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Institute of Public Health

«The Institute of Public Health conducts research on public health. Furthermore, we provide students with training and continuing education to implement evidence-based and population-oriented health promotion and prevention in various fields of work, and we empower them to promote and shape interdisciplinarity and interprofessional collaboration among health, medical, and social professions in practice.»

Julia Dratva, Andreas Pfister Head of the Institute of Public Health

The Institute of Public Health is a national centre of excellence for healthcare, health promotion and prevention.

The Institute of Public Health focuses on the following:

  • provision of healthcare to the Swiss population
  • public health, health promotion and prevention, corporate health management
  • interdisciplinary healthcare, education and research
  • establishment, management and evaluation of a teaching and research outpatient clinic

Studying for a degree

The three year full-time Bachelor degree programme in Health Promotion and Prevention was introduced for the first time in Switzerland in autumn 2016. 

Bachelor of Science ZHAW in Health Promotion and Prevention

The degree programme offers the only basic education in health promotion and prevention in Switzerland. It focuses on the implementation of public health interventions for various populations. The learning outcomes are based on European standards of professionalism for health promotion and prevention, and address the need for skilled professionals in Switzerland. The course is integrated into the Institute of Public Health at ZHAW. This enables a connection to applied research and development as well as to the Specialist Units for “Interdisciplinary Teaching and Practice” and “Corporate Health Management”.

Interprofessional Teaching and Practice Unit

The healthcare system of the future is facing major challenges: chronic diseases and the demand for health services increase due to demographic change. Therapeutic innovations are constantly evolving, the economisation of the healthcare system is intensifying, the individualisation of society is increasing and the self-perception of healthcare users is changing. At the same time, it is becoming apparent that in the future it will be difficult to meet the demand for qualified healthcare professionals.

The Interprofessional Teaching and Practice Unit searches for answers to questions involving such issues as transformation processes in professional practice, training, further training and continuing education. It ensures that students of various bachelor courses at the ZHAW School of Public Health learn from, with and about each other, as well as acquire interdisciplinary skills.

Research Public Health

The Research Unit for Public Health designs and implements clinical and interdisciplinary studies. Its major focus is on the health system and healthcare research, i.e. the scientific study of the care of individuals and the population using health-related products and services. Key subjects include the evaluation of the need for care provisions in various contexts in the healthcare system such as mental health, quality of healthcare services, education research for health professions, patient information, health promotion/prevention as well as diagnostics and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. The Research Unit participates in the transfer of information by collaborating with practice partners and internationally renowned universities of applied sciences.

Our specialists have vast expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods are part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists from various disciplines in social sciences and public health, including sociology, psychology, public health and economics.

Specialist Unit for Corporate Health Management (CHM)

We offer you sustainable solutions to practical questions on the issues of health and work with our expertise in public health, health psychology, human resources, organisational development and change management.

The Specialist Unit for Corporate Health Management is part of the Institute of Public Health at the School of Public Health at ZHAW. This organisational form offers a wide range of possibilities for cooperation with other institutes, schools and specialists at ZHAW.

Since 2014 the ZHAW School of Public Health has been awarded the “Friendly Work Space” label from Health Promotion Switzerland for its efforts in the field of CHM.


Establishment and implementation of CHM and CHM-relevant programmes

The team at the Specialist Unit for CHM offers support to other departments at ZHAW and to third parties to establish and implement CHM. Services offered include the design and implementation of programmes to address CHM-relevant priority issues.

Research for and together with practice partners

Our research team offers the following services to clients and practice partners:

About us

Our new Bachelor degree programme in Corporate Health Management, the Research Unit for Public Health, the Interprofessional Teaching and Practice Unit as well as the Corporate Health Management are united under one roof.

Institute of Public Health: At a glance

Number of employees: 57

Number of BSc students per year: 61 full-time, 10 part-time students

Research projects in progress: 17

Completed projects: 21

Services: various offers

Vision and objectives

We are an internationally connected and nationally established centre of excellence for the health of the Swiss population situated in the greater Zurich area

Team members

Qualified and motivated professionals in public health (therapeutic professions, nursing, medicine, psychology, sociology and others) work at the Institute of Public Health.