Graduate Courses

Schedule

Non-SPPH Students: If you are not an SPPH student and wish to register in one of our courses, refer to the information for Visiting Students for instructions.

Courses

NOTE: Syllabi for all courses are updated as we receive them from the instructors. Please refer to past syllabi for content reference and keep in mind that room location and times (for example), may be subject to change. If you do not see a course syllabus here, please contact the course instructor directly for more information.

Not all courses listed here are offered every year. Please visit our online schedules (links provided at the top of this page) to see which courses are currently being offered.

SPHA courses offered in the Master of Health Administration program are restricted to MHA students and are listed separately.


Planned collection, numeric and graphic summarization, and elementary statistical analysis of data. Examples primarily from health sciences illustrate standard techniques for parametric and non-parametric hypothesis testing; regression and correlation; contingency tables. Also randomization, "blindfolding" and other specifically biomedical topics in statistics. Class size may be limited.

Please note this is a Graduate level course.

Prerequisite
Ability to use high school Algebra and simple graphs.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Term 1: Blended Learning
Syllabus


Basic epidemiological designs as a framework for commonly used biostatistical techniques such as the Mantel-Haenszel, chi-squared, linear and logistic regression, and survival analysis. Computer packages will be available for computation of assignments.

Prerequisite
Either (a) all of HCEP 400, HCEP 502 or (b) all of SPPH 400, SPPH 502 or (c) all of SPPH 567, SPPH 502.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional (Section 002 - generally intended for Master's students)
Syllabus

Term 2: Traditional (Section 007 - generally intended for PhD students)
Syllabus

Term 2: Blended Learning (Section BL2 - blended learning section)
Syllabus

The following information is provided to help you choose the section that would
be most suitable for you.

How are the sections the same?:

1 - All sections assume only an introductory stats course (e.g.  SPPH 400) as
a pre-requisite.

2 - Completion of any section satisfies your program requirements.

3 - All sections cover the basic complement of regression models (linear, logistic,
Poisson, survival).

How are the sections different?:

1 - Sections 002 and BL2 spend more time on how to conduct analyses using
statistical software.  You will be instructed on how to use 'R' to fit different
regression models.

2 - Section 007 spends more time on concepts and principles.  While 'R' will be
used in class to illustrate analyses, students will not be expected to learn or
use 'R'. Instead, more time will be spent on topics such as: How are variable
selection principles different for causal vs predictive models? How do you obtain
estimates for different risk measures (e.g., causal risk difference vs population
attributable risk vs exposure effect in the exposed) from a fitted regression model?
How do you account for non-simple random sampling?

Which section is better for me?:

1 - Students who want to learn how to fit regression models and have limited
experience using statistical software may find Sections 002 or BL2 more valuable.
2 - Students who have had some previous experience fitting regression models
using statistical software or who are more interested in how to critique
statistical methodology used in research papers may find Section 007 more valuable.

3 - The materials in the two sections are sufficiently different that some students
in the past have found value in attending both sections (in the same or different
years), though unfortunately the system restricts you to receiving credit for one
section only (you have register using 'Audit' status the second time).

Both instructors (Mike: mike.marin@ubc.ca, Hubert: hubert.wong@ubc.ca) are happy
to chat with you to provide additional info to help you decide, if needed.

To explore and compare methods of analyzing continuous and categorical longitudinal data. The issues of missing data and errors in measurement/misclassification will be covered in depth. The material will be taught by reading and discussing a selection of papers and by analyzing data sets using different techniques and comparing the results.

Prerequisite
Either (a) all of HCEP 400, HCEP 500, HCEP 502 or (b) all of SPPH 400, SPPH 500, SPPH 502 or (c) all of SPPH 500, SPPH 502, SPPH 567

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Sources and uses of epidemiologic data for health services planning and administration including methods of data collection and study design.

Prerequisite:
Enrolment in a Health Care and Epidemiology graduate program, or permission of instructor.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Term 1: Blended Learning
Syllabus

Critical thinking in epidemiology; principles and methods of study design; context for epidemiological investigations of human health.

Prerequisite:
Either (a) all of HCEP 400, HCEP 502 or (b) all of SPPH 400, SPPH 502.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

This second level course will teach research trainees to apply methods taught in prior courses towards the development of a fundable research protocol and the analysis and interpretation of real epidemiologic data.

Prerequisite: Either (a) all of HCEP 400, HCEP 500, HCEP 502, or (b) all of SPPH 400, SPPH 500, SPPH 502, and one of the following: SPPH 503, SPPH 506, SPPH 519 or SPPH 530.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus (Section 001)
Syllabus (Section 007)

Term 1: Blended Learning
Syllabus

The course will provide a framework for students to use epidemiological and other scientific evidence to make decisions about causation and to recommend policy actions.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Major quantitative research designs, measurement reliability and validity, common data sources used, internal and external validity, research proposals, and peer review.
Credit will be granted for only one of SPPH 506 or SPPH 548.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Blended
Syllabus

SPPH 507 in conjunction with SPPH 607 is a required course for students in the MSc program. Students present and discuss their research and other topics of interest.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1 - Blended
Syllabus

Includes a significant component of applied epidemiology and biostatistics in a field setting.

Prerequisite
SPPH 400, SPPH 502, SPPH 524, SPPH 525.


Concepts and techniques of measurement in epidemiological research. Topics covered include validity, reliability and misclassification, scale design and the construction of questionnaires and indices for both health outcomes and exposures.

Prerequisite
Either (a) HCEP 400 or (b) SPPH 400.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Collection and analysis of epidemiological data on cancer; genetic, occupational and other risk factors; analytic techniques; cancer control, prevention, screening, early detection and policy issues.

Prerequisite
SPPH 502 or equivalent.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Blended
Syllabus

Ethical considerations, intention-to-treat versus efficacy trials, principles of sampling and exclusion, methods of allocation and techniques of randomization, parallel versus cross over design, monitoring treatment outcomes, adverse effects, stopping rules, analytic techniques and data interpretation, and logistical issues in the management of clinical trials.

Prerequisite
Either (a) one of HCEP 502, HCEP 513 or (b) one of SPPH 502, SPPH 513

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Principles and methods of epidemiology are applied to clinical problems. Evaluation and design of laboratory and clinical tests and of therapeutic interventions.

Prerequisite
Either (a) one of HCEP 400, HCEP 502 or (b) one of SPPH 400, SPPH 502.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Methods and application of decision analysis to improve health from the perspective of the policy maker, health professional, and patient.

Prerequisite
Either (a) all of HCEP 400, HCEP 502 or (b) all of SPPH 400, SPPH 502.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

This course provides students with a strong foundation in the theory of public health surveillance, covering both infectious and chronic diseases. Students get practical experience through the analysis of surveillance data and planning of a surveillance program.

Prerequisite
Either (a) all of HCEP 400, HCEP 502 or (b) all of SPPH 400, SPPH 502.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Term 1: Blended Learning
Syllabus

The course focuses on systematic review methodology so that students will develop an understanding of the key components of a review and acquire the key skills needed to carry out their own reviews.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Clinical Research Methods for Surgical Procedures

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Purposes, context, procedures, and relationships within qualitative health research and methodologies.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Term 2: Blended Learning
No syllabus available



Epidemiology of viral, bacterial and parasitic infections with emphasis on the control of these infections in human populations. Immunization programs will be stressed.

Prerequisite
Either (a) all of HCEP 400, HCEP 502 or (b) all of SPPH 400, SPPH 502.

Term Offered and Syllabus
This course is taught in alternate years (alternating Traditional and Distributed Learning formats)
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Term 2: Blended Learning
Syllabus

Role of air, water, food, and solid waste as sources of human health risks; global environmental health issues; sustainability.

Term Offered and Syllabus
This course is taught in alternate years (alternating Traditional and Distributed Learning formats)

Term 2: Traditional
No syllabus available

Term 2: Blended Learning
Syllabus

The COVID-19 pandemic has thoroughly disrupted settled ideas about what security means for a country and its population! Human security, a framework put forward in the 1990s as an alternative to traditional framings of national security argues that security should more appropriately focus on the status of people and not borders – and sees health as being both essential and instrumental. Human security in fact holds that a people-centered view of security is necessary for national, regional and global stability. This multi-dimensional social perspective also provides an alternative to narrowly constructed technical global health narratives, by not only considering access

Term Offered and Syllabus
This course is jointly taught with INDS 502S
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

SPPH 524, Core Biological Concepts in Public Health, provides an overview on the biology (physiology and pathophysiology) of diseases relevant to public health. The course discusses common and relevant illnesses to public health using an organ system approach, exploring first the normal biology/physiology and then the pathophysiology of diseases. The lectures also present on the epidemiology, screening, diagnosis, interventions, and lifestyle related issues, discuss how these diseases influence individuals’ lives and public health initiatives, and explore illnesses from an individual’s as well as health care perspective.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Distributed Learning, but open to all students

Syllabus

History of public health research and practice; occupational and environmental health; health services and systems; social and lifecourse determinants of health; and population health and emerging trends.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Term 1: Blended Learning
Syllabus

Leadership skills; use of information technologies in leadership; evidence-informed decision-making; policy development; and knowledge exchange and translation.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Blended Learning
Syllabus

Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Foundational thinking giving rise to the concept of population health. Overview of the current state of research.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Term 2: Blended Learning
No syllabus available

Required for all MHSc students.


This course provides an introduction to theoretical and practical issues in relation to population data science and learning health systems. The theory will cover how we think about the performance of health systems, what learning health systems are, the data and other infrastructure we need to support learning and improvement, and the ethical legal and social considerations that underline all of this work. The practical part of the course is focused on real-world application of these theories, for example through projects related to population data science and artificial intelligence. The overarching project will be to use all of these ideas to design a data collection, research and engagement approach to address a real-world policy challenge.

This course uses a problem-based learning approach to introduce students to the material. Each week of the course will build on the last. The material covered here will be complementary to other SPPH courses, building health services research competencies such as knowledge of health care system frameworks and critical and analytic thinking.

This course is intended for second year students, as it will assume knowledge of many of the concepts taught in foundational required courses. Students completing a one-year Master’s program will be considered and are encouraged to contact the instructor to discuss their interest. This course will be relevance to students with a wide variety of interests, from health policy to data analysis including data science to ethical, legal and social considerations to public and community engagement.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional weekly format, but also held on Zoom for students who are unable to make it to campus.

SPPH 531 Jan 2022 - Week by week outline

Updated Syllabus to be posted here soon!

Mechanism of action of commonly encountered occupational toxic agents; relevance of laboratory and epidemiological evidence.

Prerequisite
Permission of instructor.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional.
Syllabus

Occupational diseases; research, historical perspectives, and surveillance
Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Scientific basis for the recognition, evaluation, and control of chemical, physical, and biological exposures; standard setting; exposure monitoring methods.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Experience of colonization; Indian Act; the histories and intergenerational impact of the residential school; child-welfare systems; communicable disease prevention; the challenge of ethical public health practice; and traditional healing.

Term Offered and Syllabus

Term 2: Blended Learning
No syllabus available

Indicators of maternal/newborn well-being across population subgroups, changing trends in obstetrical intervention, perinatal morbidity, and the analysis of perinatal data.

Prerequisites: SPPH 400, SPPH 502 Corequisite: SPPH 500.

Term Offered and Syllabus

This course is jointly taught with OBST 507 in Traditional and DL formats in alternate years.
Term 1
Syllabus

This course will review ethical discussions, principles and frameworks in relation to ethical issues that arise in population and public health. Ethical theory can help articulate the complexities of ethical issues and structure reasoning around the best responses. But there is no agreement about what ethical theory is the correct one, and different ethical theories emphasize different approaches to ethical concerns.

Term Offered and Syllabus

Summer Term only: Online Learning
Syllabus


Examines the concept of evaluation in health services and how various methodological approaches can be used in evaluative studies.

Prerequisite
Either (a) all of HCEP 400, HCEP 502 or (b) all of SPPH 400, SPPH 502.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

 

Economic evaluation of health service interventions and programs, with emphasis on methods and components of program costing.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Analysis of the evolution and structure of the Canadian health care system.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

An advanced course in health technology assessment (HTA) methods and issues for those who have either completed an introductory epidemiology course (SPPH 502) or an equivalent mix of training and planning, management or policymaking experience (and permission from the instructor).  The purpose of this course is to understand the various policy applications of HTA, from assessment to establishing market viability for new technologies, to assessment conducted with an objective to regulate expensive technologies, and to become familiar with the methods used for conducting HTA.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Practice and community-based (participatory) research related to health promotion, including its historical and philosophical roots. Application of social and behavioural theories to participatory research and the planning, implementation, and evaluation of community health promotion initiatives.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Blended Learning
Syllabus

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Resource allocation, economics and ethics based approaches for decision-making, uptake of evidence to inform resource use in health care.

Term Offered and Syllabus

Term 2: Blended Learning
Syllabus


Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2 (every other year): Traditional
Syllabus

Critical examination of strategies regarding addictive behaviours, substance use and related problems, in the context of a multidisciplinary approach.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Blended
Syllabus

We live in an increasingly complex, fast-paced, and volatile world. The stakes have never been higher, and it is no longer sufficient for scientists to throw information into the world and hope that someone is able to understand and apply it. Indeed, it is now clear that scientists have a moral obligation to spend as much time, thought, and effort in the communication of their knowledge as they do in the generation of the knowledge itself. If scientific voices are to be heard above the din, and, more importantly, used for personal, public, and political decision-making, then efficient and effective communication is essential. However, science communication, and particularly the communication of risk in the scientific context, is difficult to do well, particularly without the appropriate training.

SPPH 552 was designed by scientists for scientists. It is an introductory course for students who would like to develop a basic ‘palette’ of science and risk communication principles, theories, and tools. Unlike other scientific and public health disciplines, there is not a single, systematic way communication can be learned or applied. Additionally, there is a tremendous amount of information on communication from a variety of disciplines, but relatively few evidence-based ‘best practices’ for public health communication. For this reason, rather than trying to gather and present everything that is ‘out there’, we have focused on the topics that we have found particularly valuable in our professional practice and synthesized that information into three main pillars: 1) the ‘mission’ (why you are communicating and who you are communicating with); 2) the ‘message’ (what you are communicating); and 3) the ‘medium’ (how, when, and where you are communicating).

The ultimate goal of the course is to provide you with the knowledge, practice, and mentorship that you can use to communicate more effectively in your future career. We also hope that the course will serve as a nidus for your ongoing, independent learning and experimentation in the field of science and risk communication.

Term Offered and Syllabus

Term 1: Blended-Learning (Combines asynchronous in-person online weekly classes, as well as asynchronous online learning)**

Syllabus - online **(Held completely online, whereupon in-person online sessions will be held via Zoom.)

The work of public health professionals in British Columbia is increasingly dependent on large and complex datasets from sources such as Vital Statistics, Medical Services Plan (MSP) billings, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) hospital Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), and PharmaNet. The overarching objective of this course is to provide students with practical, hands-on experience cleaning, preparing, linking, and managing the types of health data likely to be encountered in workplaces as a public health professional. It will use the principles of computer science to ensure correctness, efficiency, security, and reproducibility in all stages of data management and subsequent analyses.

This course is using the ‘SAS’ statistical analysis software, which is is the traditional standard for working with large datasets in the healthcare industry.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Blended
Syllabus

 

Severe addiction and mental illness and the systemic context in which they occur.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Summer: Blended Learning
Syllabus

Injury epidemiology; surveillance; development, implementation, and evaluation techniques of preventive strategies; determinants of health; social marketing; injury policy; evidence-based prevention strategies; utilization of injury datasets.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Blended Learning
Syllabus

Summer:  Traditional
Syllabus

 


Industrial hygiene and environmental exposure monitoring, methods, and instrumentation, and theory. Laboratories demonstrate workplace sampling and analysis techniques.

Prerequisite
SPPH 535

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
No syllabus available

Industrial ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems, respiratory protection, chemical protective clothing.

Prerequisite
SPPH 535.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Human factors in workplace design, anthropometry, work physiology. This course applies knowledge about human capabilities to the design of work, including workspace design, work methods, work organization. Topics include systems design and task analysis, anthropometry and workspace design, upper-limb musculoskeletal injuries and back injuries, shift-work, skilled work and mental activity, psychosocial and organizational aspects of work and ergonomics regulations and standards.

Term Offered and Syllabus
This course is taught in alternate years (alternating with SPPH 568 Safety)

Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Application of occupational hygiene principles using field investigations, critical appraisal of results, and communication with labour and management.

Prerequisite
SPPH 562

Corequisite
SPPH 563.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Determinants of exposure, sampling strategies.

Prerequisite
Introductory statistics.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Traditional: Term 2
Syllabus

Safety management; systems analysis; accident investigation; collection of accident data; fault trees; total loss control.

Term Offered and Syllabus
This course is taught in alternate years (alternating with SPPH 565 Ergonomics)
Term 1: Traditional
No syllabus available

Health issues associated with health and the built environment; design of urban form for non-motorized transportation for the improvement of personal and environmental health; factors that impact transportation choices; applying findings from research to specific transportation planning processes and projects.

Term Offered and Syllabus
This course is jointly taught with PLAN 579.
Term 1: Traditional
No syllabus available


SPPH 580 (3/6) Directed Studies

SPPH 580P (3) Bayesian biostatistics

Term Offered and Syllabus
This course is taught every other year.
Term 2: Traditional
No syllabus available


Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

This is a foundational course for those entering the global health stream. Within the context of least developed countries or resource constrained populations this course will address burden of disease estimates, key indicators and principal determinants of health, global intervention strategies, public, NGO and private sector players in global health and their performance.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

This course is intended to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the important practical skills and key competencies that are required to be successful working in the field of global health.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Summer Term only: Online Learning
Syllabus

This course will serve as an introduction to the fundamental concepts of nutrition with particular emphasis to pediatric populations.

Term Offered and Course Outline
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

Since the early 1990s, Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) has emerged as a highly influential movement that has impacted almost all health related disciplines, including population and public health. At the core of EBM is a set of beliefs about what constitutes good evidence for the effectiveness of health interventions. Consequently, it is an excellent example of what some philosophers refer to as a coupled ethical-epistemic issue. That is, what makes something good evidence for the effectiveness of a health intervention is not only a scientific or statistical question, but is also linked to the deeply value-laden aim of improving health in both clinical and population settings. This course, then, focuses on coupled ethical-epistemic issues arising from EBM, and their implications for population and public health. Specific topics to be addressed include:

  • Ethical and value aspects of the concept of evidence.
  • Potential rationales and shortcomings of evidence hierarchies commonly used in EBM.
  • The role of evidence-based approaches in population health, wherein randomized clinical trials are often infeasible.
  • Susceptibility of EBM to sponsorship bias and disease mongering, and approaches for countering these.

Term Offered and Course Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

This course is intended to provide students with an understanding and substantive knowledge of the epidemiology and burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their determinants in Canada and globally, introduce students to population-based NCD models and teach the principles of developing and implementing policies and programs for the prevention of NCDs

Term Offered and Course Syllabus
Term 2: Traditional
Syllabus

This course will provide graduate students in public health and public policy an opportunity to develop and apply skills in several key areas of analysis relevant to understanding governmental response to crisis, with a focus on the current pandemic of novel coronavirus disease.

Prerequisite:

This course is open to second-year and beyond students in the Masters and PhD degree programs in SPPH and the Masters program in SPPGA.  Prior coursework in policy sciences and public health and infectious disease control would be beneficial.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 2: Blended Learning
Syllabus


Applied project on approved topic based on practicum: requires a written and oral report.


Required course in PhD program. Topics of current interest will be presented and discussed by students and various faculty.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1 - Blended
Syllabus

Research approaches in the area of population and public health; focus on developing research questions and the centrality of research questions in conducting research.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

Drawing causal conclusions from observational data is a common task in the public health sciences. The goal of this 3-credit course is to develop knowledge, skills, and competency in causal inference methodology. The course offers in-depth coverage of methods developed over the past three decades. We will look at probabilistic causality, causal diagrams, counterfactuals, mediation analysis, and methods for evaluating treatment effects.

This course is divided into 12 modules. In each module you will find reading material, tutorials, and videos. By the design, they complement each other. The readings introduce the topic, the videos discuss ideas, and the tutorials help you put them into practice. I will also share a wealth of material that you can use both during the course and long after you've completed it. The tutorials will use Stata; alternatively, you can apply your R programming knowledge from previous courses. Additional tutorials will teach you how to create and analyze cause and effect diagrams.

Term Offered and Syllabus
Term 1: Traditional
Syllabus

SPPH 699: Doctoral Dissertation (0)


SPPH 570 (3) / SPPH 710 (0): Current Issues in Public Health Practice