Program requirements

Social Dimensions of Health Student Handbook

The SDH Student Handbook contains information on program requirements and resources. In addition to the handbook, check out the Graduate Calendar.

These are resources to help you navigate the program and find information on:

  • course descriptions
  • defenses
  • exams
  • leaves of absence
  • program descriptions
  • registration
  • tuition

The Graduate Calendar is updated at the beginning of each term, while the SDH Student Handbook is updated annually.

In the case of a discrepancy between the information in this handbook and Graduate Calendar, the Graduate Calendar should be followed.


Summary of course requirements units Units
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Health Research (SDH 500A) 1.5
Interdisciplinary Methods Applied to Health Research (SDH 500B) 1.5
Colloquium I: Perspectives (SDH 501A) 1.5
Colloquium II: Perspectives (SDH 501B) 1.5
Methodology: courses from the approved list 1.5
Methodology: courses from the approved list 1.5
Electives: 1.5-unit elective from the approved list 1.5
Electives: 1.5-unit elective from the approved list 1.5
Thesis (SDH 599) 6.0
Total 18.0

Program structure

The 4 SDH core courses have been designed to cover foundational topics in interdisciplinary health research and to demonstrate the breadth of relevant research taking place at the University of Victoria.

In addition to the 4 core courses, you will take 2 approved methods and 2 approved elective courses.

MA and MSc students consult the Graduate Calendar for up-to-date list of approved methods and elective courses.

Work with your supervisory committee to identify the best courses to support your learning.

If you require training in a specific topic for which no course is available at the University of Victoria, you may be able to take a graduate course at another university in Western Canada. Refer to the Western Deans’ Agreement and application form.

You also have the option of creating and taking a Directed Studies course for credit (SDH 590). Consult the SDH Student Handbook for more information and discuss course options with your supervisory committee.

Thesis (SDH 599)

Before beginning your thesis, you will prepare a thesis proposal and defend it to your supervisory committee in an oral examination (no later than the beginning of the second year of the program).

Upon successful defense of the thesis proposal, your committee is required to notify the SDH program assistant by email. You are then approved to begin your thesis research.

You will register in the thesis course (SDH 599) each term until the requirements are complete. Consult the SDH Student Handbook and Graduate Calendar for more information on the thesis proposal and thesis research requirements.