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Social Dimensions of Health

Social Dimensions of Health (SDH) is an interdisciplinary program that combines the faculties of Social Sciences, Humanities, Education, and Human and Social Development. SDH gives you the opportunity to learn about and undertake advanced research in health and its relation to society. You’ll work and study with faculty engaged in leading research.

Our program is flexible and personalized. You’ll have the freedom to pursue your research interests through colloquiums and experiential learning. Our few required courses cover topics central to health research scholarship and research skills. You’ll explore and receive training in diverse research methodologies including community- and Indigenous-engaged approaches, evidence-based modeling, mix methods, and much more.

Degree programs offered

Our Master’s program takes a unique approach to graduate health research studies. You’ll engage in flexible, relevant courses as well as hands-on research experiences. You’ll learn with a small cohort of other SDH students and share your unique perspective in colloquiums and research methods courses.

You may apply for either the MA or MSc degree. However, your designation will be decided by your supervisor and the SDH program director. Both degrees require a thesis.

Our SDH PhD is a research-intensive program in which you’ll undertake coursework, candidacy exams and independent, original research. You’ll have opportunities to mentor Master’s students during colloquiums and research methods courses. During this program, you’ll produce an original dissertation that will advance health research.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA, MSc 2 years Yes No
PhD 4 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate
Program delivery:
On-campus

Areas of focus

  • Social determinants of health
  • Health policy, law and bioethics
  • Health of populations
  • History of medicine
  • Indigenous peoples' health
  • Mental health and addictions
  • Environmental health
  • Health over the life span

Find a supervisor

All graduate students must have two faculty members who serve as their academic co-supervisors. When you apply:

  • You must list two potential supervisors on your application
  • These faculty members must agree to be your co-supervisors and recommend your admission

Please see the full list of potential supervisors on the Social Dimensions of Health site.

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship, although funding is limited, not guaranteed and highly competitive.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (masters)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (masters & PhD)

Funding eligibility

  • The minimum requirement for consideration is an A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $129
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Canadian and International students: January 15 for September entry.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Faculties & departments

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary at sdhadmin@uvic.ca or 250-721-8204.

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