Fall 2021 - HSCI 330 D100

Exploratory Strategies in Epidemiology (3)

Class Number: 2132

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    EDB 7618, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2021
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    AQ 3182, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Nine HSCI units with a minimum grade of C- including one HSCI 200 division course and either STAT 302 or 305, with a minimum grade of C-, which may be taken concurrently.



The concepts and measurements of human population dynamics in epidemiological inference. Identification of causes and prevalence of disease. Demographic and molecular methodology to assess the determinants of health and disease.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on using basic epidemiological concepts to evaluate research methods and discern sources of bias to be more sophisticated and critical consumers of real-world epidemiological research.  

OVERALL GOAL: The main goal of this course is to prepare students at a foundational level to evaluate and critique inferences drawn from epidemiological research on common health issues. Students will also experience the value and limitations of epidemiology as a tool for exploring the causes of health and disease in populations.


EXPECTED OUTCOMES: By the end of this course, students who participate should be able to:

  • Define foundational concepts in epidemiology used to make inferences from research results. 
  • Identify, categorize, predict and describe biases due to subject selection, confounding or misclassification of exposure or disease in realistic research scenarios. 
  • Critique epidemiological research using basic concepts of study design and bias.


  • Homework #1 20%
  • Homework #2 20%
  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Final Exam 30%


Instructional techniques will include lectures, reading assignments, group discussions, practice problems, tests and written assignments. Class notes, assignments and PowerPoint lectures will be available through Canvas. Readings will include electronically available materials from library and on the web. The professor may make changes to the syllabus if necessary, within Faculty / University regulations.




Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals, Fourth Edition (Nov. 29 2019), by Penelope Webb, Chris Bain, Andrew Page. The textbook includes an eBook, which contains practice problems and additional materials that are essential for HSCI330.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.