Health Data Science and Biostatistics Diploma Program

The University of Calgary offers a professionally-oriented diploma that begins with a Certificate in Data Science and Analytics. Then, students are allowed to choose between three unique specializations in Data Science and Analytics to prepare you for a job in the various emerging fields: Data ScienceBusiness Analytics and Health Data Science & Biostatistics. Each specialization takes place over a four-course semester and will end in the student gaining a Graduate Diploma. The University of Calgary just received approval for the Master of Data Science and Analytics in which students can choose to continue on in their diploma specialization for a professional Master's degree. More information on when the Master of Data Science and Analytics will be available is coming soon!

The Diploma in Health Data Science & Biostatistics will provide the skills necessary to advance precision medicine and precision public health. You will work with all kinds of health data from wearable technology, Electronic Medical Records, genomic data and more. Students also learn the wide range of modern analytic techniques such as machine learning, natural language processing and data visualization.

Working in Health Informatics

Health Informatics is one of the fastest growing and in-demand specializations right now and this will only grow in the future in Alberta. Alberta has one of the best health systems for working in health data because we have one system and are currently implementing ConnectCare throughout the province. Classes in the Health Data program are held in the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) at Foothills Campus; we are the Cumming School of Medicine’s newest research centre and have in-house AHS staff working directly with up-to-date health data.

Job prospects are only growing and as a trained data scientist, you can really choose anything. From HDSB's first cohort one of the students is working as a data scientist in the Department of Paediatrics, another is working with Dr. Joon Lee, HDSB Program Co-Director and Director of the DIH Lab. You can work for academia, government health agencies, Alberta Health Services, non-profit organizations such as CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information), ICES or Cybera; consultancy agencies, tech starts-ups or health tech start-ups. As we’ve seen with COVID-19, CHI helped to advise the Alberta government on COVID-19 tracking, health data and the people who know how to work with health data are in high demand.

HDSB

About the Program

Students must successfully complete the Fall semester of the Certificate in Data Science and Analytics before moving on to their chosen specialization. The Diploma in Health Data Science and Biostatistics classes are being held in the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) at the University of Calgary's Foothills Campus in the winter semester as of January 2020. Students take courses in Advanced Statistical Modelling, Machine Learning for Health Data Science, Big Data in Health, and Advanced Exploration and Visualization in Health. These courses build on the skills learned in the certificate courses and focus specifically on the unique skills needed to work with health data.

What do you learn?

  • Modeling binary outcomes
  • Poisson regression and negative binomial regression
  • Modeling in the non-independent/clustered data setting
  • Catching and modelling non-linear relationships in linear model setting
  • Dimensionality Reduction
  • Basic Neural Networks
  • Sequential Data Modeling
  • Reinforcement Learning
  • Ethical and explainable machine learning
  • Understanding health research methods and epidemiology
  • Understanding the purpose and features of health datasets
  • Using and analyzing various datasets
  • Practicing oral and written communication skills in presenting health data analysis
  • Visualization development
  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Visualization techniques and tools
  • Health data visualization
  • Narrative, visual presentations of analytic results

In addition to the four courses taught by leading health data scientists, students are able to spend their time in the University of Calgary's newest research centre, CHI. Students are immersed in the collaborative culture of CHI and able to interact on a daily basis with some of the top health researchers and data scientists in the country. Students are able to network in CHI and the Cumming School of Medicine community, learn hands-on techniques with real health data, and attend any events or professional development workshops provided by CHI. The development of education programs such as this helps to create a pipeline of well-trained students into research at the Cumming School of Medicine or into industry careers.

HDSB Students

Winter 2020 Semester

During the first semester of the program, twelve students enrolled in the Health Data Science and Biostatistics specialization. 

Check out their bios!

Every single day was a new learning experience. Being exposed to real, messy data and the challenges that come with data cleaning and data wrangling set this program apart.

Siddhesh Shailesh Pawar

HDSB student - Winter 2020

The professors were able to integrate current public health issues, like Covid-19, into our courses. We were able to see how real world problems directly related to what we were learning.

Atlanta Liu

HDSB student - Winter 2020

If you would like to learn more about the other specialization options, click here.