Postgraduate Programme

The overall aim of the Postgraduate Programme in Collective Health at Rio de Janeiro State University’s Institute of Social Medicine (PPGSC-IMS/UERJ) has been, from the outset, to develop critical, interdisciplinary thinking on the processes of health and disease in all their many dimensions and on health policies in Brazil. Its primary function is to prepare graduates for research, teaching and service provision in the field of Collective Health.

Over the past 42 years, more than 1,100 academic products, including dissertations and theses, have been defended on the Programme, added to which its output in papers, books and conference presentations arising out of those products is vast. Both these and the academic and scientific production by PPGSC-IMS/UERJ faculty members reflect its internal multiplicity and a standard that has yielded both articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, which have played a prominent role in the history of PPGSC-IMS/UERJ ever since its founding. The IMS’s role in Brazil’s political life means that this production also features in the press through interviews and essays in mainstream national newspapers.

One of the highlights of the PPGSC is the solid partnerships it has built with Brazilian and international research groups. Some of the leading institutions that PPGSC groups and laboratories have partnered with are described below.

Programme faculty form part of the Network of Observatories of Human Resources for Health (Programa integram a Rede de Observatórios de Recursos Humanos em Saúde, ObservaRH), a partnership among Brazil’s Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organisation and the World Health Organisation. The Programme engages in technical cooperation with the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Universidade Nova de Lisboa; University of California and the Migration Policy Institute (USA) and other institutions, for human resource capacity building in labour management and health education.

The Programme of Study and Research on Subject and Action (Programa de Estudos e Pesquisas do Sujeito e da Ação, PEPAS) maintains systematic cooperation activities with the New School for Social Research (New York), Université de Nancy (France), Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin), Universitá di Bergamo (Italy) and Universidad Complutense de Madri (Spain), which include joint research and publications, co-supervision of postgraduate students, events and professorial missions. It also takes part in the Critical Neuroscience Network, jointly with the Department of Transcultural Psychiatry and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University (Montreal, Canada), the Max Planck Institute for History of Science (Berlin), and the Foundation for Psychocultural Research (Los Angeles, USA).

The Latin American Centre in Sexuality and Human Rights (Centro Latino-Americano em Sexualidade e Direitos Humanos, CLAM) brings together researchers and other partners interested in fostering discussion on sexuality and sexual rights. It coordinates regional activities in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico, pursuing systematic cooperation activities (multicentre research, joint publications, events) with the following institutions: Faculdade Latino-Americana de Ciências Sociais (FLACSO), Universidad Católica del Norte and Universidad Arturo Prat (Chile); Centro de Estudos de Estado e Sociedade (CEDES) and Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina); Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and Universidad Cayetano Heredia (Peru); Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (Xochimilco campus) and Colegio del México. It also works in close cooperation with the Institut National de Santé et Recherches Médicales (INSERM), Paris, by partnering in research and publications.

In addition to the above, our researchers work in collaboration with the following international research centres: School of Public Health, Columbia University; Université de Montreal; University of Ottawa; New York State University; McMaster University (Canada); Universidad Nacional de Colombia; Universidad de la República (Uruguay); Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES, Argentina); Universidad Católica del Norte (Chile); Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (Mexico); Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia); London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (England); University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) and University of Calicut (Kerala, India); and the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS) (Stockholm, Sweden).

These international partnerships are reflected in the programme’s production, which is substantial and high quality.

The PPGSC-IMS offers three levels of qualification: Academic Masters, Doctorate and Professional Masters. The main aim of the IMS’s Academic Masters and Doctorate courses is to prepare personnel trained for research and teaching in the field of Collective Health.

The Academic Masters and Doctorate offer three areas of concentration: Human Sciences and Health, Epidemiology and Health Planning and Administration.

Human Sciences and Health

This area of concentration spans a wide, diverse range of studies of bodies of health knowledge, practice, policy and institutions, privileging qualitative methodologies. The philosophers, psychoanalysts, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, historians and nurses who make up this plural area engage in research in the history of the social sciences, gender and sexuality, disabilities, bioethics, biomedical technologies and diagnostic classifications. The challenge of meshing different forms of knowledge production brings its participants into constant interdisciplinary dialogue. The contribution of classical and contemporary works in the human sciences has provided the opportunity to develop a more consistent approach to the complex social, political and cultural processes involved in establishing and reformulating the boundaries between normalcy and pathology, life and death, pleasure and suffering.


The area of concentration in Epidemiology contemplates lines of research in areas such as domestic violence, chronic and infectious diseases, social determinants of health, nutrition, oral health, environmental health and mental health. The disciplines of the Masters and Doctorate courses give special attention to the study of epidemiological methods and biostatistics, using the theoretical and practical approaches fundamental to training of professionals with an interest in working in the academic context, in conducting research or in managing and planning actions and policies in the health and related fields. These disciplines interleave with thematic seminars that exemplify the use of Epidemiology applied to the health problems affecting populations.

Health Planning and Administration

The Department of Health Policy, Planning and Administration (Departamento de Políticas, Planejamento e Administração em Saúde, DPPAS) comprises faculty and researchers with interests in the areas of concentration in Health Policy, Planning and Administration of the Academic Masters and Doctorate Programmes in Collective Health. It is also responsible for the Professional Masters Programme in Health Administration and for the Specialisation Course in Hospital Administration. Its mission consists in training health professionals and researchers from diverse areas to act and think in relation to the health system and health services. Our faculty members and students have devoted themselves to producing and spreading knowledge systematised with reflective and critical quality with a view to integrating teaching, research and extension. The research groups are organised around thematic areas such as health education and training; health management and workforce; health economics and technology assessment; dimensions of bodies of health knowledge and practice; health policy making, implementation and evaluation; health medico-industrial complex; and global health.