Graduate Courses

Please note:
Enrolment priority is given to graduate students in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics graduate program. If there is space in the course, graduate students from other programs may register for a course provided they have: the required pre-requisites, permission of the course instructor and permission of their home program.


Required Courses

All students must complete a number of half-courses. Course substitutions must be approved by the supervisor and Graduate Chair. If you are granted an exemption for a required course, you must substitute another in its place. At most one credit may be a "practicum".

These courses must include the selections indicated below unless a substitution has been formally granted. Any student (MSc or PhD) given an exemption to Biostatistics 9509A - Principles of Biostatistics (Biostatistics I) due to their prior background in statistics will be required to take Biostatistics 9522A - Topics in Biostatistics or Epidemiology 9660A - Advanced Biostatisticals Methods for Epidemiology instead.

The remaining courses are usually selected from among other courses offered by this program, but they could be selected from other programs' graduate level courses as well, providing the student's supervisor approves the choice and the program offering the course is willing to permit the student to attend the class.

You should discuss your course selections with your thesis supervisor during the first week of September in order to ensure that you are in the correct classes. Your supervisor is in the best position to counsel you on course selection within the context of your background preparation, your thesis topic, and your career goals.

The order in which the courses are taken is important (see below for full course descriptions and prerequisite information).


MSc Required Courses (.pdf)

PhD Required Courses (.pdf)

Exemptions for required courses are given where evidence is provided that the same course has been taken elsewhere. Students exempted from a course will be required to substitute another course in its place. Consent of the Graduate Affairs Committee is required.


Course Catalog

Epidemiolgoy 9505A & 9506B - Research Seminar

The Epidemiology & Biostatistics Research Seminar course is designed to provide graduate students with a broader exposure to the applications of research methods and statistical approaches to research in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, help students develop critical appraisal skills, and provide students with exposure to a diverse group of health researchers to expand their familiarity with different research topics, perspectives, methods, data analytic strategies, and styles for presentation of research findings.
Two 0.5 courses: fall and winter terms

Note: All first year students are required to attend the weekly departmental seminar series. Recently this seminar series has been formalized as a full course (Research Seminar Course: E9505A & 9506B) to appear on students’ transcripts as a pass or fail, based on students’ participation.


Biostatistics 9509A - Principles of Biostatistics

An introduction to applied biostatistics including: frequency distributions; sampling; testing means; testing proportions, and basic sample size estimations; one way analysis of variance, correlation and simple linear regression; non-parametric analyses. Introduction to the statistical computing program SAS.
Must attend a one-hour orientation session held a week before start of class.
Half course; one term.


Biostatistics 9510A - Biostatistical Research Methods

Review of statistical methodology from epidemiological viewpoint, including cohort and case-control designs, relative odds (odds ratio) and relative risks. Introduction to computer simulation, and resampling methodology, including cross-validation and bootstrapping. Introduction to computer packages SAS, Splus/R and LaTeX.
Prerequisite : for biostatistics students only.
Half course; one term.


Biostatistics 9521B - Multivariable Methods in Biostatistics

This course is designed to provide the student with a conceptual understanding of multivariable regression models most often encountered by epidemiologists and biostatisticians. Attention will be limited to linear regression for continuous outcomes and logistic regression for binary outcomes. By the end of the course students should be able to (i) understand and critique applications of regression models appearing in the biomedical literature and (ii) carry out their own analyses.
Prerequisite : Biostatistics 9509A or 9510A or equivalent.
Antirequisite : Epidemiology 9512A
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9529A - Introduction to Health Economics

This course is designed for graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics who have no prior background in Health Economics. The course objectives are to provide the student with an understanding of the economics concepts and tools relevant to evaluate health programmes, policies and interventions in the field of health &
medicine. The topics to be covered are: microeconomic tools for health economics, production of health, demand for healthcare, demand for health insurance, market failure in the health sector, cost-minimization analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis, and cost-benefit analysis.

Half course; one term


Epidemiology 9530B - Health Economics II

*NOTE: This course description is being revised to reflect removal of introductory material to the first term as part of Epidemiology 9529A.

This course is designed to give students a solid background in health economics and its application in the field of health and medicine. The course objectives are to provide the student with an understanding of the theoretical economic foundation of health economics and methods for the economic evaluation of health interventions. The topics to be covered are: microeconomic tools for health economics, production of health, demand for healthcare and health insurance, market failure in the health sector, measures of costs, measures of health outcomes, discounting, cost-minimization analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis, cost-benefit analysis, uncertainty in economic evaluation, decision-analytic models, Markov models, sensitivity analysis, and Monte Carlo simulation. This course will also provide the student with a hands-on experience in conducting economic evaluation using TreeAge Pro software package.

Prerequisites: Epidemiology 9529A.


Epidemiology 9531B - Methods and Issues in Program and Policy Evaluation in Health and Human Services

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the major issues in the fields of health and human services program and policy evaluation. Students will develop an inderstanding of the theoretical frameworks used for evaluative research, validity issues in evaluative research, and the multi-methods, theory-driven approach to evaluation. Students will also develop an understanding of the relative value of different designs that can be applied to evaluation research. Students will have the opportunity to develop their theorectical, methodological, and interpretive skills through various examples and applicantions and through the development of a proposal on an evaluation question of interest to them.
Half course; one term.

Epidemiology 9547B - Survey Research Methods

This course provides an overview of the procedures involved in designing and executing health surveys. Topics to be covered include sampling techniques (addressed at a conceptual level and with basic sampling statistics), data collection strategies with their advantages and disadvantages, questionnaire construction, survey implementation, sampling and non-sampling errors, and several other practical aspects of conducting health surveys.
Prerequisite : introductory statistics course; Biostatistics 9509A
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9550B - Population Health Surveillance

This course covers in-depth methods of measuring and analyzing mortality and morbidity at the population level. The material is presented within the contexts of international and community health.
Prerequisite : Epidemiology 9551A and one of Biostatistics 9509A or 9510A or equivalents are highly recommended.
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9551A - Foundations of Epidemiology

History, concepts and terminology of epidemiology. Basic types of epidemiological investigation, including strategies for infectious and chronic disease. Outline of important epidemiological variables.
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9553B - Analytic Epidemiology

Using published studies, epidemiologic research designs (including experimental, cohort and case-control approaches) will be extensively examined. The development and critique of study protocols is a substantial course requirement.
Prerequisite : Epidemiology 9551A and one of Biostatistics 9509A or Biostatistics 9510A or equivalents.
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9560B - Design and Analysis of Clinical Trials

A comprehensive treatment of the issues involved in the design and analysis of clinical trials. The principal requirement is the completion of a grant application for funding of a project in the student's subject matter area.
Prerequisite : Epidemiology 9509a or Epidemiology 9510a or equivalent.
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9562A - Clinical Epidemiology

A seminar course for health care professionals and epidemiology students that surveys the main topics in clinical epidemiology at an introductory level. The seminars focus on the design and evaluation of clinical studies that evaluate health-care related activities, and judging whether clinicians should, or should not, adapt the activity into their practice. The main topics include evaluation of studies that assess diagnostic tests, prognosis, therapy, early detection activities (screening and case-finding), etiology, and clinical prediction rules; introduction to meta-analysis; and variation and disagreement.
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9563B - Health Services Research Methods

A seminar course for health care professionals that builds upon topics covered in E9562a. The course focuses on health services research, and includes topics such as access, cost, and quality issues facing health care systems, etc.
Prerequisite : Epidemiology 9562A.
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9570B - Introduction to Statistical Genetics

This course will provide students with an overview of the area of genetic epidemiology and equip them to apply their statistical knowledge to analyze genetic data. Main topics include basic terminology of genetics, genetic principles, statistical methods and issues in study designs, population genetics, linkage analysis, association study, genome-wide association study. Some genetics software will be introduced during the course.

Prerequisite: basic knowledge in Statistics and probability


Epidemiology 9612A/B - Selected Topics in Epidemiology

A reading course on some specialized aspects of epidemiology, health care or biostatistics, chosen by the student in consultation with the student's faculty advisor.
Half course; one term.


Epidemiology 9650A/B - Epidemiology Community Practicum

This course will help students integrate course work with the practical skills needed in community health and field epidemiology. Students will gain experience with a variety of relevant methodological tools such as the use of statistical or database computer packages (i.e.: SPSS, EXCEL) and data sets (i.e.: Ontario Health Survey, Ontario Mortality Database), with health information communication and survey design. For example, as part of a practicum, the student may be involved with the preparation of a report on a specific health issue relevant to both the student and the host agency. Currently, the Middlesex-London Public Health Unit is the host agency for the community practicum course. The scope of potential projects will vary and these are meant as examples only. Practicum cannot be substituted for one of the other course requirement for degree credit

The time commitment is 140 hours (10 hours/week for 14 weeks or full time for 4 weeks).

Prerequisite : Epidemiology 9550B, Graduate Chair's permission needed. Students are required to have finished their literature review and data analysis. The thesis must have been deemed complete by the student's supervisor, except for final writing, prior to being permitted to start the practicum.
Half course; one term

Epidemiology Community Practicum
Process for Requests

  1. Student will meet with Graduate Chair to make initial request to be enrolled in this elective course (Epidemiology 9650A/B).
    Time frame: Summer Term, Year 1 (May – August) for a placement the following January (Year 2 Winter Term) for Master’s students; Year 2 – 4 for Doctoral students.

  2. Student discusses interest in doing a practicum with thesis supervisor.  If supervisor agrees with student’s participation and believes it is unlikely to affect student’s time-line for completion, he/she sends letter to Graduate Chair confirming these two points.

  3. Graduate Chair contacts the Student Education Coordinator (SEC) at the Middlesex-London Health Unit with the request, along with the student’s resume and any expressed interest in a particular area.

  4. SEC notifies all of the Epidemiologists at the MLHU of the availability of a student and forwards student’s resume.  Epidemiologists will collectively determine which student project(s) will be offered, if any are available.  

  5. Epidemiologists confirm the project and deliverables (goals and completion targets) and SEC sends the project summary to Graduate Chair.  If more than one project is available and offered by the Epidemiologists, student will indicate his/her preference.

  6. Student will contact SEC to confirm project preference and to coordinate a telephone interview with relevant Epidemiologist.

  7. Epidemiologist will confirm with SEC that the interview was completed and successful and that the dates for the placement have been confirmed.

  8. SEC will notify Graduate Chair that MLHU is prepared to offer the placement to student.

  9. Graduate Chair will communicate with student to confirm participation in the project and the student will then enroll in practicum course.

  10. Graduate Chair contacts SEC to confirm start and end dates.

  11. SEC will provide an orientation for student on first day at MLHU and will contact student to confirm these details. (paperwork to be completed, HR policies, H&S policies, MLHU overview of programs and services)

At the end of the placement, the Epidemiologist will meet with the student to provide feedback on his/her performance in the practicum.  The epidemiologist will provide the Graduate Chair with a summary evaluation (pass/fail) on the course based on whether expectations and deliverables were met. 

The student and Epidemiologist will also complete an MLHU evaluation/ feedback form based on the placement experience and send to SEC.  SEC will pass along any relevant feedback or concerns to the Graduate Chair.


Epidemiology 9653A - Advanced Epidemiology

This is an advanced analytical epidemiology course intended for senior PhD students. A rigorous approach will be taken to the discussion of: counter-factual comparisons, confounding, various theoretical approaches to interaction (counter-factual, sufficient cause, biologic, and statistical), causal diagrams, causal modeling (path analysis and structural equation modeling), biases, misclassification, sensitivity analysis, stratification and the implications of matching in observational studies.
Prerequisite : Biostatistics 9521B and Epidemiology 9553B.
Half course; one term


Epidemiology 9660A - Advanced Biostatistica Methods for Epidemiology

This course is designed to give students pursuing a Ph.D. in either epidemiology or biostatistics a synergized introduction to theoretical concepts in epidemiology as well as the application of advanced statistical methods. Course topics will be delivered in modular format by multiple faculty members.   By the end of the course students should be able to (i) state and illustrate epidemiologic theory behind common advanced biostatistical methods and (ii) design and analysis a complex epidemiologic project.
Prerequisite : Biostatistics 9521B and Epidemiology 9553B.
Half course; one term

"A" courses are offered in the fall term (except Biostatistics 9522A which is taught during May and June)
"B" courses are offered in the winter term.

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