The overall purpose of this course is to give you a basic understanding of statistics so you can read articles and do simple statistical analyses of common public health data. Learning materials focus on providing a common language and understanding of statistical concepts and not detailed mathematics. If you have already taken one or more courses in statistics, you may wish to use this course as a refresher.
Completing this course does not make you a statistician nor does it exempt you from ever consulting one. The intent is to provide you with the language and basic concepts of statistics and to enable you to know when and how to communicate with a statistician in a way that is beneficial to both of you.
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 so 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 selected indicators of health status; and preparing, analyzing and interpreting various types of data 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 first three introductory courses: EPI1: Basic Epidemiological Concepts; EPI2: Measurement of Health Status and EPI3: Epidemiological Methods before registering for this course.
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:
This course is divided into seven lessons, and includes assignments and discussion forum activities. Each lesson ends with a self‐assessment test. You will have eight weeks to complete the 2230 hours of work required (about 3‐5 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.
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
Lesson 1: Main Concepts in Statistics

12 hours 
Week 2 
Lesson 1: Main Concepts in Statistics

34 hours 
Week 3 
Lesson 2: The Language of Statistics
Lesson 3: Collecting and Understanding the Data

23 hours 
Week 4 
Lesson 3: Collecting and Understanding the Data

34 hours 
Week 5 
Lesson 4: Descriptive Statistics
Lesson 5: Research Question and Hypothesis Testing

23 hours 
Week 6 
Lesson 5: Research Question and Hypothesis Testing

34 hours 
Week 7 
Lesson 6: Statistical Analysis

45 hours 
Week 8 
Lesson 7: Interpretation  From Statistics Back to English
Finishing Up

45 hours 
Total:  2230 hours 
The lessons in this course can be seen as iterative steps; you may need to go back and forth a few times. You can also view the lessons as a spiral where you repeatedly visit the same lessons but at an increasingly higher level of complexity. Each lesson is a mixture of text, figures, and links to websites, introducing you to the following concepts:
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 assignments in this course ask you to work with selected concepts and apply them to the data in three different scenarios:
Assignments are usually one or two pages in length. Your facilitator will review, grade and provide individual feedback for each assignment. An incomplete assignment is returned with your facilitator’s comments and a request to resubmit.
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:
Participants receive a certificate from the Public Health Agency of Canada upon successful completion of the course.
Registration information is available at Skills OnlineRegister 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: