McMaster University

McMaster University

Course List

The instructor and the university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the students to check their McMaster email and course website during the term and to note any changes.

SGS Graduate Calendar (Click here for University Graduate Course Listing)

HRM Course Timetable

**In addition to meeting the specific course prerequisites, registering in HRM courses requires Enrolment in HRM; or eHealth/Health Policy programs plus permission of instructor

HRM 700 – Philosophy of Science for Health Research [More]

This course introduces students to the theoretical and methodological foundations of health research, a field currently characterized by the paradigms of the biomedical, public health, and social sciences.  Topics covered in the course include:  the logic of scientific inference, theorizing and empiricism in scientific knowledge, ontological and epistemological foundations of common health research methodologies, theories of scientific progress, and the role of values, ideology, and technology in science.  

Prerequisites: permission of instructor

HRM 702 – Introduction to Biostatistics [More]

Basic statistical concepts and techniques as they apply to analysis and presentation of data in biostatistical and epidemiology practice. The course covers: graphical presentation of data, elementary probability, descriptive statistics, probability distributions, and introduces hypothesis testing using parametric and non-parametric methods. Specific techniques covered include z-tests, t-tests, ANOVA, contingency tables, regression and correlation.

Prerequisites:  Not required for HRM students, otherwise, permission of instructor

HRM 705 – Independent Study in Clinical Epidemiology [More]

This course is designed to allow students to either tailor their learning to the specific topics in clinical or health care, health policy and research methodology relevant to their clinical or health care and research interests and do advanced work in this area. The topic studied may be synergistic with the students thesis topic but must not represent a major overlap with it. Under the guidance of a faculty member, the student will critically examine the pertinent literature. Only one of HRM 722 or HRM 705 can be counted towards the minimum course requirements of the HRM program at the MSc and at the PhD levels.  A copy of the application form follows at the end of this section.

Prerequisites:  HRM 721 and HRM 730 or HRM 751; enrolment in the HRM Graduate Program.

HRM 711 – Health Economics & Evaluation [More]

This course examines the application of economic principles to policy-relevant questions in the area of health and health-care. Topics will include applied health economics, economic correlates to health, demand and supply of healthcare and insurance, healthcare system financing, economic evaluation in the pharmaceutical/medical devices industries, costing methodologies, cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses, QALYs, decision analysis, modeling and means by which to improve value-for-money in the the health sector.

Prerequisites: HSM stream of MBA, or permisson of instructor. Antirequisite: HRM 789

HRM 721 – Fundamentals of Health Research & Evaluation Methods [More]

The course will cover the basic concepts in formulating a research question, literature review, study design, selection of study sample, outcome measurement, research ethics and knowledge translation. The course will provide students the opportunity to develop a research question and determine the appropriate research method for a research proposal. Research designs that will be discussed include randomized clinical trials, cohort and case-control designs and the evaluation of diagnostic test properties.   

Prerequisites: Enrolment in HRM; or eHealth/Health Policy programs plus permission of instructor

HRM 722 – Selected Topics in Clinical Epidemiology [More]

This special topics course will present leading edge thinking regarding controversies in health, health care, and population health research. Only one of HRM 705 or HRM 722 can be counted towards the minimum course requirements of the HRM program at the MSc and at the PhD levels. Students taking this course cannot also receive credit for any subsequent regular course offering on the same topic.

Prerequisites: HRM 721 and HRM 730 or HRM 751; permission of course instructor.

HRM 723 – Regression Analysis [More]

This is a second level course in statistical methods, concentrating on regression models of various types. Topics covered include various main techniques of simple and multiple linear regression, and techniques such as use of dummy variables, covariance adjustment, residual analysis and assessment of model fit. A similar agenda is followed for logistic regression, appropriate for binary outcome variables. We also consider some advanced topics and related methods.

Prerequisites: HRM 702 or permission of instructor

HRM 724 – eHealth: Fundamentals of eHealth and the Canadian Health Care System [More]

This tutorial-based course will cover a broad range of eHealth topics from the perspective of health care delivery. Topics include a definition of eHealth; health care data; hospital and primary care information systems (i.e. electronic health records [EHR] systems); specialty components of an EHR system; how health professionals use data; human/cognitive factors in development and implementation of eHealth applications; standards, vocabulary and nomenclatures and how used; aggregation of health information, especially for research purposes, patient information systems and consumer eHealth; research and evaluation of eHealth applications and research using eHealth applications; implementation issues and privacy, security, and confidentiality; and the future of eHealth.

Prerequisites: 1-day orientation to the Canadian Health Care System for students (non-health background).

HRM 726 –The Science and Practice of Knowledge Translation: Foundations [More]

This is an overview course aimed to introduce graduate students to the science and practice of knowledge translation and exchange (KT).   This course will be of interest to graduate students who wish to pursue an academic career in the field of KT, students whose primary research is in another domain but wish to strengthen their KT-related skills, and students who are interested in doing KT as part of their professional activities.   This course is part of the Health Services Research field of the HRM graduate program.

Prerequisites: HRM 721 or permission of instructor

HRM 727 – Theory & Practice of Measurement [More]

Principles of subjective assessment in topic areas ranging from educational evaluation to patient-based measurement of  health attitudes or health status. Discussion includes: principles and methods of constructing rating scales and approaches to assessing the measurement properties of such scales. Special emphasis on assesment of reliability and validity -- various forms of reliability (test-re-test, interobserver, split-halves), distinction between reliability and agreement, and indirect methods to assess validity of an instrument in the absence of a "gold standard". Advanced topics in generalizability theory will be introduced. Format is that of lecture, plus small group discussion.

Prerequisites: HRM 702, or equivalent intro stats course, or permission of the instructor

HRM 728 – Genetic Epidemiology & Statistics [More]

Genetic epidemiology overlaps with molecular epidemiology. It is the epidemiological evaluation of the role of inherited causes of disease in families and in populations; it aims to detect the inheritance pattern of a particular disease, localize the gene, and find a marker associated with disease susceptibility. Gene-gene and gene-environment interactions are also studied in genetic epidemiology of a disease. Genetic epidemiology is “a science which deals with the etiology, distribution, and control of disease in groups of relatives and with inherited causes of disease in populations” (Morton NE, 1982).

Prerequisites: HRM 701/702 (or equivalent)

HRM 730 – Introduction to Research Methods for Randomized Controlled Trials [More]

This course will introduce students to the main elements of clinical trial design, execution and analysis. At the end of this course, students should have a firm grasp of clinical trial methodology at a level that would allow them to prepare successful grant applications.

Prerequisites:  HRM 721 (or equivalent)

HRM 733 – Statistical and Methodological Issues in Randomized Clinical Trials [More]

This course will consider important statistical issues relating to the design, analysis and interpretation of randomized clinical trials. Specific topics will include issues in large simple trials, factorial designs, cluster randomization, cross-over trials, missing data in RCTs, repeated measures in RCTs, meta-analysis, non-inferiority trials, subgroup analysis, composite outcomes in RCTs, stopping rules, cost-effectiveness analysis, statistical analysis of cost-effectiveness data, survival analysis and new designs in RCTs.

: HRM 702 and HRM 730 or permission of the instructor

HRM 735/GEOG 736 – Environment and Health – Theory and Policy [More]

Models and methods for research and policy on environment and human health relationships.

Permission of instructor

HRM 736: Design Innovation for Health System Challenges

The first part of the course will examine how major health care services are financed in Ontario, Canada and how financing affects the organization, delivery, and business of health care. Through guest panelists from the frontline, students will also gain an appreciation of the complexities, strengths, and challenges of the system given the current incentives.  The second part of the course will apply an innovation framework to help students learn how to generate system-level solutions. Students will work in groups to identify a problem, learn about its root causes through interviews, design a solution through analysis, and build a prototype of that solution to further refine it. Overall, this is an active course, where students learn by doing. Classes will be taught using a combination of strategies, including lectures, discussions, small group activities, interviews, and a course-long design challenge to understand existing shortcomings and design potential solutions. Ultimately students will gain an understanding of the complex challenges existing within our health system, and identify potential solutions using a human-centered design-innovation framework.

Prerequisites: n/a

HRM 737 – Economic Analysis for the Evaluation of Health Services [More]

This course is a practical "How To" course in techniques for economic evaluation of health care programmes. The methodology of cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-minimization analysis and health status index models is examined in detail and several applications of each are reviewed during the first half of the course. During the second half of the course, each student is expected to complete an economic evaluation of a specific health care programme or intervention.


HRM 738 – Health Policy Analysis [More]

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of health policy analysis, providing the concepts and tools needed to be able to critically appraise and carry out policy analyses in a variety of settings. Students are introduced to the field of policy studies, the stages of the policy process, and to the different purposes and methods for policy analysis. Through critical examination of key policy analysis concepts and frameworks, students learn how to analyze the relative roles played by different actors in the health system and explore the independent and combined influence of three major determinants of health policy: ideas, interests and institutions. Each week different concepts and/or analytic frameworks are presented, discussed and applied to a particular problem or case study.

permission of instructor.

HRM 739 - Biostatistical Collaboration [More]

This course provides an overview of the strategies needed for effective biostatistical collaboration with clinical investigators. Topics covered include: strategies of eliciting information required to assist with study design from clinical collaborators; ways to translate the research questions into statistical questions; strategies to facilitate provision of statistical support on design, sampling and analytic plans; approaches of communicating the sampling plan, experimental design, statistical analysis to collaborators; methods to facilitate provision of support on statistical programming; strategies to facilitate provision of help with write-up of methods and reporting of results of studies.

: Registered in PhD HRM with Specialization in Biostatistics, or permission of instructor.

HRM 740 – Advanced Decision Analysis in Health Technology Assessment [More]

This is an advanced course in modeling methods for Health Technology Assessment (HTA). It is a combined theoretical and practical ‘hands-on’ course that teaches students the essential components of contemporary HTA.  Students will be exposed to national and international HTA agencies and government decision making bodies, and their HTA guidelines and requirements. The course primarily covers different modeling techniques for economic evaluation, analyses of uncertainty, value of information analyses, Bayesian decision analyses, quality assurance in economic appraisal, budget impact analysis, and knowledge translation. There is a heavy emphasis in this course on ‘hands-on’ learning-by-doing with computer application of ‘real world’ practical examples to cement student learning. Prior knowledge of Excel is essential

Prerequisites: HRM 741 and HRM 737

HRM 741 –Introduction to Health Technology Assessment [More]

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) has the tremendous potential to transform the delivery of health care services, and improve health outcomes and quality of life for patients. Decisions about whether to purchase and use new health technologies (e.g. drugs, medical devices, surgical procedures, etc.) should be based on high-quality evidence of its impact on health outcomes, the health care system, and cost-effectiveness.  Payers of health care face the challenge of aligning decision making with the best available evidence. Upon completion of this course, students will be equipped with the skills to evaluate the quality of an HTA, to critically appraise it to make a judgment about a study’s methods, results and conclusions.  Additionally, students will gain experience in conducting HTAs and be mindful of the barriers to, and facilitators of, evidence-based decision making in the real world

HRM 721 or permission from the instructor

HRM 742 – Ethical Issues in Research Involving Human Subjects [More]

This course is designed to prepare students to think creatively and proactively about ethical and legal issues in the design, conduct, analysis, and dissemination of research. Topics are divided into two categories: 1. ethical treatment of research participants and; 2. research integrity. Sessions will involve case discussion and critical analysis of ethical issues and the relevant principles, guidelines and laws. Exercises will coach students through mock-submission to a Research Ethics Board and provide insight of how REBs function.

HRM 721

HRM 743 – Systematic Review Methods [More]

This course covers the methods of comprehensive syntheses of research evidence. Rigorous review methods will be highlighted, such as searching for potentially relevant articles, selecting primary articles using explicit, reproducible criteria; appraisal of studies; data synthesis; and, interpretation.  The course uses the framework provided by the GRADE Working Group for evaluating certainty of estimates and present and interpret evidence.  The focus of the course is on systematic reviews of interventoins, which typically include randomised trrials and non-randomised studies that evaluate therapeutic interventions and outcomes. This focus is to ensure that students understand and apply the fundamental processes to conduct a systematic review. The process can be applied to other review topics and study designs (such as diagnostic accuracy and prognosis) which will be briefly covered in the course. Students are required to conduct a systematic review of an intervention during the course. However, students who wish to conduct reviews of other topics will need to ensure they have methodological support in addition to what is provided within the course.

Prerequisites: HRM 721 and HRM 702, or permission of course coordinator. Plus an approved 1-page outline submitted before Nov 15.

Note: Students must also submit a one-page outline of the topic of the systematic review to be completedduring the course. It can be submitted any time before November 15 for approval by the course coordinator. If not approved, students will be required to drop the course.

One-page outline of the topic of the systematic review:Please send the course coordinator, Nancy Santesso (, a one-page document outlining the topic ofyour systematic review. We recommend choosing toconduct a review of an intervention (treatment). However, other types of reviews are possible if you can confirm that you have additional methodological support outside the course. The one-page outline should describe the intervention(s) or treatment(s) to be covered in the review, the people who received the intervention and the potential outcomes. You must also identify a partner for your review. This person can be someone who is also taking the course or not and who is willing to do the work in duplicate (e.g. screening and extracting data from studies). It is possible that two students can work on the same review and submit the same review at the end of the course. However, most assignments will need to be independently completed.

HRM/NUR 745 – Qualitative Research Methods [More]

This course introduces learners to theoretical traditions and corresponding methods of qualitative research using health and health care research as examples. Specific topics covered include: key paradigms underlying  qualitative research, types of research questions best answered by qualitative methods, The role of theory in qualitative research, sampling objectives and procedures, methods of data collection, methods of analysis and interpretation, and ethical issues and responsibilities of qualitative researchers. Criteria for evaluating qualitative research will be discussed and applied to specific research studies. Learners will gain "hands on" experience using qualitative methods through in-class and take-home exercises.

Prerequisites:HRM 721 and permission of instructor.

HRM 748 – Population and Public Health [More]

This course provides an overview of core concepts and methods in population health. We will discuss the concept of population health and explore the methods used to define, measure, and investigate health outcome and health determinants at a population level.

Prerequisites: HRM 721, HRM 751 and one half-credit graduate course in statistics

HRM 750 – Practical Bayesian Design and Analysis in Clinical Studies [More]

The intention of the course is both to introduce students to Bayesian ideas and to equip them to design, analyse and interpret clinical studies from a Bayesian perspective. Instruction will consist of both independent reading and self-guided practice sessions using WinBUGS. The students will be required to have a real project or dataset to use for a project with analysis done using WINBUGS. The project will form the primary basis for learning and implementing the concepts. There will be some weekly meetings for face-to-face discussions with the instructor.

Prerequisites: HRM 702, HRM 723, or by permission of instructor.

HRM 751 – Observational and Analytical Research Methods [More]

The course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts and methods used in observational (non-experimental) studies to conduct needs assessments (e.g., prevalence of disease or order), to understand the determinants of health (e.g., association between independent/exposure variables and dependent/outcome variables in analytic research) and to assess the impact of interventions implemented to improve health or alter life quality (e.g., program evaluations). The topics will focus on three broad areas: i) the formulation of research questions and use of theory to explicate the relationships among key variables; ii) study design options, sampling,  measurement and analysis, and iii) the control of error.

Prerequisites: HRM 721 or permission of instructor required

HRM/RS/NUR 758 – Qualitative Research Methods for Analysing and Interpreting Data [More]

This intermediate-level course builds on prior knowledge about qualitative research approaches and their philosophical basis. The emphasis in this course will be on how the approaches affect data analysis and interpretation, as well as presenting findings in written and oral formats. The course is based on active involvement of learners through student-directed discussions and hands-on experiences, guidance and facilitation by graduate faculty with expertise in qualitative research, and interdisciplinary collaboration with faculty and classmates.

Prerequisites: HRM/NUR 745 (or its equivalent), permission of instructor

HRM 759 – Survival Analysis in Health Research [More]

This course will cover the main statistical issues in survival analysis. Specific topics of the course are Kaplan-Meier curves, log-rank test, Cox Proportional Hazard Model, Stratified and Extended Cox Model, Parametric Survival Models, Recurrent Events, Competing Risks, Relative Survival Analysis, and Model Evaluation. Depending on time and the students’ progress and interests, new advancements in survival analysis will be discussed.

Prerequisites: HRM 723 or HRM 731 or by permission of instructor.  N.B. HRM 721 is recommended

HRM 762 – Approaches to the Evaluation of Health Services [More]

This course will introduce students to the major concepts and methods involved in program evaluation and examine different methodologists’ approaches to evaluation. A framework for thinking about evaluation theory will be developed that allows students to explore how different theorists attempt to tackle fundamental problems in the field. A wide range of quantitative and qualitative design options will be discussed. The course will provide students with knowledge of the current controversies and major challenges facing this field.

Prerequisites:  HRM 721 and HRM 730 or HRM 751, permission of the instructor

HRM/NUR 770 – Mixed Methods Research Designs for Health Services and Policy Research [More]

This course introduces students to the major concepts and issues involved in mixed methods approaches to tackle important questions in the field of health services and policy. LearnLink is used as the mode of instruction as well as two classroom sessions at McMaster. A framework for thinking about mixed methods will be developed that provides guidance to decision-making about when and how to use mixed methods and models to study health services and policy problems. The course will provide students with knowledge of the current controversies and major challenges in the use of mixed methods and models of research. Students are expected to design a mixed method study as part of the course and critically evaluate the design options chosen by a classmate.

Prerequisites: HRM 721 and HRM 745, permission of instructor

HRM 775 –Health Care Guidelines Developement Methods (Online) [More]

This is a distance education course offered using McMaster online Avenue to Learn. It focuses on making evidence-based health care recommendations and clinical practice guidelines. The course uses audio-visual presentations, facilitated tutorials, required readings, discussion boards and assignments to highlight the steps of the guideline development process: planning the project, choosing the panel, managing conflicts of interest, defining the scope, finding appraising and summarizing evidence, deciding on the final recommendations as well as dissemination, implementation and adaptation of guidelines. The course follows the steps of executing one full guideline recommendation and students are required to complete one recommendation with all supporting materials end-to-end.

Prerequisites: HRM 743 or permission of instructor

HRM 777 –Methods for Diagnostic and Prognostic Research[More]

This is an advanced course in diagnostic and prognostic test methodology and statistical analysis. For diagnostic testing we will discuss phases of test development, basic and advanced study designs, methodological issues related to choice of population and test verification. In prognostic research we will discuss overall prognosis, risk factor research, prediction modeling, and stratified medicine. For both diagnosis and prognosis research, we will consider issues in performing systematic reviews and formulating guidelines.

HRM 721 and 702, or permission of instructor. HRM 723 recommended but not mandatory

HRM 787 – Principles of Health Economics [More]

This is a problem-oriented course with an introduction to economic concepts and evidence related to health and health care. Current health policy issues and controversies are analyzed using an economic framework and basic economic theory. Special emphasis on population health issues, the role of the health care system in affecting health, and the influence of various participants (health care providers, patients, government) on health care utilization and population health status. No prior economics background is necessary.

Prerequisites: None.

HRM 788 – Health Economics [More]

This is a basic graduate survey course on the economics of health and health care. Topics include the organization, financing and utilization of health care services. Both theory and evidence relating to patterns of consumer and provider behaviour are examined, as are the functioning and regulation of “markets” for health services. Major public policy issues in the provision of health care in Canada are identified and the economic aspects of such issues are considered in detail.

Prerequisites: Intermediate micro economics or permission of instructor.

HRM 790/ ECON/GEOG/PSYC/SOC 770 – Use of Secondary Data Analyses to Examine Social Determinants of Health[More]

This course will provide students with applied secondary data analyses skills to address research questions linked to the social determinants of health across the lifespan. The course will include: 1) a substantive focus on the emergent concepts, methods, frameworks and evidence for examining the role of social factors in shaping health inequalities; and 2) a methodological focus on the use of secondary data analyses to address questions linked to the social determinants of health. Students will be asked to develop and address a research question using secondary data available to the course instructors. Working collaboratively, students will complete an empirical research paper with the purpose of submittng to a peer-reviewed journal by the end of the course.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

HRM 791 – Topics in Advanced Health Economics [More]

This course focuses on issues relating to the economics of health and health care. It builds on HRM/Econ 788 and exposes students to more advanced topics and aspects of recent research in health economics. The specific topics presented depend on the instructors for each offering. Recent topics have included methods of economic evaluation and health technology assessment, the economics of work and health, the evaluation of health-care related interventions, advances in the empirical analysis of income and health inequalities, health human resources, and the evolution of health from childhood to adulthood

Prerequisites: Econ/HRM 788 or permission of the instructor

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0