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Public Health Policy

Course Number
5300 (Public Health Policy)
Course Instructor(s)
Beverley Essue


This is an intense introductory graduate-level course in public health policy. This course has five key components: 1) a set of required and supplementary readings, 2) weekly online synchronous lectures of 1 hour and 15 minutes sessions, 3) a small-group weekly tutorial, 4) self-directed research and writing for assignments and 5) opportunities to engage individually with instructors and TAs.

Essential Skills:

By the end of this course, you will have achieved the following:

  • Be familiar with the structure of the Canadian health system
  • Be aware of the scope of and types of literatures that make up public health policy discourse
  • Be able to identify underlying racism in public health policies
  • Be familiar with critical anti-racist approaches to public health policy
  • Be able to locate key documents in public health policy (grey literature, research, advocacy papers, etc.)
  • Develop critical reading skills in this field and understand the socio-political dimensions of public health policy
  • Be aware of the major theoretical frameworks used to analyze policy change and their strengths and limitations
  • Be aware of important facets of current public health policy discourse (e.g., the precautionary principle, evidence-based decision-making and the healthy public policy movement)
  • Understand the major policy tools and players involved in public health policy making
  • Be able to write a policy brief
  • Project time management: learning to balance course requirements and plan your schedule to complete required work on time and at a high level

Methods of Assessment

Written assignments 90%
Tutorial attendance and participation 10%