Additional Critical Literature Review

This module is only for students of the MScIH programme who start with 180 ECTS credit points. The Additional Critical Literature Review (ACLR) is a small research project in the form of a critical literature review, which should be completed within 3 months.

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This module builds on the basic competencies of searching, screening, summarizing, analyzing and appraising scientific literature.
With the module students demonstrate their abilitiy to:

  • identify a relevant international health topic
  • search for and screen relevant published scientific literature
  • critically analyse the identified literature though classification, comparison and evaluation
  • summarise the results of the literature analysis
  • interpret and appraise the results considering relevant theories, strengths and weaknesses of current knowledge and evidence, commonalities and contradictions of the results as well as gaps in knowledge and research
  • write a consistent, clear and concise paper (thesis) reflecting the structure of scientific presentations


The research should attempt to solve a real problem and should contain solid theoretical work as well as empirical results. It should be both, connected to existing research and centred on a meaningful topic, a topic that is narrow, well-defined and branches out in a new direction. The method is predefined: a critical literature review.

Students should follow the following steps (similar to the steps of the Master’s thesis):

  • Elaboration of an outline
  • Identification of an appropriate thesis supervisor
  • Preparation of a structured proposal with a detailed description of the research methodology for a critical literature review. The proposal needs to be submitted to the Committee of Admission of Degrees (CAD) for approval
  • Conduct of the research
  • Submission of the final thesis document

For further details on the procedures, format and layout, please see the Master’s thesis guidelines.

Assessment procedure

The Additional Critical Literature Review (ACLR) is evaluated by the supervisor and by a second marker as specified by the Committee of Admission and Degrees (CAD). The final mark is the average of both marks. The general criteria for assessing the ACLR are outlined in the thesis guidelines.


  • Registered student of the MscIH programm in Intrernational Health at CharitéUniversitätsmedizin Berlin with successful completion of the foundation phase (Core Course) and only 180 ECTS credit points at the beginning of studies
  • English proficiency certificate equivalent to a TOEFL score of 550 paper/213 internet/80 online, or IELTS score 6

Credit points

ECTS credit points: 15

Fees: 900,- Euro


Please note that students who had to do an ACLR are not allowed to do a Critical Literature Review as Master Thesis. Although they can still work on the same topic, they need to choose a different design.

Recommended Literature

Essential reading:

  • Thesis guideline
  • Jesson ‘How to do (or not to do) a critical literature review’. This is the most comprehensive source with specific focus on health.

Essential follow-up to Jesson:

  • Pautasso - ‘Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review’ also comes from a health focus but it is not as comprehensive as Jesson.

Additional follow-up reading and tips (not to stand on their own):

  • UoAdelaide - Writing Literature Review
  • UoBirmingham - How to write a literature review
  • Harvard Sociology -The Critical Literature Review