Spring 2021 - HSCI 210 D100

Special Topics in Health Sciences (3)

Health Policy Strategies

Class Number: 2822

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    Will vary according to topic.



Selected topics in areas not currently offered within the undergraduate course offerings.


Course Title: Perspectives on Creating Effective Health Policy Strategies

The world is full of potential actions that could be taken to protect and promote public health goals. Developing and implementing effective policies, to advance such actions, is a critically important challenge. This course is an introduction to public health policy making focused on strategic approaches to advancing policy analysis. The course is structured around the key stages of policy making - problem identification, formulation, implementation and evaluation. Throughout the semester, students will work on a series of short assignments that, taken togehter, will form a policy strategy to address a public health issue.


After completing the requirements of this course, students (at a foundational level) will be able to:

  1. Develop policy strategies to address population health issues.
  2. Explain purposes that policies serve in addressing population health issues.
  3. Identify population health issues that can be addressed through policy action.
  4. Differentiate common normative frameworks applied to population health issues.
  5. Find, select and summarize diverse scientific evidence related to population health issues.
  6. Identify individuals or groups with interests in population health issues and how they are addressed.
  7. Assess how stakeholders are positioned regarding policies (allies/opponents).
  8. Develop strategies to communicate planned policy actions to target audiences.


  • Assignment 1: Issue Brief 10%
  • Assignment 2: Evidence Dossier 20%
  • Assignment 3: Stakeholder Map 20%
  • Assignment 4: Communication Strategy 20%
  • Assignment 5: Health Policy Strategy 20%
  • Assignment 6: Reflection 10%


The median final grade for students in the course will be a B- or B at the highest. This means that half of the students will make the median grade or above, and half will make the median grade or below. To translate numerical marks into letter grades, the set points between one letter and another (the exact cut-off between A+, A, A-, etc.) will be determined at the end of the semester. Students should be aware that the Faculty of Health Sciences has policies to minimize grade inflation in our courses and to be sure that superior performances are rewarded appropriately. At most 8% of students in this course will receive an A+.



Students will need a computer with an Internet connection.


The textbook for this course is:

Health policy analysis : framework and tools for success / John W. Seavey, Semra A. Aytur, Robert J. McGrath. New York, New York : Springer Publishing Company 2014.

The instructors have supplemented this textbook with additional readings and materials available online through the SFU library.
ISBN: 9780826119230


Other recommended readings will be provided in class.

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 spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).