Practicum Guide

Practicum guide take two

The practicum normally takes place in a single term after you have completed the prerequisite courses: SPPH 400, SPPH 502, SPPH 524 and SPPH 525. Provided the Practicum Director agrees, you can complete your practicum on a part time basis over two terms.

If you are ready to undertake a practicum, it’s a good idea to read the MPH Practicum Guide for Supervisors and Students, and review the checklist below to make sure you will meet all requirements.

Obtain login for internal practicum website

To access the private practicum website, where you can find practicum placement postings and funding information, create an account with UBC CMS using your campus-wide login. Once created, click on the confirmation link emailed to you, then log back in to CMS. You should see the MPH Practicum site under "My Sites" on the left sidebar.  If you have difficulty viewing the private practicum site, please contact the MPH Program Office.

Obtain a work permit if you are an international student

If you are an international student, please ensure that you receive a co-op work permit from the federal government. This permit is required to allow international students to work full-time off-campus. You can apply for this permit when you start the program as the permit will not require you to list specific dates of your practicum.

Familiarize yourself with Policies and Procedures

Our practicum format and content are fully compliant with current Canadian guidelines established by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
MPH students are only eligible to complete one practicum during the MPH program (SPPH 508).

Please read through the MPH Practicum Guide for Supervisors and Students for further policy information in regards to funding, criminal checks, and going abroad.

Identify a practicum opportunity

Practicum placement opportunities will be posted on the internal practicum website as soon as they are received, so it's a good idea to check this regularly.

You are also welcome to research and plan your own practicum placement.  If you need any help during the planning stages with a potential practicum supervisor, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Jane Buxton or the MPH Program office for more information.

Whether applying for a practicum you have found yourself, or one advertised on this site, you will need to contact the person listed on the position description and send through your CV to them. If you are planning on applying to multiple practicum sites, please ensure that you disclose this to the potential supervisor out of courtesy.

Should you have any questions or require help with putting together your application for a practicum, please contact Dr. Jane Buxton or the MPH Program Office.

Submit Practicum learning contract

You will need to complete the Practicum Learning Contract prior to starting the practicum, and have it signed by your practicum supervisor and faculty advisor, as well as sign it yourself. It will include:

  1. Deliverables, students’ responsibilities and obligations.
  2. Confidentiality and privacy and intellectual property issues - ownership of research, data, authorship.
  3. Funding if appropriate
  4. Commitment to regular meetings including midterm review
  5. Final evaluation- by supervisor of student, and by student of supervisor

You should aim to submit this Learning Contract to the MPH Program Office via email at least one week prior to the start of your practicum, and ideally, as early as possible.

Register for SPPH 508

Once you have confirmed your start date for your practicum, you will need to register for SPPH 508.  If your practicum runs through two terms (for example, it starts in September and ends in February), then you'll need to register for SPPH 508 in both terms. The following are the sections you can register in:

  • SPPH 508 001 - September to December
  • SPPH 508 002 - January to April
  • SPPH 508 003 - September to April
  • SPPH 508 921 - May to August


Students completing their practicums within BC are covered through WorkSafeBC. However, students are not covered for practicum placements outside of BC. We recommend that you purchase Student Accident Insurance. which costs $7 per year from UBC. You can find more information here. You can read more about practicum placement safety, including what training is available and how to report an incident, by clicking here. If you would like to purchase insurance, send an email to the Program Manager.

Practicums abroad

If you are completing part or all of your practicum outside of Canada, please review this this page.

Conduct Criminal Records Check (if necessary)

Practicums involving work with children or vulnerable adults will require a criminal record check from the student. Students must pass the criminal record check in order to start the practicum. For more information, please click here.

If you require a criminal records check, please contact the MPH Program Office at Please note that it costs $28 to have a criminal records check.

Check eligibility for stipend

MPH students are eligible for funding up to $2,500 during their practicum. Eligibility is determined on an individual, needs-based assessment. Please return the application form once completed to MPH Program Office and Jane Buxton for approval.

Your stipend is taxable, and the income tax deducted is based on the information you provide to Payroll when completing the required tax forms and varies with each individual. Dependent on your overall taxable earnings for the year, some of the tax paid may be refunded to you upon filing the tax return.

Track hours worked

We encourage students to track hours worked during their practicum to ensure they meet the 12-week, full-time requirement. This does not need to be sent to our office but it can help you in case questions of hours arise.

Submit practicum proposal

You will need to submit a practicum proposal within the first two weeks of your practicum once you have a clear idea of what your goals and tasks are at the placement. This should be a detailed proposal of your practicum describing what you'll be doing and how that links to the skills you hope to develop/learn as well as your final deliverable(s) for your practicum. You can view this as an extension of your learning contract as students often realize that details become more clear once they're at the practicum. This document can be three to four pages long.

Submit interim assessment

Midway through the practicum, students are required to submit the Supervisor Interim Assessment of Practicum Student form to the MPH Program office for the Practicum Director’s review and approval.

Submit final practicum deliverables

MPH students are required to complete and submit within two weeks of completing their practicum:

  1. Two completed final assessments: Student Evaluation of Practicum Form and Supervisor Final Assessment of Practicum Student Form
  2. Practicum output(s) as indicated in the Learning Contract (report, presentation, publication, etc.)
  3. A 250 word abstract summarizing the practicum (refer to the attached UBC MPH Structured Practicum Abstract Form and the MPH Meet & Greet Practicum Showcase page on the private practicum site under Practicum Deliverables)

If you are graduating at the end of the term, you may need to submit your deliverables earlier to meet the graduation deadlines. If this is the case, you can submit draft versions of your practicum output(s) for review and then send a final version for our records.

Present at the MPH Meet & Greet

All practicum students are expected to prepare a poster presentation for the annual September “MPH Meet & Greet and Practicum Showcase”. More information can be found here.