The Master of Health Sciences degree is a professional degree designed to give the graduate strong research methodology skills that can be applied to their academic and clinical interests. The program is restricted to applicants who have an MD or equivalent (e.g., dentistry or veterinary medicine). The academic requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies apply to all students. The program consists of 30 academic credits, a comprehensive exam and a major paper. However the student may elect for full-time or part-time enrollment. Full-time students must enroll for at least one calendar year (September to August). The degree granted will read MHSc (Clinical Epidemiology). At graduation the student will be able to carry out clinical research in their area of specialization, as an independent researcher or a member of a research team.
Residency Requirements & the Academic Day
Students pursue course work in clinical research skills. These skills will include survey and questionnaire design and analysis, systematic reviews, clinical trial design, data analysis and presentation. Qualitative as well as program and economic evaluation methodology courses are available. The underlying precepts for all courses are critical thinking skills. There will be an opportunity to explore health policy and population health concepts but not in depth due to the limited number of credits needed to graduate. However, if greater flexibility is desired by the student, the program of study can be modified in consultation with the program director. All students are expected to participate in the ongoing evaluation of courses and programs. Students' experiences and suggestions are an important part of ongoing quality improvement.
Applicants: Please see MHSc Admissions
Courses for MHSc (Clinical Epidemiology)
For those taking the MHSc as residents or fellows, it is expected that ongoing contact with their programs will continue. Where possible, courses are offered from Monday to Thursday. Residents and fellows may have academic responsibilities on Friday and weekends. For MHSc students, School Rounds on Friday are recommended but not required. MHSc students are welcome and are encouraged to participate in any School activities that may be scheduled during their enrollment in the program.
Guidelines for the MHSc Major Essay
The student is encouraged to discuss the program of study with the program director. While there are courses that are prerequisites for other courses, if the course content has been covered elsewhere, it does not need to be repeated.Required courses:
- SPPH 529: Major Essay (0) Guidelines for the essay are described below.
- SPPH 400: Statistics for Health Research (3)
- SPPH 500: Analytical Methods in Epidemiological Research (3)
- SPPH 502: Epidemiological Methods I (3)
- SPPH 513: Clinical Epidemiology (3)
- SSPH 505: Scientific Basis for Epidemiological Thinking (3)
- SPPH 516: Systematic Overviews (3)
- SPPH 512: The Design and Analysis of Clinical Trials (3)
- SPPH 541: Health Services Research II: Economic Evaluation (3)
- SPPH 580C: Health Survey Methods: A Practical Introduction (3)
The major essay is a 10-15 page
paper demonstrating the integration of the course content
and the student's familiarity with the concepts taught.
It is recommended that the student find a supervisor for
the major paper. The Program Director is available for
consultation on content and/or a possible supervisor. Students are expected to present a one page summary of what
they intend to do to the Program Manager who will forward it to
the Program Director. The summary will include the signature
of the principal advisor attesting to adherence of the
Each paper is given a pass/fail grade
by two readers. The student must receive a pass from both readers. The Program Director is the first reader. The second reader may be from any department in the Faculty of Medicine
and serves as a second reader for the project. The criteria for determining the
suitability of the final major paper for the MHSc are:
- Demonstrate epidemiological and
statistical principles as they relate to the clinical,
public health, health services, environmental and occupational
- Originality. It is understood that in today's world
collaboration is necessary. However, the submitted paper
must be work done by the student and not collaborators.
The student, as well as the advisor, must be comfortable in stating that the
student was responsible for at least 80% of the work.
- The paper must be of sufficient quality that, if submitted
to a peer reviewed journal, it would be published, or
if submitted to a granting agency, it would be reviewed
The paper must be submitted one
month prior to the University deadline for submission
of names of students fulfilling the requirements for graduation.
Check the University calendar for exact dates as they
do vary from year to year.
UBC School of Population & Public Health
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