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Occupational and Public Health (MSc)

An occupational public health student stands facing the camera, in front of a whiteboard covered in post-it-notes.
Shape the Future of Occupational and Public Health

In Canada and globally, aging populations, climate change, infectious diseases, workplace injuries and accidents, and occupational diseases are creating new occupational and public health challenges. Now more than ever, society needs enhanced research and qualified professionals to address these emerging issues through evidence-based solutions in policy and practice. The new Master of Science (MSc) in Occupational and Public Health provides advanced learning and research opportunities related to the prevention of workplace injury and illness and the promotion of public health. In the first and only program of its kind in Canada, students gain the knowledge, skills, expertise, and core competencies necessary to shape the future of occupational and public health.

Program at a Glance

First and only degree of its kind in Canada

Collaborative Research

Research your workplace ideas in partnership with faculty

Program Length

Two years

Start Date

September entry

Degree Earned

Master of Science (MSc)

Program Format


Tuition Fees

Fees by program

As a graduate of the Occupational and Public Health (MSc) program, you’ll have the advanced skills and knowledge needed to create programs, policies, and practices that address key occupational and public health challenges.

With this skill set, you’ll have diverse career opportunities in government, academia, or industry, such as:

  • Policy advisor 
  • Research analyst 
  • Scientist
  • Manager
  • Consultant

With new research capabilities, you’ll be prepared to pursue doctoral research and enter related PhD programs. 

We’re the only university in Canada to offer an applied and research-focused graduate degree that combines the fields of occupational health and safety and public health.

We’re located in the award-winning Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, a new, state-of-art building that houses innovative academic space, administrative offices, student accommodations and more. As a graduate student, you’ll have access to dedicated workstations near faculty offices. 

Our facilities include new Containment Level 2 labs, where you can engage in lab-based studies in biology and microbiology, and safely research pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli.

You’ll also have access to our occupational and public health teaching laboratories that house equipment you can use for your research project.

Our unique evidence-based practice course will allow you to engage with professionals in the field, and our seminar course will engage you in peer-led discussions and group-learning. 

Our faculty have diverse and interdisciplinary expertise in several fields of occupational and public health, as well as strong networks and partnerships with professional organizations and public agencies.

Master's Thesis

  • In the Master’s Thesis, students conduct an advanced examination of a topic in occupational and public health. Students propose and carry-out the research under the direction of a faculty supervisor and a thesis supervisory committee. On completion, the research is submitted in a thesis format, to the supervisor and defended by the student before a thesis examination committee. This is a “Milestone”. Pass/Fail.

Four Required Courses

  • OH8001 Research Methodology and Study Design for Occupational and Public Health This course will provide the methodological foundation for interdisciplinary research in occupational and public health. Students will learn to select appropriate study designs for their topic of interest. Both experimental and observational study designs will be discussed, with particular attention to minimizing biases and confounding in occupational and public health research. Reviewing the literature to develop a research question as well as rigorous designs for data collection instruments, including questionnaires, will be emphasized. Additional topics will involve critical appraisal and research ethics. 1 Credit.
  • OH8002 Evidence-based Prevention in Occupational and Public Health This course will introduce students to a range of occupational and public health problems, with particular emphasis on problems that intersect both domains. The course will explore ways in which scientific analysis and management concepts and approaches can be applied to developing effective and collaborative evidence-based prevention approaches. Academic and professional experts will present research and case studies on current and emerging topics. Students will develop and apply a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to solving occupational or public health issues. 1 Credit.
  • OH8003 Data Analysis for Research in Occupational and Public Health This course will build on standard undergraduate coursework in statistics to provide a foundation for advanced data analysis methods used in occupational and public health research. Topics will include ANOVA methods for complex experimental designs, multiple linear regression, logistic regression, and survival analysis. Students will be provided hands-on experiential learning using statistical software packages and publicly available occupational and public health datasets. 1 Credit.
  • OH8004 Knowledge Synthesis in Occupational and Public Health This course will cover structured methods of comprehensively synthesizing and reviewing research evidence. Detailed guidance will be provided on the design and conduct of systematic reviews and meta-analysis in occupational and public health. Students will be required to identify an individual occupational or public health review topic of key relevance to their thesis. They will prepare a detailed systematic review protocol on this topic of publishable quality, which will describe the rationale, hypothesis, and planned methods of their review. 1 Credit.

Seminar Series

  • OH8005 Seminar Series in Occupational and Public Health I (Year 1) This course will provide students with foundational knowledge to develop a research question and thesis proposal. This includes critique of the literature, writing skills and presentation tips. Each student will present their research question and topic via oral and poster presentation. Pass/Fail
  • OH8006 Seminar Series in Occupational and Public Health II (Year 2) This course will provide students with an understanding of the oral defense process, knowledge dissemination and guidance with respect to career planning. Students will also learn about relevant professional and research groups, networking and how to increase their individual profile. Each student will present their thesis research via oral and poster presentation. Pass/Fail

Two elective courses

  • OH8210 Epidemiology for Public and Population Health This course will provide foundations of epidemiological methods to understand population and public health data and concepts. Students will use example data/scenarios from case-control, cohort, and cross-sectional studies to develop and test hypotheses. Specific (e.g. infectious/chronic disease epidemiology) and current topics will be explored. 1 Credit.
  • OH8211 Hazard Assessment for Occupational Health and Safety This course will explore the methods used in assessing occupational health and safety hazards. Approaches used to assess physical agent, chemical and biological hazards for research purposes will be explored. 1 Credit.

In consultation with your supervisor, you may also enroll in electives from other graduate programs at the university, depending on course availability and instructor permission. Please note that not all electives listed will be offered in an academic year. Related electives include: 

  • SA8901 Geospatial Data Analytics
  • SA8903 Applied Spatial Statistics
  • ES8911 Ecotoxicology
  • ES8920 Environmental Policy and Management
  • ES8922 GIS for Environmental Management
  • ES8925 Decision Making/Strategic Planning in Management
  • ES8927 Risk Assessment in Environmental Management
  • ES8929 Responding to Climate Change
  • ME8103 Advanced Human Factors
  • MN8902 Qualitative Research Methods: Design and Critical Appraisal
  • MN8920 Health Policy: A Comparative Analysis
  • MN8911 Population Health & Health Promotion
  • MN8910 Individuals and Families Experience with Health and Illness: Theoretical Perspectives
  • MN8931 Diversity and Globalization: Promoting Urban Health
  • MN8932 Issues of Informatics, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange
  • MN8935 Theory and Practice of Program Planning and Evaluation
  • NC8102 Nutrition and Health Behaviour
  • NC8201 Food and Nutrition Policy
  • PS8503 Special Topics in Health Psychology
  • PS8529 Qualitative Research Methods
  • PS8506 Perceptual and Cognitive Ergonomics
  • SS8001 Advanced Qualitative Methods

Grade Requirements

Credit towards program requirements will only be granted for a course where a student achieves a minimum grade of B- for Master’s students. Failure to maintain an acceptable academic standing could result in students being asked to withdraw from the program.

  • Injury prevention
  • Environmental health
  • Active transportation
  • Ergonomics
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk and exposure assessment
  • Toxicology
  • Indigenous health
  • Food safety
  • Communicable diseases
  • Built environments
  • Water quality
  • Public health policy
  • Global health

Year One

Term Courses
  • Research Methodology and Study Design for Occupational and Public Health
  • Evidence-based Prevention in Occupational and Public Health
  • Seminar Series in Occupational and Public Health
  • Elective One
  • Data Analysis for Research in Occupational and Public Health
  • Knowledge Synthesis in Occupational and Public Health
  • Elective Two
  • Master’s Thesis* (Research commences)

*Note, thesis research could commence earlier, in semesters one or two, if mutually agreed to by the student and their supervisor.

Year Two

Term Courses
  • Master’s Thesis (Thesis research)
  • Seminar Series in Occupational and Public Health 
  • Master’s Thesis (Thesis defense or continued research)
  • Master’s Thesis (Thesis defense)
  • Completion of a four-year undergraduate degree in science, applied science, health science or a related field from an accredited institution.
  • As per YSGS policy, a minimum GPA or equivalent of 3.00/4.33 (B) in the last two years of study is required. However, due to the competitive application process, a minimum 3.33/4.33 GPA (B+) is strongly recommended. 
  • Completion of at least one statistics course in their undergraduate degree program, with a passing grade of at least B.

Eligible students can now apply for OSAP. Visit Student Financial Assistance to learn more.

For detailed graduate tuition and fees information please visit Fees by Program.

Please visit Financing Your Studies for more information on scholarships, awards and financing your graduate studies.

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