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Course Descriptions

In order to successfully complete the Master of Science in  Epidemiology, students are required to complete 4 core courses, 3 electives, a thesis and 2 online learning modules.

The following information provides a brief overview of course content of the Master of Epidemiology program:

Core Courses

EPID 801: Introduction to Epidemiology

This course deals with the design and analysis of research in epidemiology. Topics include: measures of health status; risk factors and associations between them; study design including descriptive, analytical, experimental, and theoretical approaches; validity issues; critical appraisal; sources of data; and data collection and management.

Three term hours, plus 1 1/2 hour tutorial, fall every year. Instructor: K. Aronson.

EPID 804: Intermediate Epidemiology

This course deals with advanced methods and issues in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of epidemiologic studies. The content focuses on observational study design and analysis, and builds on epidemiologic 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 and W. Pickett.

EPID 821: Introductory Biostatistics

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

Three term hours, plus 1 1/2 hour tutorial, fall, every year. Lecture Instructors: B. Chen and M. McIsaac. SAS Lab Instructors: A. Day, J. Zhang-Salomons.

EPID 822: Intermediate Biostatistics for Epidemiologists

This biostatistics course deals with commonly used statistical methods proven useful in health services research and the epidemiologic 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.

Three term hours, plus 1 1/2 hour tutorial, winter, every year. Coordinator: P. Peng. SAS Lab Instructors: A. Day, J. Zhang-Salomons.


EPID 899: Master's Thesis Research

Under the direction of Co-supervisors, students will identify a relevant research topic, prepare and present an outline, then a more detailed research proposal. Normally, the proposal would include a statement of the study purpose, the rationale for conducting the research, the study design and data collection methods to be used, a description of the data management and analysis strategies, ethical implications of the study, and the theoretical or practical benefits of the project. Once the proposal is presented to the Department, approved, and receives ethical review and approval from Queen's University, the student will conduct the study, then write and orally defend the results. It is expected that the outline will have been submitted by June of the first year of study; the proposal written and approved by September of the second year of study; and the thesis submitted for defense by the close of the second year of study.

Department of Public Health Sciences Electives

EPID 803: Public Health & Policy in the Canadian Healthcare System ​

This course will provide an overview of health and public health services in Canada. 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, population health 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, fall, every year. Instructor: D. Hunter

EPID 807: Introduction to 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, every year. 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 and 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 and the production of final reports. Ethical issues and the role of randomized trials in clinical investigation will be discussed.

Three term hours, not offered in 2014-15. 

EPID 812: Program Evaluation

This course provides an introduction to public health program evaluation methods. The intent is to familiarize the student with the major issues, methods and challenges faced by program evaluators working in the field of public health. The emphasis will be on conceptual approaches, potential program design issues, and the interpretation and application of program evaluation findings.

Three term hours, winter, every year. Instructor: D. Hunter

EPID 813: Survey Methods

This course provides a practical understanding of how to plan, conduct and manage a sample survey. Topics covered will include: developing survey objectives, stratification, sampling frames, drawing the sample, questionnaire design, pilot testing, sampling and non-sampling errors, interviewing skills. Each student will prepare a survey proposal.

Six term hours, not offered in 2014-15.
Prerequisite: EPID 801 or EPID 821

EPID 815: Independent Study

This course is designed for individual students interests that are not covered by existing courses offered in the Department. Normally, this will take the form of a closely supervised reading course in the area of a graduate instructor's expertise but may also include practical field experience. The proposed study must be improved by the appropriate instructor and Program Director, the Coordinator of Graduate Studies and the Head of the Department.

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 epidemiologic 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 epidemiologic studies of cancer etiology and control. Topics will include: an introduction to basic epidemiologic concepts, biologic concepts central to the investigation of cancer, study design, clinical epidemiology, and cancer control and prevention.

Three term hours,not offered in 2014-15.

EPID 819: Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology

This course will demonstrate the way in which epidemiological principles guide the practice of medicine and the design of clinical research. Topics will include how to select the correct design for a study that addreses a clinical question on how to evaluate the quality of clinical publications and research proposals, and how to prepare a clinical research proposal.

Three term hours, fall, not offered in 2014-15.
Prerequisite: EPID 804

EPID 825: Foundations of Public Health Practice

This is an introductory course in public health. This course will introduce students to individual-, community-, regional- and national-level health promotion and health protection strategies. Examples will be drawn from chronic disease and injury prevention, reproductive and child health, infectious disease prevention and control, and environmental health. Students will be introduced to the role of surveillance in determining public health priorities.

Three term hours, winter, every year. Instructor: P. Belanger

EPID 826: Determinants of Health

This course examines the determinants of health from a population health perspective. Determinants of health such as social, cultural and economic factors; physical environment factors; personal health practices; individual coping skills; and health services will be discussed.

Three term hours, fall, every year. Instructor: B. Alvarado 
Prerequisite: EPID 801 or EPID 821

EPID 827: Public Health Leadership and Administration

This course provides an introduction to public health leadership and administration. The intent is to familiarize students with the main organizational, financial, and service delivery components of public health in Canada. Students will learn principles of strategic planning, public health marketing, legal and ethical issues associated with public health programs and interventions, and will be taught how to tackle system level thinking when resolving community health and organizational problems. This course will build competencies in critical thinking and communication.

Three term hours, fall, every year. Instructor: E. Weir.
Prerequisite: EPID 825

EPID 828: Infectious Disease

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. There is an emphasis on modern prevention and control efforts that can be applied at the local, national and international levels.

Three term hours, winter, every year. Instructor: B. Alvarado.
Prerequisites: EPID 801 and 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, winter, every year. 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 or health problem.

Three term hours, winter, every year. Instructor: L. Levesque.
Prerequisites: EPID 801 and EPID 821 or equivalents with permission of course coordinator. 

EPID 832: Mental Health/ Critical Inquiry 

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

Three term hours, winter, every year. 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, every year. Instructors: S. Belanger.

Interdepartmental Electives

Students in the past have completed electives within the listed departments. Any electives taken within other departments require approval from the MSc Program Director

Computational Science and Engineering (QCSE)

School of Environmental Studies

Department of Geography

Department of History

Department of Mining Engineering

School of Rehabilitation Studies

School of Policy Studies