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:

  • June 16
  • July 21
  • Aug. 18
Sign up for webinar

PHDA courses

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


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

The online Population Health Data Analysis 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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Learn the power of GIS: explore the who, when and where behind health interventions, exposures, and outcomes

In our changing world, disease incidence and environmental risk are an ever-present topic we are all aware of. It’s important to understand the association between environmental exposures and health outcomes.

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Longitudinal analysis – studying the health impacts of loneliness and social isolation

By knowing more about how loneliness is associated with health conditions and morbidity, further work can be done to address questions of concern for both patients and the practitioners who serve them.

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Learn new geospatial skills in 12 weeks

Data has never played a more important role in addressing health outcomes. Regardless of their background, the individuals that enroll in the PHDA program’s geospatial courses are looking to enhance their existing skillset and bring value to their current and future work.

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Geospatial Skills for Collaborative Population Health Action

The fight against COVID-19 is far from over, but in tackling this global pandemic, researchers, governments, and health organizations worldwide have made huge strides in sharing knowledge and combining expertise.

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Q&A with PHDA graduate Wenti Xu

Wenti Xu completed the Professional Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis. Read about how she plans to apply her new skills in her work.

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Expand your data analytic skills: invest in the future of our health

According to the most recent report by the World Economic Forum, the top job roles demonstrating increasing demand across all industries are data analysts and data scientists.

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Q&A with PHDA graduate Frederick Langshaw

Frederick recently completed the Professional Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis and now works as a Project Analyst for First Nations Health Authority. 

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Learn spatial analysis and harness the power of mapping

How many times have you turned to a map to find the closest park, best restaurant or most desirable housing development? Whenever we use a map in this way, we are essentially analyzing its contents to help us make a decision.

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Improving the health of all Canadians

Ten years ago, the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health began recruiting Canadian citizens to participate in what is now one of Canada’s largest population health studies. Today more than 330,000 citizens between the ages of 30 and 74 are voluntarily sharing their detailed health and lifestyle information over several decades.

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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.

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Chasing a virus

Never before has this much data been at the fingertips of epidemiology and geography. This article gives a quick survey of three interesting ways COVID-19 is being dealt with in an epidemiological and geographic context.

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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?

The Professional Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis will give you the skills and knowledge you need to get ahead in your career. Complete four courses to earn a certificate conferred by the University of Victoria or take up to two courses for professional development.

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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. 

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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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PHDA student story on 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