Physical Activity Epidemiology

Program of Study and Degre (MSc/PhD)

The graduate program in Physical Activity Epidemiology and Health Promotion is based on Health Canada's paradigm for health research, the population health framework. This framework aims to:

  1. maintain or improve the health of the overall population, and
  2. reduce inequities in health status between population groups.

A key message from the population health framework is the complex nature of the biological and socio-cultural interactions on the health status of the population. In order to properly understand issues of health at the population level in Canada, there is a need for highly qualified people with diverse educational backgrounds.

The Master of Science degree consists of a minimum of four one-term graduate level courses, and write and orally defense their thesis. Under the guidance of a thesis supervisor, students complete their studies in accordance with the regulations of the Queen's School of Graduate Studies. Doctoral students complete two one-term graduate level courses, comprehensive examination, and write and orally defend their thesis.

Facilities and Equipment

Graduate students in Epidemiology are provided work space in the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory which includes a data management center that houses an array of investigator driven and public access databases. Graduate students in Health Promotion are provided with offices in an area which includes: computer work stations, interview rooms, a quite work space, and a seminar room.


Students may receive funding and experience through research and teaching assistantships within the School. Funding is also available from scholarships, fellowships and graduate awards offered by the University and external funding agencies.

Research Focus

The Romanow report on The Future of Health Care in Canada highlighted the importance of health promotion in its recommendations to integrate prevention and promotion initiatives as a central focus of primary health care targeted initially at reducing tobacco use and obesity, and increasing physical activity in Canada. The new Physical Activity Epidemiology and Health Promotion field in our graduate program responds directly to this need by creating a unique environment for the training of highly qualified professionals to address these important public health issues.

Research Funding Opportunities

Research funding opportunities for topics in Physical Activity Epidemiology and Health Promotion have increased substantially in recent years. The Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) has one institute devoted entirely to population health issues (Institute of Population and Public Health), and cross-cutting themes from the other institutes highlight the importance of population health. Indeed, "Population Health" is one of the pillars in the four-pillar approach to health research adopted by CIHR. In establishing Physical Activity Epidemiology and Health Promotion as a field of study, our graduate program is responding to the need for highly qualified people in Canada to work within the population health framework as established by Health Canada, and specifically on issues related to physical activity and lifestyle. As the field has been recognized and expanded, faculty positions and other job opportunities have been created for graduates.

Faculty Research Interests

For further information please contact one of the following faculty members:

Dr. Ian Janssen

Dr. Robert Ross

Dr. Lucie Lévesque

Dr. Stevenson Fergus


For further information contact
Graduate Coordinator 

School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
SKHS Building
28 Division Street, KHS 206
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

Tel:  613-533-6000 x2666
Fax: 613-533-2009