Abstract illustration of people made up of data.

Every piece of data tells a story. 

The Population Health Data Analysis program will prepare you to tell that story. Learn a broad array of techniques to analyze and interpret health data through online discussions, assignments and practical data analysis applications. Each course in the program introduces relevant analytical approaches—addressing their strengths and limitations—and provides you with the knowledge and evaluation tools to discern how best to apply them in practice.

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Program description

The goal of the Population Health Data Analysis (PHDA) program is to provide participants with strong foundational knowledge and data analysis skills that can support their work within the field of population health. Subject matter and related skill development covered in the PHDA courses support professional development in many key core competency domains as identified by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada.

The multidisciplinary focus of the program attracts a diverse cross-section of health and social science professionals seeking to update their skills and knowledge or learn new analytic techniques. Students bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with their online colleagues, supporting a rich, practice-based learning environment.

This non-credit professional specialization certificate program is offered in partnership with Population Data BC and the University of Victoria's Department of Geography. The program has been recognized for its innovation and excellence in program development in continuing education by the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE).

This program is certified by CIFAL Victoria. CIFAL provides certification for training courses that build the capabilities of individuals and communities towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Participants who successfully complete this course are eligible to receive a Certificate of Completion co-signed by UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) and CIFAL Victoria.


Every piece of health data tells a story.

Learn how to find and tell that story. Join us for a FREE WEBINAR.

View upcoming webinar dates
Illustration of people looking at various health data.

Program features

  • Graduate students enrolled in a related academic program can broaden their knowledge base by taking one of our specialized courses for potential elective credit.
  • Masters graduates can gain new analytic skills to enhance or redirect the focus of their specialization or career path.
  • Working health professionals can learn new software skills and upgrade applied techniques and knowledge for use with large datasets.
  • Managers and policy makers can benefit from learning new analytic approaches and sharing knowledge with colleagues in their related disciplines.
  • The program is exclusively online. This makes it possible to continue working while pursuing further education.
  • Instructors are diverse and qualified industry professionals who bring a practical high-level of knowledge to the theoretical learning.
  • The steering committee comprises academic professionals which ensures the curriculum meets theoretical and industry standards.

All courses include a balance of theory and practical work. In particular, the hands-on lab exercises and/or final project components address the practical analysis of administrative and survey data. They are key elements of student learning, comprehension and knowledge application.

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Through the StrongerBC future skills grant, students may be eligible to receive funding for this program. View details and eligibility

UNITAR-CIFAL certification

CIFAL Victoria


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View current UNITAR-CIFAL courses and programs.

Program partners

Faculty of Social Sciences,
Department of Geography

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Population Data BC

Program outcomes

Upon completion of the PHDA program, graduates will develop and enhance the following knowledge and skills:

  • Evaluate the benefits and limitations of specific kinds of population health related data
  • Access administrative health data and knowing how to prepare it for data analysis
  • Develop theoretical knowledge and understanding in advanced statistical analysis of administrative data
  • Review and analyze case scenarios involving health data analysis and related health outcomes
  • Advance health data analyses and evaluation skills through hands on exercises, labs and/or tutorials using training data sets
  • Expand advanced health data analysis skills in topics specific to individual research or work environments including epidemiology, administration and geomatics

Who is this program for?

The PHDA program is designed to meet the needs of professionals in population and public health (and related social science disciplines) including:

  • analysts
  • policy makers
  • researchers who are seeking education and professional development in advanced population health analysis

PHDA students represent a wide scope of academic backgrounds from master's degrees in population and public health, epidemiology, environmental studies, statistics, sociology, kinesiology and biomedical communications to doctorate degrees in medicine, psychology, geography, biostatistics and international health.

What is the common thread amongst PHDA learners?

An interest in advancing their data analytics and project evaluation skills draws these learners to the PHDA program and brings them together. They want to use these skills to improve the social health and wellbeing of society. By finding the story within the data, they know they can have an impact on services, programs and social policy within organizations, government and business.

Career options

Some of our learners pursue careers in the following roles:
  • Data Analyst
  • Researcher
  • Health Information Manager
  • Health Analysis Manager
  • Health Informatics Professional
  • Health Information Administrator
  • Health Programs Evaluator

The Manager, The Investigator and The Innovator

Because the PHDA program appeals to a wide range of health and social service professionals, prospective students often wonder if they would benefit from the program.

To help you better determine if the PHDA program or individual course selection available for professional development is the right fit for you, we’ve identified three representative personalities

  • Madira, The Manager
  • Dorian, The Investigator
  • Frederick, The Innovator

Each of these three personalities come from different professional backgrounds. However, their priorities, core beliefs, motivations, frustrations and needs make them all great fits the PDHA Program. Whether you identify with Madira, Dorian or Frederick, you will better understand how the PHDA program can help you take the next step in your career and contribute to your organization.

Here are overviews of the three learners. View their backgrounds to learn more about them.

Madria, The Manager

Madira, The Manager, believes population health analysis is not just about “crunching numbers” and statistical analysis, but rather creating “reproducible research” methods for continuity of design and service processes. Madira prioritizes developing the methodological tools to build a culture of flexibility and succession management within her team. She knows this will support the broader organization to work more effectively, build leadership capacity and grow. The mindset that detailed data documentation is “somebody else’s job” as well as inefficiency frustrates her. Learn more about Madira, The Manager.

Dorian, The Investigator

Dorian, The Investigator, believes researching public health and socio-economic needs is essential for driving social policy change. A priority for Dorian as a new staff member is to help his research unit establish an appropriate investigative lens. To do this, he strives to ensure the data holdings and analytic methods he chooses best match the research questions that need to be explored. As he gains confidence, he knows he is building the right skillset to drill into advanced research projects. He is inspired by work that grapples with important societal issues, provides investigative insight and informs meaningful social policy change for the health of our society. Learn more about Dorian, The Investigator.

Frederick, The Innovator

Frederick, The Innovator, believes success is about exploring new ways of working and committing to learning new skills. He prioritizes projects that have the potential to lead to meaningful social and economic change and is most fulfilled when pursuing his passions. Status quo analytic practices, restrictive methods and protocols, and not having enough bandwidth to do great work frustrates him. Learn more about Frederick, The Innovator.

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Location Greater Vancouver
Data source: EMSI 2022

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Courses and fees

= Courses open for registration

Program planning

A different selection of courses are offered every term. To see our upcoming offerings, please view our anticipated course schedule. To assist in your program planning, you can also view all course descriptions

Graduation information

For students who have completed the program, graduation forms are available: Application to Graduate (online form) 

Estimated fees

Description Fee
Program application fee $120.00
Three required courses ($1,250 per course; or $1,400 per course for non-certificate students) $3,750.00
One elective course $1,250.00
Data access fee ($125 per course) $500.00
One-time secure ID token $100.00
Graduation fee $40.00
Estimated Total $5,760.00*
Fees listed in this section are an estimate. Total program fees may vary depending on delivery format, course selections, student fees, textbooks and taxes.

Application information

Admission requirements

In order to be accepted into this program, prospective students must have:

  • an undergraduate degree; and
  • two years working experience in the field of Public Health OR a combination of education and experience and approval from the Chair of the Steering Committee; and
  • successful completion of an introductory statistics course at the undergraduate or graduate level

Students will receive a transcript identifying their marks from the Division of Continuing Studies. Those who successfully complete the program requirements will be granted a professional specialization certificate by the University of Victoria.

Professional development

You may complete a maximum of two courses without completing all requirements for the certificate. You must also submit an application with supporting documentation in order to complete courses for professional development. There is an additional course cost for professional development registrations.

Exemption requests

Individuals may only request an exemption from PHDA02 Epidemiological Statistics or PHDA03 Population Health and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Applicants must provide proof of successful completion of related coursework—including relevant course outline(s)—in epidemiology and/or population health and GIS.

English language requirement

If your first language is not English, you will be asked to provide evidence of fluency through the submission of an IELTS (Academic) score of minimum 6.0 (with no component less than 5.5), TOEFL score of 550 (79 Internet Based TOEFL), completion of the UVic English Language Centre's ELPI 570 level, or equivalent level through one of our English pathway partners.

How to apply

Whether you are applying to complete the Professional Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis or you wish to take one or two courses for professional development, please complete the online application form and provide the required supporting documentation. 

Before beginning your application, please ensure you have electronic copies of the following information to upload with your application:

  1. a copy of your transcript(s) for degree(s) granted
  2. current resume or cv
  3. payment information

StrongerBC future skills grant

The StrongerBC future skills grant is now available in 2024 (January to March) for midstream learners. For more information and eligibility criteria, view the grant details.


Application dates

Starting in
May 2024
Accepting Applications
Apply by
April 22, 2024
Apply online Contact us for more info
Starting in
September 2024
Accepting Applications
Apply by
Sept. 1, 2024
Apply online Contact us for more info