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Course Descriptions

Course Requirements:

Beginning in September 2024, learners in the MMS Program will have the option of pursuing a course-based degree in addition to the current offering of the thesis-based option. Please note that international applicants are only eligible to apply to the thesis-based program: at this time, we are not accepting international applications for the course-based program.

Thesis Option:

Learners enrolled in the MMS Program’s thesis option will be required to complete a research thesis, 3 required courses, and 1 elective course. Learners in this stream of the MMS program are also required to attend at least one face-to-face Program Workshop. The purpose of the Workshop is to provide a venue for networking, research presentations, and program evaluation.

Required: Elective:
  • Research Thesis
  • Introduction to Research in Medical Studies 
  • Independent Study/Advanced Topics 
  • Bioethics and Research Integrity
Select 1 of the following:

  • Research Grant Writing 
  • Critical Appraisal of Research Reports 
  • Research Dissemination
  • Considerations in Rural and Remote Practice 
  • Data management and visualization 
  • Epidemiology  
  • Clinical Integration of Research 
  • Special Topics

Course-based Option:

The MMS Course-based option consists of 6 required courses and 3 elective courses.

Required: Elective:
  • Introduction to Research in Medical Studies 
  • Bioethics and Research Integrity 
  • Research Grant Writing 
  • Critical Appraisal of Research Reports 
  • Independent Study/Advanced Topics 
  • Research Dissemination
Select 3 of the following:

  • Considerations in Rural and Remote Practice 
  • Data management and visualization 
  • Epidemiology  
  • Clinical Integration of Research 
  • Special Topics 

Enrollment Status:


Full-time Status

Learners enrolled in full-time study must complete the program of study in two years, including completion and successful defense of the research thesis.

Part-time Status

Part-time learners are expected to complete the MMS program within six years, including completion and successful defense of the research thesis.


*Learner outcomes are examples, and can vary with each offering.

**Please note that course codes/IDs, and learning objectives are subject to change.

Currently Offered:

Click on the + to see details on each course.

Research Thesis

This course comprises the research thesis component of the MMS thesis-based degree.  The thesis will be written in either the traditional approach utilizing individual chapters or the more progressive approach as an expanded manuscript.  The approach, which is taken, is decided by the learner’s thesis committee and takes into consideration the area of research interests. It is expected that each learner will enroll concurrently in this course each semester that they are in the program either as a full time or part time learner.  Once the thesis is completed and successfully defended, then the total course credit of 9 will be awarded.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Formulate a novel research question.
  2. Apply the concept of socially accountable research to the selection of the research question. 
  3. Write a thesis with introduction, methodology, results, figures, tables, discussion and references. 
  4. Collect, analyze and interpret data. 
  5. Defend research work in an oral defense. 

Introduction to Research in Medical Studies (Required)

This is the foundational course for the MMS degree and it focuses on contemporary approaches in conducting research in medicine and the health care field. It includes topics such as: research design and experimentation, qualitative and quantitative methodology and analyses, bioethics, and the development of a research proposal. Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to develop a research proposal and apply the appropriate qualitative or quantitative approach to data collection and analysis as it relates to health-based research.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Knowledge of components that form a research study.
  2. Knowledge of different research designs. 
  3. Knowledge of research terminology including purpose statement, research question, hypothesis, dependent and independent variables, translational research, etc. 
  4. Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, data collection, statistical methods, and data analysis.  
  5. Knowledge of the predominant statistical methods used in clinical research. 
  6. Knowledge of “big data” and “administrative data” sets, how and when they are used in health research. 
  7. Knowledge of health data specific to rural, remote and underserviced populations . 
  8. Knowledge of the steps associated with developing an independent study plan. 
  9. Ability to conduct in depth literature review. 
  10. Knowledge of steps used in critical appraisal.  
  11. Knowledge of principles of research integrity and ethics. 

Independent Study/or Advanced Topics (Required)

This course is designed to introduce learners to topics of interest that are related to their proposed area of research.  This course will allow learners to explore their area of interest at a greater depth and gain more specialized and specific knowledge, which will assist in designing and conducting their thesis research project. The topic will be agreed upon by the supervisor and the learner and must be related to their research area of interest. Upon completion of this course, learners will have a greater understanding of the selected area of research in order to develop their own research proposal and thesis topic.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. In depth knowledge of the topic area. 
  2. Ability to critically evaluate literature in the topic area and compare and contrast research related to the topic area.   
  3. Knowledge of the goals, aims and objectives of research in the topic area. 

Bioethics and Research Integrity (Required)

This course is designed to provide learners with an in-depth understanding of topics in research bioethics and responsible conduct of research in areas of health and medicine, as they relate to research in rural, remote and marginalized communities. This course will include consideration of the moral, ethical and philosophical implications of health research and the principles of responsible conduct of research in the context of national and international standards. 

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Knowledge of ethical issues related to the design, implementation, interpretation and dissemination of health research projects. 
  2. Basic understanding of research misconduct, conflict of interest and related topics.   
  3. Knowledge of the ethical considerations in human and animal research. 
  4. Knowledge of local, national and international governance structures for research ethics and integrity. 
  5. Knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ experiences with research and researchers.   
  6. Knowledge of how research protocols and practices differ when research is conducted with Indigenous peoples and communities. 
  7. Basic understanding of informed consent. 
  8. Basic understanding of issues concerning privacy and confidentiality. 
  9. Knowledge of strategies to minimize risk in research. 

Research Grant Writing

This course introduces learners to various aspects of grant writing and grant writing styles. This course focuses on the step-by-step processes involved in creating a competitive research grant proposal. This course also provides instruction on identifying health research funding opportunities from local, provincial, national and international agencies, including those unique to Northern Ontario.  This course culminates in learners developing and writing a grant proposal based on their chosen area of research interest and how the funding would support advancement of that field of study.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Knowledge of regional, national and international funding opportunities.  
  2. Knowledge of the components of a grant proposal: summary, full proposal, figures, tables, budget, etc. 
  3. Ability to write a coherent grant proposal. 
  4. Ability to critique a grant proposal. 
  5. Basic understanding of steps involved in grant submission and post-grant administration. 

Critical Appraisal of Research Reports

This course will introduce learners to methods for critically evaluating health research by focusing on critical appraisal of current and relevant health research publications, including clinical research. This course will include a systematic approach for evaluating the strengths, weaknesses and value of research reports and how to assess the usefulness and validity of the research findings. Learners will also be taught the skills necessary to evaluate various types of research methodologies with the aim of providing learners with the tools to guide their own critical analysis and evaluate their own written work.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Ability to define critical appraisal. 
  2. Basic understanding of how to critically appraise a research article.  
  3. Ability to assess the findings as they relate to the proposed intent of a research study. 
  4. Ability to assess the generalizability of research results. 
  5. Ability to assess the relevance and impact of research findings. 

Considerations in Rural and Remote Practice

(Previously titled “Special Topics in Rural and Remote Practice”)

This course will focus on aspects of rural and remote practice in the context of Northern Ontario. This course will include topics on health and illness as they relate to rural and remote communities, what defines rural and remote, access to care, social determinants of health, training for rural or remote practice, and recruitment and retention of rural health workforce. This course will introduce learners to organizations that address rural and remote practices globally.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Basic knowledge of the social, demographic and cultural characteristics of remote rural communities. 
  2. Understand the importance of culturally sensitive programs and information for Indigenous peoples. 
  3. Basic understanding of the relationship between social determinants of health and the patterns of health status, morbidity and mortality in Northern Ontario communities.  
  4. Ability to identify the structure and function of service models in remote and rural community settings. 
  5. Basic understanding of approaches to recruitment and retention of rural health professionals. 
  6. Basic understanding of education and training models for rural health practice. 
  7. Understand the importance of strong relationships within the inter-professional/interdisciplinary team in northern and rural practice. 
  8. Understand the notion of cultural competence, which includes awareness, sensitivity and safety. 
  9. Identify barriers impeding access to health services for Indigenous peoples living in remote communities. 

Offered starting September 2024:

Research Dissemination

In this graduate-level course, learners will explore the pivotal role of disseminating research findings in academia. Through critical evaluation, they will assess the strengths, weaknesses, and best practices of diverse dissemination methods. Emphasizing the significance of effective communication, participants will identify key factors contributing to successful research dissemination, tailoring strategies to suit diverse audiences and stakeholders. Ethical considerations will be addressed, fostering transparency and integrity in the dissemination process. Learners will also analyze how research dissemination impacts policy development, public awareness, and decision-making across various disciplines. Through real-world scenarios, they will synthesize knowledge and develop comprehensive research dissemination plans, culminating in the critical evaluation of dissemination strategies’ impact on research uptake, influence, and visibility.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the importance of research dissemination in academia.
  2. Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and best practices of different methods of research.
  3. Identify the key factors that contribute to effective research dissemination and develop effective communication strategies that are appropriate for different audiences and stakeholders.
  4. Identifying the ethical considerations associated with research dissemination and develop strategies for promoting transparency and integrity in the dissemination process.
  5. Analyze the impact of research dissemination on policy development, public awareness, and decision-making in different fields of study.
  6. Synthesize knowledge of research dissemination and apply it to real-world scenarios through the development of a research dissemination plan for a specific research project.
  7. Critically evaluate the impact of dissemination strategies on research uptake, influence, and visibility.

Data Management and Visualization

This graduate-level course in Data Management and Visualization offers a comprehensive understanding of essential data management concepts. Learners will develop proficiency in data processing, including quality assurance and integrity. Practical knowledge of database management systems will be gained, alongside advanced statistical techniques for analyzing complex data. Participants will acquire skills in data visualization and presentation, enabling effective communication of insights. Ethical and legal considerations in data management will be explored. Additionally, emerging trends and technologies, such as big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, will be discussed. Learners will critically appraise scientific literature and apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios, fostering problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the fundamental concepts of data management (acquisition, storage, organization, integration, retrieval).
  2. Develop proficiency with data processing (incl. quality and integrity).
  3. Gain practical knowledge of database management systems.
  4. Learn advanced statistical techniques for analyzing and interpreting complex data.
  5. Acquire skills in data visualization and presentation.
  6. Understand the ethical considerations and legal implications associated with data management.
  7. Explore emerging trends and technologies in data management (big data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence).
  8. Critically appraise scientific literature in the field.
  9. Apply knowledge to real-world scenarios or case studies (problem-solving and critical thinking).


Learners will acquire a detailed understanding of the fundaments of epidemiology and the biostatistical analyses that are required to take an epidemiologic study through the steps from hypothesis development, study design, study implementation, data collection, and analysis to manuscript preparation and reporting/publishing study findings. This course should leave learners with a sense of what is required to construct, design and implement relevant new health research.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify relevant public health problems.
  2. State a health problem in a testable scientific format.
  3. Identify a study design with appropriate study measurements that can answer a specific health question.
  4. Carry out basic epidemiologic analyses to perform descriptive epidemiology, and to test hypotheses arising from the major epidemiologic study designs, to test hypotheses and answer study questions.
  5. Identify potential sources of biases and confounding that could invalidate study findings.
  6. Appropriately interpret study findings and their broader application to the general population or populations of interest.
  7. Be able to critically evaluate population health study articles, reports, proposals, and protocols.
  8. Be able to distinguish pseudo-science from real science.

Clinical Integration of Research

The graduate-level course on Clinical Integration of Research equips learners with the essential skills to bridge the gap between research and clinical practice. Participants will gain familiarity with evidence-based practice principles and how they apply to clinical decision-making. They will identify key challenges and opportunities for translating research findings into effective clinical interventions. Advanced research skills, including meta-analysis and systematic reviews, will be applied to integrate and synthesize research evidence for informed clinical decision-making. Ethical considerations in research integration will be explored, and strategies to ensure ethical conduct in clinical settings will be developed. Current trends like big data and artificial intelligence will be analyzed, along with their implications for clinical practice. Effective communication strategies for disseminating research findings to various stakeholders will be developed. Learners will also evaluate the impact of research integration on clinical practice and patient outcomes, and identify opportunities for continuous improvement and quality assurance in clinical research integration.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the principles of evidence-based practice and their application to the integration of research into clinical decision-making.
  2. Identify key challenges and opportunities for improving the translation of research findings into clinical practice.
  3. Critically appraise different research approaches to ensure the validity, reliability, and generalizability of research findings in clinical settings.
  4. Apply advanced research skills and techniques, such as meta-analysis, systematic reviews, and critical appraisal, to integrate and synthesize research evidence to inform clinical decision-making.
  5. Discuss ethical considerations in clinical research integration, and develop strategies to ensure the ethical conduct of research in clinical settings.
  6. Identify and analyze current trends in clinical research integration, such as big data, artificial intelligence, and personalized medicine, and their implications for clinical practice.
  7. Develop effective communication strategies to disseminate research findings to diverse stakeholders, including healthcare providers, patients, policymakers, and the public.
  8. Evaluate the impact of research integration on clinical practice and patient outcomes and identify opportunities for continuous improvement and quality assurance in clinical research integration.

Special Topics

Special topics courses will provide an opportunity for the program to offer unique and focused learning experiences on specific subjects of interest. These courses often explore emerging trends, innovative research, or interdisciplinary topics. There will be a variety of Special Topics courses that will be developed and offered based on the actual student demographic and their special interests. Individual courses descriptions will be provided for each of these courses as they are developed.