Fall 2021 - HSCI 412 D100

Health Communication (3)

Health Communication

Class Number: 2139

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    BLU 9021, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    HSCI 312 and two HSCI 200-level courses, with a minimum grade of C-.



Theory and strategies for health communication in health systems and in particular cultural contexts. Interpersonal communication in health care, the relationship between belief and the construction of clinical realities, and communication for promoting public health. Social marketing and other strategies for health promotion targeting communities and persons of diverse cultural backgrounds. Communication about environmental and health risks. Students with credit for HSCI 301 may not take this course for further credit.


This is an innovative applied course that works with partner agencies whose work engages the field of human and environmental health and incorporates communication to the general public, patient groups, or professional stakeholders.  Partner agencies attend sessions to explain their current health communication challenges and needs. Students then work in challenge teams to develop innovative strategies that address the partner agencies’ problems or needs.  Students will have the chance to apply the knowledge they have acquired in other Health Sciences courses and from disciplines such as health promotion, environmental health, health systems and health equity.  Students will work in a team environment and experience problem formulation and problem-solving, creative design of interventions or upstream systems thinking and testing of new ideas or solutions. Students will pitch their design ideas and products to community partners to garner feedback which is then integrated into a final product.  Students will keep a bi-weekly journal of individual learning, insights, and reflections which will be peer-assessed. There will be weekly readings assigned from the textbook and research articles. This course will help students develop strong communication and team-building skills.


Course Objectives:  
Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to:

  1. Describe frameworks that are foundational for health communication and community engagement
  2. Researching health communication strategies, solutions and techniques for crafting health messaging including data visualization, short videos and press releases.
  3. Thinking creatively and apply knowledge to real-life scenarios
  4. Create communication-related solutions for community settings and design strategies that allow for testing and evaluation of these solutions.
  5. Critically reflect on health communication requires creative, adaptable and reflective processes to assist in the design of solutions that will contribute to health and well-being.


  • Participation 15%
  • Weekly Reading Journals and Peer Assessment 20%
  • Team Projects 40%
  • Final Presentation and Report 25%


Course with part with Vancouver City Studio and the Greenest City Action plan initiative. Applied work with be done in the area of Environmental Health and Sustainability. Course Schedule may change given partners' ablity to engage. The course has a field trip to present at Hubbub, a round-up of student projects from other institutions across the Metro Vancouver region.


90 credits completed and permission from instructor.



Additional recommended readings and other materials will be available online through links provided in the course syllabus and through the Canvas course container.


City of Vancouver's Greenest City Action Plan- Documents and History. Available at: https://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/greenest-city-action-plan-development.aspx 

Health Communication Message Design: Theory and Practice Edited by: Hyunyi Cho – The Ohio State University, USA. 2011

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.