Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Health Economics

Module titleHealth Economics
Module codeCSC4018
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Antonieta Medina-Lara (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The module will introduce the basic principles of economics analysis in health care and the tools used in health economics. It will provide information on the underlying concepts of scarcity and choice, opportunity cost, demand and supply for health care, supplier-induced demand, efficiency and equity; will consider the processes of health care financing and health insurance. It will emphasize the use of different approaches to economic evaluation and valuation of health benefits for assessing health care interventions as a way of making informed decisions in terms of costs and benefits. Finally it will describe priority setting and equity on health.

This is an optional module for third year students of BSc Medical Sciences. It is also available to third year students from Biosciences

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to introduce students to economic thinking and economic techniques which are used for understanding the health care setting.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain how economic ideas and principles may be applied to health and health care
  • 2. Develop the ability to use core economic concepts and tools to health and health care problems
  • 3. Differentiate the appropriate method for analysing the cost and benefits for health care interventions
  • 4. Explain the mechanisms of other health care systems

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. To be able to analyse essential facts and theory in health economics
  • 6. Describe and begin to understand aspects of current research methods used in health economics within published research articles

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Analyse data using a strong set of quantitative skills
  • 8. Demonstrate critical thinking, problem-formulation and problem
  • 9. Interact effectively within group showing aspects of leadership and teamwork

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:

  1. Introduction to economic analysis in health care
  2. Demand for health care
  3. Supply of health care
  4. Market failure
  5. Health insurance
  6. Health care financing
  7. Foundations of economic evaluation
  8. Type of economic evaluation studies and cost measurement
  9. Valuation of health outcomes
  10. Economic modelling in health care
  11. Priority setting and health equity

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities17Lectures (1.5 hrs)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities75 Seminars (1 hr each) & 2 Workshops (1 hr each)
Guided independent study126Pre-lecture reading (33 hrs); complementary reading (11 hrs); seminar/workshop preparation (14 hrs); written scientific paper (48 hrs); answering practice short answers (4 hrs); studying for short answer exam (16 hrs).


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminars/Workshops1hr each/1.5 each1-9Personal and key skills oral and written feedback from peers and facilitators

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral presentation 255 minutes per student1-9written and or verbal
Short abstract for oral presentation 150.5 pages1-9written on request
Written scientific paper-style report 603.5 pages (plus unlimited appendices to include critical appraisal and PRISMA figure) 1-9written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Oral presentation Oral presentation1-9Ref/Def
abstract for oral presentation abstract for oral presentation 1-9Ref/Def
written scientific paper-style report written scientific paper-style report 1-9Ref/def

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Students will be expected to read the chapters of the textbook suggested per lecture and also original papers.


  • Morris S, Devlin N, Parkin D and Spencer A. 2012. Economic Analysis in Health care. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Drummond MF, Stoddart GL, Torrance GW. 2005. Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Key words search

Health economics, Health, Health care

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Last revision date