Fall 2020 - HSCI 330 D100

Exploratory Strategies in Epidemiology (3)

Class Number: 6292

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2020
    9:30 AM – 9:30 AM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    nine HSCI units including one HSCI 200 division course and either STAT 302 or 305 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 15%
  • Homework #2 20%
  • Midterm Exam (timed exam during the scheduled course hours) 30%
  • Final Exam (take-home exam) 35%


Instructional techniques will include lectures, reading assignments, practice problems, tests and written assignments. Lecture recordings, practice problems and answer keys, and assignments will be available through Canvas. Readings will include electronically available materials from library and on the web.

The course will be mostly delivered asynchronously (i.e., the class will not meet virtually during the scheduled course hours), except for the mid-term exam (a timed exam during the scheduled course hours). Additionally, homework assignment reviews may (or may not -- depending on the situation) take place synchronously to allow students ask questions, etc. thorugh the review sessions will be recorded so that the participation is not mandatory.

The professor may make changes to the syllabus if necessary, within Faculty / University regulations.



REQUIRED TEXT: The textbook is available free of charge online at http://activepi.herokuapp.com so you do not need to buy it.  It is called ActivEpi Web by David Kleinbaum, Ph.D.  

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 2020 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).