Health Equity and Sustainability


The Future of Global Health Equity

The Health Equity and Sustainability (HES) field in the Advanced Health Care Practice master's program is a one-year, fully online program grounded in principles of equity and justice. The program addresses environmental, socio-economic, and political factors that shape health across the life course and develops current and future health leaders and global citizens.

Building Sustainable Health Solutions

As a student in the program you will explore past, current, and future health equity and sustainability issues. Through courses in Global Health, Health Equity, and Climate Change & Health, you’ll learn to identify and implement actionable and sustainable health solutions, including those related to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Across the year-long program you’ll develop practical skills related to:

  • Critical appraisal and evidence-based practice
  • Design and implementation of health programs and interventions
  • Oral and written communication to diverse audiences across geographies and sectors
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration, thought and evidence co-creation

Interested in learning more about this program?

The Complexity of Health Around the World

As a student in the program, you’ll focus on understanding the complex interactions of the social, cultural, and environmental forces that shape one’s health.

You’ll learn how the contexts and conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age influence their opportunities to be healthy. This understanding will prepare you to address the differences in health status across groups in society, and tackle the design and implementation of health services, policy, research, and decision-making to address key health challenges.

Admission and Applying/Tuition and Fees

General Admission Requirements

All applicants must meet the following general requirements.

  • A minimum bachelor's degree from a recognized university and at least a (B) standing (or equivalent) over the final two years of the program
  • Advanced computer skills
  • Evidence of prior work experience in a related field may strengthen the application
  • Two references
    • Academic (if attended university within the last five years) and professional
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency, including both written and oral communication
    • See below for more information
  • Completion of supplemental questionnaire

English Language Proficiency

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS is recommended)
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 620 (paper-based), 105 (internet-based), 260 (computer-based) or an IELTS score of 7.5 is required
  • Students who, after admission, show an inadequate command of spoken or written English must improve their proficiency to the satisfaction of the Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Students may be asked to withdraw from the program if their command of English interferes with their ability to provide quality professional services
  • Students who are required to present evidence of proficiency in English must make their own arrangements to write the TOEFL and to have the official results sent directly to the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • The English language proficiency requirements outlined above do not apply to students from Quebec

Applying to the Program

Have questions about applying?


To apply to the Advanced Health Care Practice program, students should:

  • Visit the online application website
  • Follow the instructions on that page to access the application
  • Select "Advanced Health Care Practice" from the program options in the application and select the appropriate field

Application Deadline

  • Applications will open November 1 and close August 1
  • Applications maybe accepted after that date if space is available
  • Offers of admission are sent out beginning in late April and continue until the program is filled

Tuition and Fees

The annual domestic tuition fee for this program is approximately $14,000 CAD including ancillary fees (plus $2,100 CAD mentor fee i.e. $700 CAD/term***) which is payable over three terms (September, January and May).

The annual international tuition fee for this program is approximately $37,000 CAD including ancillary fees (plus $2,100 CAD mentor fee i.e. $700 CAD/term***) which is payable over three terms (September, January and May).

These fees are subject to change and are set by Western University. Instructions for students paying tuition from a Canadian bank are available from the Office of the Registrar.

***Please note all fees including mentorship fees and course fees are currently under review and are subject to change and adjustment*

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Program Structure and Course Offerings

Degree Requirements

Through the completion of six courses and a capstone experience (mentorship), graduates of this program earn a Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) degree.

  • Three (3) required courses
  • Three (3) elective courses
  • Capstone Experience

Learn more about elective course offerings.

Required Courses

  • APPLHSCI 9002: Equity and Health Systems
  • One of:
    • APPLHSCI 9017: Implementation Science in Practice
    • APPLHSCI 9018: Environment, Health and Sustainability
  • One of:
    • APPLHSCI 9003: Global Health
    • APPLHSCI 9010: Health Services, Systems and Policy

Fall Term (September - December)

  • Course #1
  • Course #2
  • APPLHSCI 9099: Capstone Experience

Winter Term (January - April)

  • Course #3
  • Course #4
  • APPLHSCI 9099: Capstone Experience (continued)

Summer Term (May - August

  • Course #5
  • Course #6
  • APPLHSCI 9099: Capstone Experience (continued)

Capstone Experience

The Capstone Experience consists of a mentorship opportunity in the student's area of concentration. A minimum of 100 hours will be completed under the supervision of one or more approved mentors in a health setting. Students will identify potential mentorship opportunities within their own community. Together, with their academic mentor (appointed by the Program), an appropriate, available opportunity will be secured.

Students are expected to secure mentors in the fall term but must complete the mandatory course before commencing mentorship hours. Students will consult with their professional mentors and a faculty supervisor to determine learning objectives and goals for the duration of the capstone experience.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Health Equity and Sustainability field of the Advanced Health Care Practice Master’s Program will be able to:

  • Apply an equity lens to the analysis of local, system, and global healthcare challenges and responses, including those connected to public health emergencies, humanitarian crises, and climate change.
  • Understand the historical, social, and structural determinants of inequity in health.
  • Identify, analyze, and (re)imagine drivers of health system change (at micro, meso, and macro levels) to support equity and sustainability.
  • Understand political and practical considerations in the design and implementation of evidence-based programming, initiatives, and interventions related to health equity and sustainability.
  • Appraise the scope and complexity of the multi- and inter-disciplinary body of knowledge in health equity and sustainability.
  • Develop an understanding of the concepts of critical thinking and critical analysis, and appreciate how these skills and approaches inform the examination of health ethics, equity, and sustainability.
  • Articulate the importance and meanings of attending to equity and sustainability considerations in the analysis of complex issues.
  • Act in accordance with professional protocols with a focus on academic integrity and ethical conduct, autonomy and accountability, and commitment to personal and professional growth.
  • Appropriately communicate integrated understandings of health equity and sustainability to diverse audiences.
  • Formulate evidence-informed and convincing arguments within inter-professional and interdisciplinary teams.

Opt In To The Certified Health Executive (CHE) Certificate

As a student in Advanced Health Care Practice master's program, you're eligible for advanced standing toward the Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation.

The CHE is Canada's top professional leadership designation for healthcare leaders looking to expand their institutional leadership career.

Canadian College of Health Leaders logo Western is now a LEADS Canada certified learning provider supporting the CHE designation. The LEADS framework was established by the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL) and addresses health leadership for individuals, organizations, and broader systems.

If you opt in to the CHE, you must complete the following:

  • Submit a detailed project proposal by mid-September
  • Complete APPLHSCI 9001 (required) and APPLHSCI 9015 (elective)
  • Complete a LEADS 360 Assessment and 90-minute debriefing
  • Complete a CHE-designed capstone experience that includes:
    • Meeting regularly with your CHE mentor
    • Developing an organizational change, strategic planning or program evaluation project
    • Organizing and facilitating a program-wide leadership day in collaboration with the other CHE students

For more information, email: