Undergraduate Courses

undergrad

The School of Population and Public Health is pleased to offer the following undergraduate courses, which provide an introduction to some of the foundational principles, ideas, and skills, of population and public health.

These courses will enable students to gain an understanding of patterns and causes of health and disease in different populations, as well as strategies to improve the health of populations, including prevention, treatment, and policy options. They will engage students in the broader social contexts of these subjects, in which questions of equity and ethics often rise to the forefront.

These courses provide a strong background for students who wish to gain insight into the healthcare system to pursue careers in clinical roles, such as medicine, nursing, and physiotherapy. They also will prepare students for further study in the area of population and public health, especially for those who wish to pursue careers that involve research in these areas.

If you have questions about a specific course, please contact the instructor. For general questions about SPPH undergraduate course offerings, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Curriculum, Dr. Daniel Steel (daniel.steel@ubc.ca).

NOTE: Syllabi for all courses are updated as we receive them from the instructors. Please refer to past syllabi for content reference, but understand that room location and times (for example), may be subject to change. If you do not see a course syllabus here, please contact the course instructor directly for more information.

Not all courses listed here are offered every year. Please visit our online schedules (links provided below) to see which courses are currently being offered.

 

Click on the courses below for course descriptions. For schedules please click on the link above.

This course reveals how the conditions in which we live and work can affect our health. Key concepts of social determinants of health in the population that are discussed include: poverty, economic resources, education, policy, neighbourhood conditions, early child development, and access to housing. This is an interactive and thought-provoking course that challenges traditional views on health and disease and allows students to reflect on their own experiences and backgrounds.

Prerequisite:
None.

Term Offered:
Summer, Term One, Term Two

Instructor:
Paul Kershaw (Summer)

Eva Oberle (September Term 1) - Course Syllabus

Martin Guhn (January Term 2) - Course Syllabus

 

This is a course on planning/preparing for work in a developing country. Causes of ill health amongst populations living in poverty; analysis of available solutions. Health Science background not essential. Restricted to Undergraduate students.This course is designed to inspire and inform learners about working in global health. The course syllabus is available here. This year the course will be amended to be run as a predominantly online course, with entirely-online didactic knowledge transfer (i.e. no classroom time), and mainly-online interactivity with peers, the TAs, and the professor. As occurred last year, students will also (with guidance) select and pursue an activity to improve global health, either as individuals or in groups of whatever size cluster of students aggregates to a particular project.

Prerequisite:
None

Term Offered:
Term 2

Instructor:
Erica Frank

This course will help future and current researchers, developers and health professionals understand how to integrate technology and best practices in both clinical and educational contexts.

Prerequisite:
None

Term Offered:
Term 1

Instructor:
Dr. Larry Frisch

The syllabus is available here.

This course builds upon the concept of ecological public health to cover environmental factors as determinants of health of individuals and populations. It will take an integrative approach to how our surrounding environment influences various domains of health and wellbeing, covering local, regional and global health contexts. Scientific theories on the environment’s impact on human health will be outlined. Biological mechanisms and pathways will be explained together with contextual mediators. The focus is on health protection and promotion as well as disease prevention. Both hazardous environmental conditions and environmental “good” will be discussed in terms of exposure or experience and how this can affect human biological systems and modify health and wellbeing. This will be considered in a social and economic context, including aspects of environmental justice, health inequalities, and community health. Exposures to chemical, biological and physical hazards in air, water, food and consumer products are considered along with current public health challenges related to urbanization, climate change, and sustainability. The course will elaborate on potential solutions to these challenges through incorporation of ecological principles in public health policy and practice.

Prerequisite:
None

Term Offered:
Term 1

Instructors:
Matilda van den Bosch
Michael Brauer

The syllabus is available here.
Textbook: Environmental Health from Global to Local, 3rd ed, 2016. By Howard Frumkin

Course info TBD

Prerequisite:
None

Term Offered:
Term 1

Instructor:
Dr. Steve Morgan

The syllabus is available TBA

By collaborating interprofessionally, each student team will identify and research a critical public health issue, and develop a detailed practical and effective intervention. Restricted to Undergraduate students.

Prerequisite:
None

Term Offered:
Previously offered in a traditional face-to-face format, this course is now delivered in mixed format.
Term 2

Instructor:
Dr. David Birnbaum

Draft 2016 syllabus is available here.

This course provides a topic-focused overview of violence and abuse across the lifespan, with particular attention to building knowledge around epidemiology, dynamics, health effects, and an introduction to programs targeted to both intervention and prevention. The socio-ecological model will be used to examine social factors that contribute to violence and abuse, and that can be utilized in crafting prevention-focused interventions. Learners will progress through the course in collaborative teams that model the coordinated community response to violence and abuse.

Prerequisite:
None

Term Offered:
Term 1
Term 2
Instructor:
Svetlana Kishchenko

The syllabus is available here.

This course addresses ethical issues related to health at a population or community level and interventions undertaken by governments or other social organizations to promote it. A sample syllabus is available here.

Term Offered:
Term 2

Instructors:
Daniel Steel

Prison Health (PH) aims to educate students from a variety of disciplines to respond to current health issues within the Canadian correctional system. Through readings, guest presentations and class discussions, students will learn about the complexities of prison health and will gain understanding and skills in order to apply inter-disciplinary approaches to prison health care.

Term Offered:
Term 2

Instructor:
Dr. Ruth Elwood Martin

The syllabus is available here.