Summer 2019 - HSCI 130 D200

Foundations of Health Science (4)

Class Number: 2594

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    SUR 3090, Surrey

    We 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    SUR 3090, Surrey

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 16, 2019
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SUR 3310, Surrey



How health, illness and disease are defined and measured for individuals and populations. Research strategies used to identify how health, illness and disease are distributed across human populations and how environmental, socio-economic, demographic, biological, behavioural and political factors influence individual and population health. Breadth-Social Sci/Science.


This course is divided into 5 units.  Throughout the course, we will

  1. explore the concepts of health, illness and disease, examining how constructions of health and disease have varied across cultures and historical periods. We will consider how science and technology shapes these concepts and creates disciplines of health science;
  2. learn the terminology used in health science to describe and measure patterns of health illness and disease in public health and put your new skills in epidemiology to work trying to determine factors causing disease in a "mock" outbreak that will occur among members of your class;
  3. focus our attention on the social determinants of health and imagine how we might build health public policy and promote the health of the population;
  4. examine specific health issues (e.g. tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS); and
  5. receive an overview of the Canadian health care system and consider its role in addressing health, illness and disease today.


Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. describe the concepts of health, wellness, illness and disease from a range of perspectives;
  2. differentiate major theoretical paradigms guiding the sociological study of health and illness, epidemiology, public health and biomedicine;
  3. define and apply the core terminology and strategies used to measure health, illness and disease in public and population health (e.g. prevalence, incidence, mortality);
  4. explain how a range of factors may act as potential health determinants (e.g. environmental, socio-economic, demographic, biological, behavioral and political factors) for individual and population health; and
  5. critically examine the way in which socio-cultural and historical contexts influence the definition, theoretical understanding, research strategies and solutions to problems involving health, illness and disease.


  • 3 assignments (including the engagement project) 30%
  • 2 mid-term examinations 30%
  • final examination 30%
  • in class participation 5%
  • tutorial preparation and participation 5%


Students who miss a mid-term examination will have their final weighted by an additional percentage (10/20) for the missed midterm. There are no make-up midterms for absences.

Varsity athletes should send me your detailed travel schedule at the start of the semester and I will provide opportunities for alternative forms of participation for any missed in class exercises.



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Segall, A. and C. Fries. (2017). Pursuing Health and Wellness: Healthy Societies, Healthy People 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press.

Additional readings will be assigned.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.