Skip to content

Contemporary Approaches to Population Health and Health Equity

Course Number
4000 (Doctor of Public Health)
Course Instructor(s)
Ross E. G. Upshur

Course Description

This course examines the field of population health sciences. Starting with a review of the concepts of Geoffrey Rose, students will examine foundational theories and methods used in population health studies. Through course assignments and discussion, students will critically appraise these concepts, as well as the various factors that shape population health and the fundamentals of prevention science at both the individual and population level. This course will also focus on the constitutive importance of health equity in theories of population health sciences. This will enable equitable health promotion and governance, and identifying contextual factors that influence health equity deliberations in contemporary approaches to public health practice. Students will further explore the future of this discipline and the importance of what Keyes & Galea describe as humility in population health sciences.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students should have a strong understanding of foundational public health and health equity approaches, as key tenets of population health sciences and its influence on the contemporary and future practice of public health.  Students will be able to:

  1. Describe and define the key concepts related to population health sciences, including the ways in which the concept of population itself has been contested and problematized;
  2. Identify/explain how key concepts have been applied to inform or design population health interventions;
  3. Analyze and describe the value of population health approaches and related interventions;
  4. Identify and appraise ethical frameworks and perspectives to contemporary population health;
  5. Demonstrate critical thinking related to health equity and population health approaches.

Methods of Assessment

Mid-term short critique 20%
Presentation and case analysis 20%
Individual essay 50%
Participation 10%

General Requirements

One course in epidemiology or practice experience managing a population based program or permission of instructor.