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Fundamentals of Health Research and Epidemiology

Course Code: HIMP 4430
Faculty: Health Sciences
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

Students are introduced to the concepts of health research, epidemiology, the methods to detect bias, and how to determine validity and reliability. Included in this will be the opportunity to identify a research question and hypothesis, perform a literature review and complete a critical analysis of findings.

Course Content

In this course the learner will explore:

  • Research and epidemiology frameworks and terminology
  • The principles of scientific investigation
  • Research study design
  • Testing a hypothesis
  • The process to identify bias in research and epidemiological studies
  • The steps in performing and critiquing a literature review
  • Epidemiological studies, determining design, statistics used and generated
  • The relationship between research and epidemiology within health information management
  • The process to secure and ensure ethical research
  • The relationship between data integrity and governance and health information management

Methods of Instruction

Students will learn fundamentals of health research and epidemiology through a combination of lecture, experiential learning and independent study.  Some or all of the following methods wll be used:

  • lecture/discussion
  • group work
  • group discussions and exercises
  • independent research
  • quizzes
  • instructor feedback on students' work
  • individual consultation
  • presentation (individual or group)

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is consistent with the Douglas College evaluation policy.  An evaluation schedule is presented at the beginning of the course.  This is a graded course.  All assignments must be completed to pass the course.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, successful learners will be able to:

  • Define key research and epidemiology terminology
  • Explain principles of scientific investigation  
  • Explain necessary steps for designing a research study  
  • Distinguish between various types of study
  • Design a research study to test a specific hypothesis  
  • Detect and describe different types of biases and give examples of research studies performed in health care   
  • Justify the most effective methods to test validity and reliability   
  • Design a literature review and complete a critical analysis of findings   
  • Analyze epidemiological studies, identify advantages/disadvantages of each study design, and identify the various healthcare statistics used or generated  
  • Explain how various epidemiological research study designs can be used in health information management   
  • Explain how study design facilitates the outcome studies   
  • Identify the relationship between research methodology and evidenced-based practice in health information management 
  • Demonstrate the importance of ethics in research and epidemiological study  
  • Identify data governance and data integrity issues pertinent to research and epidemiology  

course prerequisites

HIMP 3300, HIMP 3340, BUSN 3300, CSIS 2300, CSIS 3360

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.