A1. Introduction to Social Protection: A Systems Approach to Universal Social Protection (2 ECTS)

About this training

This course introduces the social protection and relates it to international conventions and their reflection in the national legislation. Concepts and means to protect the poor and vulnerable are developed. The course explains the origin and the history of social protection in Europe. It relates the social protection to poverty in Europe and the structure of societies. As the course originates in Germany the country with the oldest mandatory health insurance a special attention is paid to German health insurance, including also five other mandatory insurances existing in industrialised countries.

Social Protection and Social Security

Interested in learning applicable skills in the field of social protection? Our course offering covers everything from health insurance and pension systems to policy implementation and monitoring. By partnering with the University of Maastricht, the German Pension Fund and AOK International Consulting, we are able to disseminate the knowledge of a range of experts. Participants can sign up for individual face-to-face and online courses, or complete our Certificate in Social Protection. 

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course the participants should be able to:

  • understand the political, ethical and societal importance of social protection
  • to understand the different aims of and approaches to social protection
  • to consider the supportive effects of the general national legislation
  • know the historical development of social protection in Europe
  • know the extent of vulnerability and poverty in industrialised countries
  • learn about the different approaches to social protection in different systems
  • know about the organisation of the different mandatory insurance schemes
  • be able to explain the benefits of the each branch of social insurance
  • understand the financial impact on the governmental budget and the individual income
  • know the categories of quality and the steps of evaluation

The course is organized in two main modules.

Module 1: Principles of Social Protection

  • Unit 1: Decent living as a Human Right
  • Unit 2: Social protection for the vulnerable population
  • Unit 3: Social protection for formally employed
  • Unit 4: Cross cutting issues

Module 2: Practice of Social Protection in industrialized countries – focus on Germany

  • Unit 1: Social protection in Europe
  • Unit 2: Social insurances –focus on Germany
  • Unit 3: Evaluation of health systems


Teaching and Assessment

The course is offered as a self E-learning course, providing a flexibility to the students to enter and complete the modules at their convenience. It uses a mixture of provision of content in lecture modus, case studies on a practical implication of the concepts, self-test questions, case studies. Two electronic platforms for organizational questions and technical questions give at any time the opportunity for direct contact to the main tutor of the course and technical experts, who are ready to answer questions and give additional input in case of need. The course is with 60h students investment time, incl. modules completion, reading materials, discussions on the online platform, possible chats with tutors or experts. 

Participants’ learning will be assessed on:

  • Full completion of the modules and assignments within the modules (60%)
  • Active participation in technical discussions on the platform of the course (10%)
  • Final test (30%)


Course Experts

Our content development expert:

Dr. Detlef Herbert Schmidt is a physician and has been working for more than 30 years in the German health care system and in international projects. He has been working for health insurance associations for 15 years, mainly in the area of disease management and development of care concepts, and since 2011 also as an independent consultant. Dr. Schmidt has gained extensive experience in development cooperation in the context of disaster relief in Asia, as a project manager in community-based medical projects in Central America, and as a member of a UN peacekeeping mission.


Fee:  480€

Prerequisites: This course is held in English. Fluency in English (Reading, Speaking and Writing) is required.