Health Science

Health science is a multidisciplinary field that examines health and disease in human communities from various perspectives.  Foundations in the basic sciences of chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology and broad knowledge in clinical, public, and population health are used to understand current health issues and the common approaches used to advance health and wellness. 

Who Studies Health Science?

Successful health science students tend to be self-motivated, with a solid work ethic, and well-developed oral and written communications skills.  They also demonstrate empathy and concern for those around them.  Students should have a strong interest in life science and human biology and a desire to pursue a career within the broad range of options that exist in the field of health.

Department's website:

Careers in the Health Science field include, but are not limited to:

  • Health policy
  • Health research
  • Health management
  • Health education or promotion
  • Health product or pharmaceutical sales and distribution

Students may decide to continue their education into a field such as:

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech language pathology
  • Naturopathy or Holistic Medicine
  • Public health, Basic Science, or Applied Science

Registration in some course sections is restricted to students in particular programs. See Timetables - - for current section information.

Visit the BC Transfer Guide - - for information about course transfer in B.C.

HSCI 1115  3 credits  
Introduction to Health Science  
Students will be introduced to the multifaceted field of health science and the foundations of promoting health and wellness. They will explore concepts of health science from a variety of perspectives including biological, clinical, cultural, environmental, political and socioeconomic. Students will examine the Canadian health system and strategies that promote health and wellness in the community.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): Level D1 as defined in the Math Alternatives Table.
Attributes: ASTR, SCIH
HSCI 1220  3 credits  
Health Science Writing  
Students will learn how to analyze audience and context in order to communicate effectively in the field of health science. They will learn basic research strategies, document conventions, teamwork strategies, health science proposal and report creation, conflict resolution approaches, and health science language usage. Students will develop their written and oral communication skills, as well as critical thinking and research skills. They will learn the principles, theories, techniques, and common formats required for writing and communicating scientific research, proposals, reports, and reviews.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 1110, ENGL 1100, and HSCI 1115.
Attributes: ASTR, SCIH
HSCI 2220  3 credits  
Medical Terminology  
Students will learn the basic Greek and Latin constructs upon which health and biomedical language is based. Students will learn to identify, articulate, and spell classic nouns, prefixes, and suffixes. Students will learn how to apply and incorporate health and biomedical terminology into various contexts and settings.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1100 and one of the following: BIOL 1110 or 1160
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 3110  3 credits  
Applications of Health Science  
Students will use assessment tools to explore their aptitudes and career interests to help them choose and apply for practicum placements in various fields of health sciences. Students will prepare a resume and submit job applications for selected practicum placements. Students will actively engage in a practicum experience over 6 weeks and document their experiences.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the Instructor and a minimum 60 credits at the 1100 level or higher including HSCI 1115
Attributes: F2A3, SCIH
HSCI 3215  3 credits  
Complementary Medicine  
Students will learn to undertake an evidence-based evaluation of complementary, alternative and integrated approaches to medicine. They will examine various modalities that include the full scope of naturopathic modalities, Indigenous philosophies, and body and mind therapies.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 75 credits at the 1100 level or higher including, ENGL 1100 (B) and one of: (a) BIOL 1110 and BIOL 1210, or (b) BIOL 1160 and BIOL 1260
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 3225  3 credits  
Students will learn the fundamentals of human nutrition, emphasizing macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Students will explore the role of macro and micronutrients in regulating and promoting health. Students will review the nutritional requirements and dietary patterns of healthy individuals throughout their life spans and critically investigate the role of nutrition in the prevention of chronic illnesses as well as current nutritional challenges.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): Either (a) BIOL 1110 and 1210, or (b) BIOL 1160 and 1260
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4110  3 credits  
Health Program Planning and Evaluation  
Students will understand the processes for developing, implementing, and evaluating community or public health programs. Grounded in theory and practice, students will gain the skills necessary to create change in health behaviour or outcomes by developing a program and/or evaluation plan. By the course completion, students will have practiced teamwork skills to accomplish both individual and group objectives. In addition, they will have been exposed to various tools and resources that can enable them to design health programs that will meet the needs of relevant diverse groups.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 60 credits at the 1100 level or higher including both (a) 9 credits at the 3000 level or higher and (b) HSCI 1115
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4130  3 credits  
Students will investigate the principles of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics as the foundational concepts in pharmacology and pharmacotherapy. They will explore the steps from drug discovery to clinical use. They will examine the therapeutic use of common classes of drugs in several body systems for efficacy, adverse effects, and the potential for abuse. They will research and interpret drug monographs.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 60 credits at the 1100 level or higher, including BIOL 2421
Attributes: F2A3, SCIH
HSCI 4140  3 credits  
Health and Aging  
Students will review age-related physiological changes and key health issues that occur throughout the adult human life span. Students will also explore interdisciplinary perspectives on human development and the complex interaction of physical, psychosocial, and environmental issues that influence health and well-being. Students will examine factors in healthy aging in relation to the design of the current health care system, major challenges, and capacity- building options. Using personal reflections and community service learning, students will learn through civic engagement.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 60 credits at the 1100 level or higher including all of: (a) 9 credits at the 3000 level or higher, (b) BIOL 1110 or BIOL 1160, and (c) HSCI 1115 or SOCI 2280
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4170  3 credits  
Human Pathology  
Students will learn the principles and general patterns of human cell, tissue and organ damage associated with disease. Students will learn risk factors, etiologies, and global patterns of common disease categories. Students will learn to recognize and explain the mechanisms of pathologic changes specific to major organ systems. Students will examine current global pathological issues related to course content.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): A minimum of 60 credits at the 1100 level or higher including all of (a) BIOL 2320 (b) BIOL 2330 and (c) BIOL 3130
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4199  3 credits  
Research Project 1  
Students will use the knowledge and skills gained in BIOL 3180 to develop a research proposal that can be conducted in the field or laboratory setting. Students will prepare a budget for the proposed research.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): BIOL 3180 and 6 additional credits in BIOL or HSCI at the 3000 level or higher, and permission of the instructor.
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4245  3 credits  
Populations and Policy  
Students will examine the processes of developing, implementing, and evaluating health policy. Students will study the various participants in the health policy process, the different arenas where health policy is created, and the various policy instruments that are used. They will review key topics that include the organization, financing, and delivery of health care, as well as current health policy issues in both British Columbia and Canada. Students will compare Canada’s health system and policies with those of other nations with specific attention to the United States and Europe.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 60 credits at the 1100 level or higher including both (a) 9 credits at the 3000 level or higher and (b) HSCI 1115.
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4250  3 credits  
Health Business  
Students will learn fundamental business principles, survey business-related career pathways, and acquire professional, and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills crucial to health science. Students will learn about private and public sector health business models and enhance their understanding of relevant regulatory, legal, and financial considerations. Through practical opportunities, students will propose an original health business venture idea and realistically assess the potential of their business venture idea and the feasibility of establishing a business.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 60 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4299  3 credits  
Research Project 2  
Students will carry out the research project identified in HSCI 4199 (Research Project 1). Students will reflect upon their experimental outcomes and make suggestions for future direction.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): HSCI 4199
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4380  3 credits  
Critical Evaluation  
Students will learn to critically evaluate scientific literature and apply it to evidence-based decision making and best practice principles. They will develop advanced literature search, retrieval, and synthesis skills. Students will examine various types and levels of evidence such as systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and realist syntheses and translate the research findings to evidence-based health care, and informed decision making.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 90 credits of undergraduate level courses including all of: (a) HSCI 1115, (b) SOCI 2280, and (c) BIOL 3180
Attributes: ASTR, SCIH
HSCI 4950  3 credits  
Senior Seminar  
Students will use primary research literature to study a variety of current and relevant topics in biological and health science research. Students will explore how modern research techniques, research design and data analysis are advancing human health and wellbeing. Seminars will include engaging research article presentations by faculty and students, followed by focused discussion and critique of the presented research. NOTE: Students may take this course a maximum of two times for further credit on different topics. The topic in a given semester will be determined in advance. Please check with the department for the current topic.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 4 courses in BIOL or HSCI at the 3000 level or higher including BIOL 3180, or permission of instructor.
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4990  4 credits  
Honours Thesis Project I  
Students registered in the honours option will design and propose a research project that will be conducted in HSCI 4995 under the supervision of a KPU faculty member with expertise relating to the research topic. Students will learn to organize an advisory committee, develop and present a full research proposal for approval, conduct pilot work as needed, obtain ethics approval where relevant, and prepare a knowledge dissemination plan. Students will also review and provide feedback on research proposals of their colleagues. Note: This course is available to Honours Program students only.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): 60 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher including all of the following: (a) HSCI 1115, (b) BIOL 2421, (c) BIOL 3160 or BIOL 3130 and (d) BIOL 3180
Attribute: SCIH
HSCI 4995  4 credits  
Honours Thesis Project 2  
Honours candidates will perform a research project designed in HSCI 4990. Under the direct supervision of a KPU faculty member, students will apply scientific principles and methodology in a creative hands-on research experience. Upon completion of the research project, students will construct and present a research formal report and presentation. Opportunity will be given for students to disseminate findings of their research project. Note: This course is available to Honours Program students only.
Level: UG
Prerequisite(s): HSCI 4990
Attribute: SCIH

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