible for pre- and postgraduate level courses in Social Epidemiology, Medical Sociology, Prevention, Health Promotion and Rehabilitation, Clinical Social Medicine and Intervention and Evaluation Methods.

Portrait of Rikke Lund Head of Section of Social Medicine

Head of Section

Rikke Lund

Phone: +45 35 32 79 92
Mobile: +45 24 66 05 35




The Section's research address public health in a life course perspective focusing on social determinants and consequences of disease. Specific health problems in the foetal stage, in childhood and adolescence, in midlife and in old age, and across generations are object of research. The synergies in combining an individual perspective and a population perspective on health and disease are exploited, as well as the the synergies in combining basic etiological analysis with applied rehabilitation and prevention research.

The research is organised within 4 groups. In addition there is a cross sectional group of ph.d.-students, the 'germination box'.

  • Public Health Database: the database is a linkage of a number of registers comprising data on all persons in Denmark from 1980 onwards.

  • Germination box: a unique network for young researchers at the Department of Public Health








The Section of Social Medicin contributes with courses on the following programmes at the Faculty of Health Sciences:

  • Medicine
  • Bachelor and master of Public Health Science
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Global Health
  • Bachelor in IT and Health
  • Ph.d. in Public Health Science

The section's teaching includes

  • Medical sociology and social epidemiology
  • Prevention and health promotion
  • Social medicine, clinical social medicine and rehabilitation
  • Other, including fertility and health, life course gerontology, and intervention

Undergraduate teaching

The Section offers undergraduate courses in the following degree programmes.

Medicine (BSc and MSc) 

  • SEMS (Statistics, Epidemiology, Medical Sociology, 3rd semester, master
  • Clinical Social Medicine, 4th semester, master
  • Disease prevention, health promotion, social medicin and rehabilitation

In addition: VKO (elective clinical practice) in gerontology, in  August

Public Health Science (BSc and MSc) 

  • Social epidemiology and common diseases, 1st semester, bachelor
  • Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1st semester, bachelor
  • Social medicin and rehabilitation, 3rd semester, bachelor
  • Health sociology, 4th semester, bachelor
  • In addition the following elective courses are taught

  • Life course influences on health and ageing
  • Fertility and health
  • Gerontology - every day life and health of older people
  • Intervention and evaluation - introduction to theory and method
  • Stress from the life-course perspective
  • Psychosocial mechanisms - linking disease to occupational stressors

Public Health (MPH)

  • Life Conditions and Health
  • Special module: Health planning
  • Special Module: Evaluation- theory and method

Global Health, master of global health

  • Health promotion and disease prevention, 2. semester
  • Field work, 2. semester

Postgraduate teaching

PhD courses:

  • Advanced Social Epidemiology
  • Complex interventions

The Section of Social Medicine supervises research projects in:

  • Medicine bachelor's projects and master's theses
  • Public Health Science (bachelor’s projects and master’s theses)
  • Public Health (master's theses)
  • Global Health, master theses

We supervise both projects using qualitative methods and those using quantitative methods (primarily social epidemiology). However, unfortunately we are not always able to meet the demands for supervision, due to a very large supervisory activity within the Section.

See list of supervisors

See examples of areas within which the section supervises

On this page, you will find an overview of project proposals and internship opportunities that the Department of Public Health offers to bachelor's, master’s, and research year students.



















Name Title Phone E-mail
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Andersen, Ingelise Associate Professor Emerita +4535327662 E-mail
Bender, Mette Assistant Professor +4535328033 E-mail
Biener, Sigrid Normann PhD Student   E-mail
Bjørner, Jakob Affiliate Professor +4535327394 E-mail
Brasholt, Marie Sørensen Clinical Associate Professor +4560880672 E-mail
Brønnum-Hansen, Henrik Emeritus +4535327974 E-mail
Christensen, Ulla Associate Professor +4535327663 E-mail
Diderichsen, Finn Emeritus +45+5583991373132 E-mail
Foverskov, Else Assistant Professor +4535328974 E-mail
Gadeberg, Anne Kristine PhD Fellow +4535332966 E-mail
Garde, Anne Helene Affiliate Professor +4539165258 E-mail
Hansen, Annegrethe Administrative Officer +4535327984 E-mail
Hansen, Åse Marie Emeritus +4535327956 E-mail
Holst, Bodil Marie Administrative Officer +4535332978 E-mail
Hougaard, Charlotte Ørsted Data Administrator +4535337217 E-mail
Hybholt, Maria Associate Professor +4535320840 E-mail
Jørgensen, Terese Sara Høj Associate Professor +4535335886 E-mail
Kalvåg, Cecilie Kivikoski Student +4535332751 E-mail
Labriola, Merete Professor +4535333132 E-mail
Lund, Rikke Professor, Head of Section +4535327992 E-mail
Malling, Gritt Marie Hviid PhD Fellow +4535327715 E-mail
Molbo, Drude Data Administrator +4535326736 E-mail
Mortensen, Ole Steen Clinical Professor +4523328431 E-mail
Nielsen, Jannie Associate Professor +4535331262 E-mail
Nilsson, Charlotte Juul Associate Professor +4535327122 E-mail
Rossau, Henriette Knold PhD Fellow +4535325179 E-mail
Schmidt, Lone Professor with special responsibilities +4535327631 E-mail
Toft, Ulla Marie Nørgaard Clinical Professor +4529997877 E-mail
Villadsen, Sarah Fredsted Associate Professor +4535327997 E-mail