Module 6: Health Economics and Policy

Principal module aims

The module will provide an understanding of economic concepts and their relevance to decisions around the allocation of health care resources. 

This understanding will be at the level where participants will be able to critically appraise health economic studies and engage with health economists working with them as advisors or research collaborators.

Learning outcomes

Successful completion of the module leads to the learning outcomes. The learning outcomes identify the knowledge, skills and attributes developed by the module, which in turn are mapped to the knowledge, cognitive and practical academic principles of the overall Public Health Masters programme.

Through critical appraisal of literature, verbal and written discussion and debate with lecturers and peers, and submission of assessments; students should, upon successful completion of the module, be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of key economic concepts (such as opportunity cost, efficiency, marginal analysis) and justify the use of these concepts to support health policy and health promotion.

2. Differentiate between alternative approaches countries use to structure their health care systems and deliver health care, and critique these approaches based on considerations such as population coverage, total spending, efficiency and equity.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the methods underpinning economic evaluation in health care, and become aware of key aspects of good practice in undertaking and reporting an economic evaluation.

Teaching Topics

Week 1  Introduction to health economics

Week 2  Ethical theory in public health practice

Week 3  Funding models for healthcare

Week 4  Introduction to financial management

Week 5  Managing organisations and teams

Week 6  Policy analysis, development and implementation


Part A: Written report (2,000 words) to demonstrate understanding of key economic concepts in health policy (50%)

Part B: Written report (2,000 words) to demonstrate critical appraisal of an economic evaluation study (50%)