Fall 2021 - HSCI 802 G100

Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health (3)

Class Number: 5577

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2021: Fri, 8:30–10:20 a.m.



The underlying concepts and methods of epidemiology in the context of population and public health. Students will acquire skills in the critical interpretation of the epidemiologic literature, methods for measuring disease frequency and effect, evaluation of study design, and assessment of bias and confounding.


Course material will be conveyed through a combination of lectures and discussions, case-studies, individual and group projects, and inquiry-based learning. The focus will be on developing epidemiologic literacy and critical thinking. Some class time will be devoted to real-world case studies and discussing epidemiological research. Throughout the course, the importance of appraising the strengths and limitations of all epidemiological studies will be emphasized. Tutorials will be used for hands-on practice of epidemiologic techniques and concepts.


1.      Explain the role of epidemiology in improving population health and reducing health inequities.
2.      Explain the strengths, limitations, and appropriate uses of major epidemiological study designs.
3.      Calculate and interpret basic epidemiology measures of disease occurrence and disease association.  
4.      Define and interpret the roles of chance, bias, confounding, and criteria for inference in the critical evaluation of quantitative population and public health literature.
5.      Critically evaluate epidemiological literature to provide a rationale for population health programs, policy decisions, and advocacy.


  • Term paper 50%
  • Group project 20%
  • Participation in tutorials 20%
  • Weekly quiz 10%



Essentials of Epidemiology in Public Health, Fourth Edition

By Ann Aschengrau, ScD; George R. Seage, ScD

ISBN: 9781284128352

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

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.