Program Curriculum

On campus core courses:

All Master of Public Health Distance Program graduate students are required to take the following two core courses on campus at the School of Public Health during an intensive two-week summer school at the beginning and end of their program respectively.    

  • PUBH 804.3 - Foundations of Public Health - Provides an overview of the field of community health, including health care organization and community-based approaches to health promotion and disease prevention.
  • PUBH 840.3 - Interdisciplinary Public Health Practice (capstone course) - This class is designed to be the culminating experience for the MPH program. As such, it integrates content and theory of public health practice as experienced by students through previous course work and practica. It recognizes the 7 core competency domains in public health as defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada and provides opportunities for students to acquire skills in all these domains. The course is taught by a team of instructors comprised of faculty, public health practitioners and professionals, and uses interactive methods including case studies, seminars, and class presentations. Students register in the capstone course after completion of their practica.   

Online core courses: 

The following core courses may be taken online during the fall and winter terms or on campus during the academic year. 

  • PUBH 800.3 - Epidemiology for Public Health - The course introduces students to the concepts and basic methods used in epidemiology to evaluate the distribution and determinants of disease and health interventions in public health.
  • PUBH 803.3 - Health Promotion - This course covers the underlying concepts, principles, historical development, theory, and current practice of health promotion. The focus of learning is not so much on "how to do" health promotion, as on "how to think" about the conceptual, ideological, and political issues which underlie health promotion practice. Topics include: empowerment and community, change in individuals, small group development, community organization, healthy public policy, coalition-building and advocacy, linking research and action. It is recommended that this course be taken in year 1, term 2 of a student's program of studies.
  • PUBH 805.3 - Biostatistics for Public Health - This course is designed for students who wish to understand basic biostatistical methods and principles as they apply to public health data. The methods include descriptive statistics, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, non-parametric methods, multiple regression and logistic regression. The emphasis of the course is on applications of these methods to public health data, on correct interpretations of the resulting analyses as to be presented to both public health professionals and general lay audiences, and on the critical appraisal of these methods as used in the public health literature. The course also introduces the computer software program SPSS as it applies to the statistical topics discussed in the course
  • PUBH 867.3 - Health Policy and Politics - An introduction to theory, research and practice in the field of health policy. More specifically, the course will provide an opportunity to critically examine the process of health policy development, analysis and implementation as well as better understand what influences policy. It is recommended that this course be taken in year 1, term 2 of a student's program of studies.
  • PUBH 898.3 - Environmental Public Health - This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to and overview of the key areas of environmental health. Using the perspectives of the population and community, the course will cover factors associated with the development of environmental health problems. Students will gain an understanding of the interaction of individuals and communities with the environment, the potential impact on health of environmental agents, and specific applications of concepts of environmental health. The course will consist of a series of lectures and will cover principles derived from core environmental health disciplines. The sequence of major topics begins with background material and “tools of the trade” (environmental epidemiology, environmental toxicology, and environmental policy and regulation). The course then covers specific agents of environmental diseases (e.g., microbial agents, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation). Finally, applications and domains of environmental health are addressed (e.g., water and air quality, food safety, waste disposal, and occupational health). It is highly recommended that you read in advance of every lecture the materials provided by your Instructor and come to class well prepared to participate to a lively discussion and contribute to a good learning environment.
  • PUBH 807.3 - Health Program Planning and Evaluation - This course covers basic concepts and principles of the cycle of health program planning, which includes needs assessment, program development and implementation, process, impact, and outcome evaluation. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection will be addressed. Guest speakers, case studies, and assignments will link conceptual material with concrete applications.

Online elective courses:

All students must complete a minimum of 15 credit units in their area of interest. These additional courses are chosen in consultation with the student's faculty supervisor and the approval of the MPH Director.

Prior approval is required previous to registration in any MPH elective course not apprearing on the approved list below.  Please complete the MPH Distance Program Elective Course(s) Permission Form and submit it along with a copy of the course syllabus to the MPH Program Director for approval. Students are encouraged to review the course calender for additional opportunity and details about MPH approved elective courses.

  • PUBH 808.3 - Introduction to Health Care Management - Meant to serve as an introduction to management for students in the School of Public Health with little or no management education or work experience. Students will learn management principles applied to health care systems; skills of critical reading; computational competence; and presentation and discussion skills at a graduate level. It will prepare them for more advanced classes in health management.
  • PUBH 802.3 - Public Health Protection - This course will link the theory of health protection with public health applications in real day to day settings in the work place. It will provide direct connections to how the public's health is protected through a variety of programs such as water, food, air quality, soil, tobacco enforcement, etc. Lectures, seminars and field visits will be the main means of instruction.
  • PUBH 809.3 - Field Epidemiology - Links the underlying theory to the practical application of epidemiological methods in the investigation and control of disease outbreaks. Case examples will be drawn from communicable and non-communicable diseases in both humans and animals.
  • PUBH 864.3 - Ethics and Law
  • CMPT 858.3 - Topics in Modelling and Operations Research - In-depth coverage of recent research areas from Operations Research, and applications to system modeling. Advanced topics from mathematical programming, queuing theory, inventory control, simulation, Markov modeling, and simulation.
  • NURS 814.3 - Aboriginal Health Issues - Examines issues and challenges related to the health of Aboriginal populations in Canada. Health and illness concepts will be embedded within historical, social, cultural, and political realities. The student will have the opportunity to critically examine and reflect on Aboriginal health issues and health care practices.
  • AGMD 800.3 - Public Health in the Agricultural Rural Ecosystem (PHARE) - Provides the foundation knowledge for issues related to rural health, public health and agricultural rural ecosystems. This PHARE course provides an overview of the major health issues, general health, and health service delivery issues facing persons in rural and remote areas of Canada. It provides an overview of the environmental health challenges for rural and agricultural populations in the areas of risk management, injury control, workplace safety, food safety, and protection of the biosphere. Note: AGMED 800 provides the foundation for the Public Health and Agricultural Rural Ecosystem Training Program (PHARE), a graduate training program funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). As well, AGMD 800 is beneficial as an elective to students enrolled in such disciplines as Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture, Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry, Economics, Community Health and Epidemiology, Engineering and Health Policy.

Practicum course:  

  • PUBH 992.6 - Public Health Practicum - Public health practice is a central feature of the MPH degree. The practicum provides the opportunity to integrate classroom learning with practice in a public health work environment. Working in a partner agency in the community, the student addresses a public health problem while developing personal confidence and skills as a public health professional.It is recommended that students register in the practicum after completing the five core courses, usually in the spring/summer term. However, it is possible to do the practicum during any term.