Population Health Data Analysis

Make an impact on public health.

We all want to be (and stay) healthy—we want to maintain a healthy environment, healthy people and healthy communities. The study of population health data helps us do this. There's a need for trained professionals who:

  • understand the intricacies of population health data
  • have the tools to accurately examine, analyze and test health data
  • realize the importance of this work in both informing and advancing positive health outcomes within our society

It is these needs that population health data analysis addresses.

Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis (PHDA)

This one-of-a-kind certificate, offered in partnership with Population Data BC and the UVic Department of Geography, fills a gap in the present training needs for those working in the field of epidemiology, population health and statistical analysis.

The four-course, online certificate program will give you strong foundational knowledge and data analysis skills to support your work within the health and social services sector.

Each course combines theory with practice by:

  • introducing relevant analytical approaches
  • addressing their strengths and limitations
  • providing you with the knowledge and evaluative tools to discern how best to apply them in practice

The courses are structured in a way that helps you gain an understanding of data requirements, data formats and the appropriate choice of analytic methods.

Every piece of health data tells a story.

Learn how to find and tell that story. Join us for the following FREE WEBINARS:

  • October 28th
  • November 18th
  • December 3rd
Sign up for webinar

PHDA courses

You can take up to two PHDA courses for professional development, before applying to the program.


Courses open for registration

General Studies

This flexible certificate program allows you to customize a course of study to meet your specific learning goals.
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Population Health Data Analysis

This non-credit program is designed for those who are seeking education and professional development in advanced population health analysis. The goal of the program is to provide participants with strong foundational knowledge and data analysis skills that can support their work within the field of population health.
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Epidemiology - A critical lens into the past and future of COVID 19

Health Canada’s COVID 19 Epidemiology Updates, provide vital information on how Canada is managing the epidemic on both a federal and provincial level. For many of us, these reports may feel overwhelming as we scan for the crucial details - number of rising cases and deaths across the country. However, upon closer observation this documentation provides a wealth of information on how social, environmental and economic factors are contributing to the health and wellbeing of Canadians. It’s this information, in the hands of researchers, doctors and policy makers, that can make a critical difference!

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Chasing a virus

Geography and epidemiology team up to characterize the modern scourge. We all know what geography is. It’s all that business about the names of countries, flags and making maps, right? A recent article in Wired surveyed the discipline among present circumstances with a refreshing resonance, whilst not overlooking its pragmatism. The point is that geography as a discipline has never really seemed so important.

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The role GIS played in the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

The ability to use GIS and epidemiology to address emerging population health issues in our society are key components of the Population Health Data Analysis (PHDA) program.

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GIS Mapping Tools: Driving knowledge translation that gives vision to meaningful social change

Our society generates exponential amounts of information every day. Big data now fuels the engines of change and influence, but how can we harness this power to make meaningful social change?

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We’re getting older, how can we read the signs for better health?

According to The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA),“for the first time in our history the number of Canadians over 65 has exceeded the number of those aged 14 and under.

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Population Data Science – Explore the value, apply the skills

Data now fuels decision-making in almost every sector of our society. As a result, interest in data-intensive science is growing rapidly as opportunities to explore this expanding resource source abound.

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Are Canadians Gambling with their Health?

"Are Canadians gambling with their health?" This was a question asked in a recent health report card update published by the Conference Board of Canada.

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Evaluation and Improvement Science

Expanding your tools and techniques to improve your practice Interested in adding more tools to your improvement toolbox?  There are many ways to support the ongoing management and improvement of health services and programs.

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Find the Story in your Data

Seeing the big picture in the maze of complex and often messy data requires a unique set of skills. To be successful, researchers need to hone their role as ‘data detectives’ to effectively use and analyze administrative data.

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Supporting the health of our society with Geospatial Skills

Geospatial information (GI) identifies the geographic location of natural and built objects; but when combined with other forms of data, it can provide extremely valuable information for a myriad of business, government, academic educational or consumer applications.

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Adele Balram

Adele Balram is a Database Analyst with the New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data, and Training.

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How healthy are we? How do we know?

According to a recent 2016 Health Status Report, 90 percent of Canadians indicated they have good to excellent health. That’s very promising news, especially when you consider that Canada’s average life expectancy of 82 years makes us one of the healthiest nations in the world. But before we get too comfortable, maybe we should check out the whole story. 

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What is PHDA and is it right for you?

Complete four courses to earn a Certificate conferred by the University of Victoria or take up to two courses for professional development. These fully online, non-credit courses can help you take your career to the next level. Apply today!

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Teaching Without Borders

We live in a world where, thanks to the Internet, geographic location is no longer a restriction to accessing quality higher education. The trend towards online learning has been growing steadily in recent years and is opening up opportunities for professional development and lifelong learning to many people who might otherwise not have access to it.

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Short Term Training to Reach Your Long Term Career Goals

You’ve achieved success in your academic degree and launched your career. Short term, professional specialized training offers the theory and the practice that you need to move your career goals forward.

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Using GIS to study health care services and utilization––from local to national

By Anders Erickson, Instructor Access to timely and quality health care is an important determinant of health and well-being.

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Planning a research project: What you need to know

Planning a research project has many key components, from formulating a research question and reviewing available data sources to preparing and analyzing the data. Making your way successfully through this process requires the knowledge and skill to ask the right questions and apply the appropriate statistical or analytic techniques. Many individuals working in the area of population and public health, know they cannot rely on a static set of skills to support the challenges of this work.  

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How to tell if your project is making a difference

Have you ever wanted to evaluate a program or project but didn’t know where to start? In an era of accountability it can be overwhelming to know how best to evaluate and demonstrate the value of your work.  Do you know if your service is delivering quality care? Are you reaching the intended clients and meeting their needs?  Have you been making the best use of your investments?  Like you, there are many individuals working in the area of population and public health who need up-to-date skills in sound monitoring and evaluation practices to answer these and other important questions. 

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PHDA News: Government invests in research to improve health care in BC

Ministers announce major research investment to improve health care for patients in BC The Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada’s Minister of Health, and Terry Lake, British Columbia’s Minister of Health have announced a major investm

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PHDA: Building your Data Analysis Toolkit

In today’s world, the rapid expansion of big data, data networks, and related apps is changing the way we view and think about our society...

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Find your Happy Place...

When does a space become a place? There are a myriad of small open spaces and buildings throughout towns and cities across Canada that offer places for play, walking, social gathering, and contemplation that are not official parks or community centers: boulevard gardens, empty lots turned dog walking spot, or commercial store front used as a gathering space after hours. These are but a few examples of how space becomes place in the context of local residents and the type of information Statistics Canada is trying to gather in its newly launched crowd-sourcing initiative.

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New Program: Certificate in General Studies

Have you ever wanted to design your own credential? Have you ever struggled to find a program that meets your specific interests and needs? Then you might be interested in our newest program: the Certificate in General Studies.

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Brent Parker

I learned about the PHDA program while pursuing work at the BC Cancer Agency. It was good timing, as I wasn’t sure about my professional development plans for that year.

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Melissa Payne, Program Assistant
Tel 250-721-8481
Email phda@uvic.ca