Department of Public Health Sciences

Department of

Public Health Sciences


Public Health Sciences

site header


A brief overview of course content in the Master of Public Health program is below.

Core Courses

EPID 801: Introduction to Epidemiology

This course provides foundational knowledge on how human evidence relevant to public health is created, assessed, and used, with  a focus on  epidemiological methods. Topics include measures of health status; risk factors and associations with health outcomes; study design including descriptive, analytical, and intervention approaches; validity issues; critical appraisal; assessment of causation; ethics; and application of epidemiological evidence in public health decisions.

Three term hours, fall, every year. Instructor: W. Pickett
​Term 1

EPID 802: Foundations in Public Health  

This course provides an overview of the theoretical and conceptual foundations of public health. It examines the social determinants of health and population health approaches to promote and protect health. It instills in students an understanding of the historical achievements, core values and ethical frameworks that guide public health action.

Three term hours, fall, every year, Instructor: C. Davison  
Term 1

EPID 803: Public Health System in Canada 

This course provides an overview of the public health system in Canada including provision of health care service. The first section of the course will describe how health services are organized and delivered in Canada. The second section of the course emphasizes the key functions of public health, namely: disease prevention, health promotion, health protection, emergency preparedness, health status assessment and surveillance. The final section of the course describes the policy context in which public health and health services are administered in Canada.

Three term hours, Winter, every year, Instructor: D. Hunter
Term 1

EPID 805: Leading Evidence Informed Action 

The course teaches students to apply theories of leadership and change to the analysis and development of public health actions. Approaches to leading change are reviewed at a variety of levels – self, team, organization, individuals, community, government. Practical examples are drawn from the core programmatic and functional areas of public health practice and exemplify the role of the local heath unit organization in leading change.

Three term hours, fall, every year, Instructor: E. Weir  
Term 4

EPID 806: Applied Research Methods for Program Planning and Evaluation 

This course provides an overview of social research methods and tools to assist students to complete the “evidence to action” program planning and evaluation cycle. Topics covered include: defining the issue, using surveillance data, engaging the community, conducting a stakeholder analysis, survey methods, handling qualitative data, building logic models, choosing indicators, communicating the results, taking action.

Three term hours, winter, every year, Instructor: TBD
Term 2

EPID 821: Introductory Biostatistics

​This course introduces basic statistical concepts, principles and techniques essential for community health and epidemiological research. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability distribution, estimation, hypothesis testing, simple linear regression, correlation, measure of association and non-parametric methods.

Three term hours, fall, every year. Lecture Instructors: M. McIsaac  SAS Lab Instructors: A. Day, J. Zhang-Salomons
​Term 1



EPID 886: Public Health Professional Development

This course assists students to lay the foundation for continuing professional development in public health practice. Students are introduced to the MPH Competency ePortfolio and coached to chart their progress in developing skills and competencies through a combination of workshops, seminars and on-line learning modules.

Three term hours, fall and winter terms. Instructor: B. Melles
Term 1 & 2

EPID 887: Practicum Placement

The 400 hour practicum placement provides MPH students with an opportunity to work in the public health field and contribute evidence-informed public health practice. Through the practicum students demonstrate and enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes they have learned from course work as well as reflect on and advance their career development. Placement activities and roles will vary according to the needs and interests of both the host organization and the student.

400 hours, spring/summer, every year. Coordinator: D. Hunter

Prerequisites: EPID 801, EPID 802, EPID 803, EPID 806 and EPID 821

Note: Students are required to pay tuition during their practicum semester.

Elective Courses Offered by the Department


Please note: Not all electives are offered each year.

EPID 804: Intermediate Epidemiology

This course deals with advanced methods and issues in the design, conduct, analysis, and interpretation of epidemiological studies. The content focuses on observational study design and analysis, and builds on epidemiological principles presented in EPID 801. Data analysis will emphasize the application and interpretation of statistical concepts in epidemiologic research.

Three term hours, winter, every year. Instructor: W. King

EPID 807:  Health Economics

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to economic concepts and analysis relevant to health and health care systems. Topics include: health as an economic variable; health production models: uncertainty in health and its effects; the behaviour and influence of various participants (health care providers, patients, government) on health care utilization and health status. No prior economic background is required, although, students must have basic quantitative skills.

Three term hours, fall. Instructor: A. Johnson

EPID 810: Controlled Clinical Trials

This course will cover material relevant to the design and conduct of controlled clinical trials. Design topics will include methods used to achieve unbiased results with improved precision, such as adequate sample size, randomization, blinding, pre-and post stratification, cross -over designs, placebos adn the counting of relevant events. Attention will be given to the problems of conducting multi-centre clinical trials.Topics covered will include drafting of protocols, design of data forms, logistics of data flow, methods of follow -up, data management and quality control, periodic reporting, final data analysis adn the production of final reports. Ethical issues and the role of randomized trials in clinical investigation will be discusses.

Three term hours, winter term. Instructor: H. Richardson

EPID 815 Independent Study :



EPID 817: Foundations of Cancer Control

This course is intended for graduate students, clinical fellows and postdoctoral fellows who are engaged or interested in cancer research. This course will provide students with training in the fundamentals of epidemiological methods in cancer research and with knowledge of how epidemiology could contribute to better understanding of cancer etiology and control in human populations. The course will focus on concepts and methodological issues central to the conduct of epidemiological studies of cancer etiology and control. Topics will include: an introduction to basic epidemiological concepts, biologic concepts central to the investigation of cancer, study design, clinical epidemiology, and cancer control and prevention.

Not offerered in 2017-18

EPID 822: Intermediate Biostatistics for Epidemiologists

This biostatistics course deals with commonly used statistical methods proven useful in health services research and the epidemiological analysis of the relationship between traits, exposures or treatment, and diseases or other medical outcomes. The course emphasizes the statistical modeling approach with topics including: multiple regression, analysis of variance and co variance, reliability of measurements, analysis of categorical data, and logistic regression. This course includes a compulsory SAS Programming component.

Three term hours, winter, every year. Instructors:  P. Peng/ C. O'Callaghan

EPID 823: Advanced Methods in Biostatistics

An advanced course in the theoretical issues and analytical practices in Epidemiology, and Biostatistics. Topics may vary but major topics include analysis of longitudinal and survival data using various regression models; Techniques and strategies for regression modeling; Novel analytic approaches in epidemiology;multivariate analysis methods including discriminant analysis, principal components and factor analysis.

Three term hours, Winter every year. Instructors: K.Ding, D. Tu, W. King

Prerequisites: EPID 821 or equivalent + knowledge of basic statistical modeling techniques deemed adequate by the instructors.

EPID 828: Infectious Diseases

This course provides an introduction to the principles of infectious disease prevention and control relevant to public health practice. The course focuses on the etiology, history, societal impacts, and determinants of infectious diseases of major public health importance. There is emphasis on modern prevention and control efforts that can be applied at the local, national and international levels.

Not offered in 2017-18

Prerequisites: EPID 801 & EPID 821

EPID 829: Foundations in Global Health

Students will be exposed to various global health concepts and be trained to work through potential solutions in a public health context. The course will be taught through formal lecture, seminar and small group learning, and online modules. Topics may include: health; public health and development; aboriginal health; health systems and policies; Canada's role in global health and social justice; and special populations.

Three term hours, Fall . Instructor: C. Davison


EPID 831: Chronic Disease Epidemiology

This course will provide an overview of the epidemiology of some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Canada and will highlight the key methodological considerations for the study of each disease of health problem.

Three term hours: Fall. Instructor: H. Richardson
​Prerequisites: EPID 801 & EPID 821 or equivalents with permission of course coordinator

EPID 832: Mental Health/Critical Inquiry

This course will provide students with an in-depth substantive knowledge about the evolution of health issues that have shaped policy and mental health services.

Three term hours. Winter. Instructor: H. Stuart
Prerequisites: EPID 801 or permission of course instructor.

EPID 833: Issues in Military and Veteran Health Research

Students are exposed to health issues associated with military experience that includes both veterans and military families. As a weekly webinar, the course will include presentations from Canadian specialists who will contextualize military mental and physical health needs and introduce theoretical and methodological approaches to conducting applied health research among this population.

Three term hours, fall. Instructor: S. Belanger

EPID 836: Qualitative Research Methods
Qualitative research seeks to understand how and why people perceive and interact with the world around them. This course introduces graduate students to the nature and scope of qualitative research methods with respect to data collection and  anylaysis in the social and health sciences, giving them theoretical and practical foundations to build on.

Three term hours, winter every year, H. Castleden.

EPID 835: Environmental Public Health

This course provides students with a foundation of understanding, assessing and mediating environmental exposures. Methods for assessing and communicating about exposures, risks and standards in air, water, soil and food are introduced. Case studies of managing hazardous exposures are reviewed. Environmental health policy implications of global climate, energy use and disaster planning are explored.
PREREQUISITES: EPID 801,EPID 821 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

Three term hours. Winter. Instructor: E. Weir


Possible Elective Courses Offered Outside the Department

GPHY ​887: The Geography of Health and Health Care

The course will evaluate the underlying arguments for the traditional definition of medical geography and new ways of defining the geography of health and health care. This course will also consider a selection of topics that are of current interest to medical/health geographers. Additionally, students in this course will be involved in discussion surrounding the context of Canadian and global public policy towards the delivery of healthcare, the implications of people's health, and what this means for those involved in the delivery of healthcare.

KHS 831: Social Networks/Relations & Health

This course introduces students to social epidemiological research on social networks, social relationships,and health. The goal of the course is to provide students with a theoretical, substantive, and methodological foundation upon which they can formulate meaningful research questions and hypotheses that apply to their own work. Quantitative and qualitative approaches to the study of social networks and health will be discussed. Topics that will be covered include social support, social norms, social capital, and network analysis.

Two and a half term hours, Not offered in 2016-17

KHS 862: Community-based Programming

In this seminar course students will apply theoretical concepts from the social and behavioral sciences, health education, and health communication to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of community-based physical activity programs. Interventions and programs for group organization ( e.g. Schools), and community settings that target people, policies, and the environment will be emphasized.

Three term hours, Fall, every year. Not offered in 2016-17

RHBS 932: Qualitative Research Methods in Health Sciences

This course prepares students to evaluate and undertake health related research using qualitative approaches. Topics addressed include the philosophical foundations of qualitative research, research design and rigor, data collection, analysis and interpretation and ethical challenges.

Three term hours, Winter, every year. Instructor: Terry Krupa

RHBS 877/977: Community-based Rehabilitation

This course prepares students to design, develop, implement and evaluate community based rehabilitation programs for and with persons with disabilities internationally. Students will examine basic community based rehabilitation concepts and frameworks, education and training strategies. They will analyze designs and outcomes for a variety of community based rehabilitation programs in Canada and Internationally. They will explore the community matrix developed by the World Health Organization and its application to community based rehabilitation practice, research and education. It will draw on ICACBR international experiences by presenting and analyzing specific examples of International and local programs.

Three term hours, Winter, every year. Instructor: Djenana Jalovcic

SURP 861: Healthy Community Planning

This interdisciplinary course aims to facilitate this reconnection by examining how a range of built natural, and socioeconomic environments impact health and well being at the local level. Moving from the macro to micro, dimensions of communities and cities, such as urban from and sprawl transportation networks, community design, and housing will be interrogated for their health-promoting and impending qualities, while interventions for creating healthier communities will be formulated and designed.

Three term hours, Winter, every year. Instructor: Patricia Collins