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MSc program requirements

Both the on-campus and distributed stream MSc programs require a minimum of 16.5 units of course work, including a major project or thesis. Both streams consist of graduate level online Health Informatics courses from the school, as well as online elective courses from our partner institutions at the Universities of British Columbia, Alberta and Calgary.

Thesis or major project

A thesis is worth 6 units of credit. This requires there be a research question that needs to be addressed and a particular research method and study design to be applied in order to find the answer to the question.

The study should be doable within a reasonable time frame, such as one year, including the time to write up, have a committee review a draft and make revisions. A 3-4 page proposal is required before starting, in order that the thesis supervisor can provide feedback and guidance; it is not uncommon for such proposals to be written a number of times before being finalized.

The thesis is intended to enable the student to: critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses. It requires a high degree of self direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.

A major project is worth 3 units of credit (this option is available to distributed stream students only). Its requirements are similar to a thesis though instead of a research question, there is a particular issue or problem that needs investigation. The project findings are expected to be of value to a project sponsor. It is often undertaken within a student's place of employment and is expected to demonstrate a high level of achievement in the application of advanced knowledge in the related field being studied. It is intended to develop the mastery of the skills required to complete a complex project in a specific area of study.

The thesis option is recommended if the student plans to possibly pursue a PhD in the future as its focus on research is more intensive (i.e. it is typically more elaborate and consequently requires fewer courses, than the project option).

Note: Even though a topic may not have been chosen when starting the program, registration in HINF 598 or HINF 599 is required in every term, starting with the very first term and every term until completion of the degree.

There are two two-week on campus workshops in May/June of each year. Attendance at these workshops is mandatory for the distributed stream MSc and optional for the on-campus MSc. The two courses run for approximately two weeks, with courses wrapping up online within another 3-4 weeks.

Required courses

  • HINF 503 (1.5) Research Methods in Health Informatics
  • HINF 580 (1.5) Health Informatics Graduate Seminar (only for On-Campus students)
  • HINF 598 (3.0) Major project or HINF 599 (6.0) Thesis


General electives

General electives

Project option - a minimum of 12 units from the HINF electives list
Thesis option - a minimum of 9 units from the HINF electives list

  • HINF 501 (1.5) Database Design
  • HINF 510 (1.5) Information Management and Technology
  • HINF 511 (1.5) Clinical Decision Support Systems
  • HINF 515 (1.5) Clinical Information Systems
  • HINF 516 (1.5) Telemedicine in Action
  • HINF 530 (1.5) Health Informatics Literature Review
  • HINF 531 (1.5) Ethical and Legal Aspects of Health Informatics
  • HINF 535 (1.5) Health Information Standards
  • HINF 550 (1.5) Health Information Systems Design
  • HINF 551 (1.5) Electronic Health Record
  • HINF 552 (1.5) Evaluation in e-Health
  • HINF 553 (1.5) e-Health Sustainability
  • HINF 554 (1.5) Critical Appraisal of the Health Sciences Literature
  • HINF 560 (1.5) Health Care Quality Improvement
  • HINF 561 (1.5) Project Management in Health Informatics
  • HINF 562 (1.5) Procurement in Health Informatics
  • HINF 570 (1.5) Epidemiology in Health Services Management
  • HINF 571 (1.5) Health Systems Data Analysis
  • HINF 572 (1.5) Health Informatics: An Overview
  • HINF 573 (1.5) Applied Biostatistics
  • HINF 575 (1.5) Human Factures in Healthcare
  • HINF 590 (1.5) Directed Studies in Health Informatics (normally only taken once)
  • HINF 591 (1.5) Topics in Health Informatics (may be taken more than once if the topic is different)

Other elective options

Other elective options

On-campus MSc students, with the approval of their supervisor, may select relevant elective courses from other UVic departments realizing that the courses may have prerequisites. Examples of relevant courses from other departments are:

  • EDCI 560 (1.5) Learning in Higher Education
  • HSD 504 (1.5) Ethical Behaviour in Professional Practice
  • SOCI 501 (1.5) Linear Models
  • SOCI 510 (1.5) Quantitative Methods (prerequisite: SOCI 501 or equivalent)
  • SOCI 511 (1.5) Research Design
  • SOCI 515 (1.5) Qualitative Research Methods (prerequisite: SOCI 374 or equivalent)

Selecting a supervisor

Students are encouraged to take some time in their first term to think about what area of research they would like to pursue in their major project or thesis before taking on a specific topic and supervisor. This exploration can involve taking HINF 530, talking to the School’s faculty, checking their research profiles, reading their publications, attending faculty research presentations and setting appointments with potential supervisors - either in person or on the phone, in order to find out more about their expertise and availability to supervise.

Students are encouraged to first approach a number of faculty to see who might be available and who might fit best with their project or thesis interests and educational needs before selecting a supervisor. Once a student has found a regular faculty member willing to be their supervisor, they are to then inform the graduate secretary by e-mail, copying the faculty member. Students should have arranged for a supervisor at the latest by end of their second term.

Once a student has established a supervisor, the student is to consult with the supervisor to select a committee member(s). Master's projects and theses require a supervisor and at least one other member for their committee. The second member may be a regular faculty member, adjunct or other member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Thesis based students are encouraged to also have an external faculty member from outside the school (often outside the university) to be a part of their final defence. In some cases that other member may be listed as co-supervisor (if the two faculty members agree to share the supervisory responsibilities).

PhD committees will consist of a supervisor and at least two other faculty members. An external reviewer at the final defence is mandatory.

Email list servs

All HINF graduate students are expected to subscribe to the student listserv "hinf-graduatestudents". See to subscribe.

Class list servs will automatically be generated from the class lists on FAST using UVic NetLink IDs only. Messages to the class lists are to be sent to catalogue term, course number and CRN

For example, to send a message to everyone on the HINF 330 list serv, the message would be sent to

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