Clinical Epidemiology & Health Care Research (MSc/PhD)

IHPME is an international leader in clinical epidemiology (the study of the determinants and effects of clinical decisions) and health care research education.

The Institute's outstanding faculty includes more than 80  leading clinical epidemiology researchers spanning multiple departments, disciplines, and institutions. Learning is further enhanced by IHPME’s unique collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine's clinical departments and affiliated teaching hospitals.

Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research is offered as a concentration* at both the Masters and Doctoral level for students with a health professional background (physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dentists, etc.).

Highest priority is given to students who wish to pursue a career that combines clinical care with a major research component and to those students whose training will allow them to become independent investigators:

  • The MSc is designed for health professionals interested in learning the skills necessary to conduct clinical and health care research. This degree is offered with both a thesis and a non-thesis option.
  • The PhD is designed for health professionals interested in an in-depth education in the tools, theories and methods of clinical and health care research.

A Reputation for Excellence

The Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research concentration within IHPME has an international reputation for excellence in clinical, health database and decision sciences research. This excellence is reflected in:

  • unsurpassed funding support for students. More than 80 percent of clinical epidemiology students are awarded competitive peer-reviewed research fellowships to pursue their training.
  • an exceptionally high rate of successful grant applications and high quality peer-reviewed publications among students.
  • the success of its graduates. Graduates hold faculty positions in prestigious institutions in North America and beyond and most begin their research careers with prestigious peer-reviewed salary awards from major funding bodies. Others are leaders in health care research, policy, and practice throughout Canada.

MSc (Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research concentration)

The MSc curriculum is designed to provide students with the research skills necessary to:

  • undertake clinical and health care research as an independent investigator and to compete for peer-reviewed funding.
  • assess critically the results of clinical and health care research reported in the medical literature, to use the results of research in daily clinical practice, and to teach evidence-based practice in clinical-training programs.
  • play a leadership role in translating the results of effectiveness and efficiency research into: clinical practice policies (practice guidelines), health policies, and reimbursement policies (e.g., the decision-making process of drugs and medical-devices approval).
  • teach the principles of clinical and health care research to graduate students in research training programs.
  • collaborate with other investigators on research projects and contribute to the research their unique skills - a combination of clinical knowledge of the conditions under study and research design.
  • assist other health care providers and researchers in the design and implementation of clinical and health care research.

Two streams of training are available at the Masters level – a non-thesis, course-only stream (10 half-courses including completion of a research practicum) and a thesis-based stream (6 half-courses and a thesis).

PhD (Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research concentration)

The PhD curriculum exposes students to the full breadth of the discipline of clinical epidemiology, including trials methodology, quality of life measurement, meta-analysis, guidelines development, decision analysis, health services research, non-experimental design, and clinical economics. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the research skills necessary to:

  • advance methods for critically appraising the literature and develop new techniques for teaching evidence-based medicine
  • play a leadership role in knowledge translation practice and research
  • teach the principles of clinical and health care research to graduate students in research training programs
  • lead research projects that contribute to improvements in Canadians’ health and changes in practice and policy
  • serve as methodological experts in assisting others to design and conduct clinical and health services research.

PhD students are required to complete 10 half-courses and a thesis on either a full-time or flex-time basis.


* previously known as a field