Skip to main contentSkip Navigation or Skip to Content

HLTH 4021: Health Policy

This seminar course introduces students to policy analysis processes, concepts and outcomes of public policy making with emphasis on health. Students use their foundational knowledge on public policy analysis and apply this knowledge to Canadian health policy issues. Students determine how their knowledge of policy analysis might apply in the health care workplace. Students utilize critical thinking, research, and critiquing skills to develop their knowledge of Canada's evolving health care system in response to economic, cultural, technological, political, ideological, and globalization factors and forces. Students experience the whole public policy process as they apply their knowledge on public policy-making to a current major health policy issue in their province or territory, and participate in a simulated policy community.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the prescribed learning activities, students should be able to:

(Content Objectives)

  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of health policy processes in Canadian and global contexts. This will include problem definition, policy instruments and design, policy implementation, and policy/program evaluation.
  • Discuss the historical, economic, cultural, political, legal, technological, and globalization influences on public policy-making.
  • Examine the experience of policy within health-related workplaces from the perspective of various stakeholders.
  • Apply policy analysis theory to examine current health care policy issues and policies in place in local, national and global settings.

(Academic & Professional Abilities Objectives)

  • Locate and use relevant and current resources from various perspectives when discussing health care policy issues.
  • Use critical thinking skills to analyze health policies from academic, professional practice and community perspectives.
  • Use appropriate media to communicate policy advocacy to professional practice, community members and decision makers.

Course topics

Module 1: Introduction: Health Policy Issues and Approaches

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Health Policy
  • Lesson 2 : From Problems to Policy--Problem Construction and Policy Lenses
  • Lesson 3: Approaches--Analysis from Spheres of Influence (Macro, Meso, Micro)

Module 2: Policy Process in Context

  • Lesson 4: Steps in the Policy Process: Problem Definition, Analysis, and Tools
  • Lesson 5: Steps in the Policy Process: Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation
  • Lesson 6: Canadian Health System, Canadian Health Policy Environments, and Examples
  • Lesson 7: Policy Process in Global/Transnational Policy Environments: Canadian and Global Comparisons

Module 3: Influencing Health Policy

  • Lesson 8: Civil Society, Advocacy Groups and Media
  • Lesson 9: Scientific/Clinical/Academic Ideology, Politics and the Bureaucracy
  • Lesson 10: Corporate Influence on Health Policy
  • Lesson 11: Strategies for Policy Influence

Module 4: The Future of Health Policy and Policy Change

  • Lesson 12: Policy Change and Advocacy Champions

Required text and materials

Bryant, T. Health Policy in Canada. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press, (2016).
Type: ISBN 978-1-55130-924-8

Additional requirements

Computer with Internet and CD-ROM drive. Use of a printer.


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Project.

Assignment 1 15%
Online Discussion 1 10%
Assignment 2 15%
Online Discussion 2 10%
Assignment 3 15%
Online Discussion 3 10%
Final Project * 25%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

Search To Top