APP2: Epidemiology of Chronic Disease - Course Outline


The overall purpose of this course is to advance your knowledge and understanding of the epidemiology of chronic disease, health determinants and risk factors. Learning materials focus on the basic concepts, determinants, risk factors and interventions to prevent and/or control chronic disease.


EPI1: Basic Epidemiological Concepts, is the only prerequisite for the course.

You will need a basic understanding of the fundamentals of epidemiology and an understanding of high school mathematics. You will be working with rates, and will require some knowledge in the use of ratios, proportions, crude, specific and adjusted rates; incidence and prevalence; defining health and health status; assessing the health of a community using indicators of health status; and preparing, analyzing and interpreting various data types and of presentation tools, including tables, graphs and charts.

If you are a beginning practitioner or would like to refresh your knowledge of the fundamentals of epidemiology you are encouraged to take the introductory Epidemiology courses EPI1: Basic Epidemiological Concepts; EPI2: Measurement of Health Status and EPI3: Epidemiological Methods before registering for this course.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will:


Successful completion of this course contributes to the attainment of the following Core Competencies for Public Health In Canada:

The Learning Process

This course is divided into four lessons, with two assignments and four discussion forum activities. Each lesson ends with a self‐assessment test. You will have eight weeks to complete the 18-26 hours of work required (about 2‐5 hours per week is suggested; see the learning schedule below).

A trained online facilitator, knowledgeable in public health, is assigned to your group to provide support and guidance. The facilitator is available to answer content‐related questions, provide feedback on assignments, and encourage discussion among participants through discussion forums.

APP2 Learning Schedule

This schedule is a guide to help you pace yourself as you go through the course. Please aim to complete the discussion activities "in sync" with the other learners.

Time Period Course Work Estimated # of hours
Week 1

Getting Started: what you need to know and do

  • Review material
  • Introduce yourself and respond to fellow learners on the Discussion Forum: Welcome to Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases

Lesson 1: Introduction - Basic Concepts

  • Start Lesson 1
2-3 hours
Week 2

Lesson 1: Introduction - Basic Concepts

  • Finish Lesson 1
  • Complete Discussion Activity 1
  • Complete Self-Assessment for Lesson 1
2-3 hours
Week 3

Lesson 2: Determinants of Health

  • Complete Lesson 2
  • Complete Discussion Activity 2
  • Complete Self-Assessment for Lesson 2
4-5 hours
Week 4

Lesson 3: Risk Factors

  • Complete Lesson 3
2-3 hours
Week 5

Lesson 3: Risk Factors

  • Complete Assignment 1
  • Complete Self-Assessment for Lesson 3
2-3 hours
Week 6

Lesson 4: Public Health Interventions

  • Complete Lesson 4
2-3 hours
Week 7

Lesson 4: Public Health Interventions

  • Complete Assignment 2
  • Complete Discussion Activity 3
  • Complete Self-Assessment for Lesson 4
2-3 hours
Week 8

Finishing Up

  • Ensure you have completed all parts of the course, have submitted all assignments and completed discussion activities.
  • Complete Final Feedback Survey
2-3 hours
Total: 18-26 hours

Course Features


The four lessons in this course use a mixture of text, figures and links to websites to guide you through the following key concepts:

Discussion Forums

Discussion forums are integral to the course. Messages can be posted and read on the forum system whenever convenient — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Assignments feature in all the courses, allowing you to reflect on the course content and to apply some of the concepts and principles to your work as a public health practitioner. The two assignments in this course ask you to examine a community chronic condition from a variety of perspectives to determine relative risk factors, and to determine appropriate public health interventions to address identified risk factors.


Following each lesson you will be able to complete a short quiz to evaluate your understanding of the subject matter presented within each lesson. You will receive automatic feedback on your performance.


Successful completion of this course requires you to:

  1. complete all activities within the prescribed time frame for each;
  2. receive a satisfactory rating for all two assignments;
  3. participate in each of the three discussion forum;
  4. complete the final feedback survey questionnaire.


Participants receive a certificate from the Public Health Agency of Canada upon successful completion of the course.

Registration information is available at Skills Online-Register For Courses page. Note: you must be registered and logged in to access the registration page.

Note: Completion of this course contributes to the following Learning Pathcertificates: