Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Health Economics

Module titleHealth Economics
Module codeHPDM057DA
Academic year2021/2
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 including the identification and valuation of costs and health benefits and modelling for assessing health care interventions as a way of making informed decisions in terms of costs and benefits.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to introduce you to economic thinking and economic techniques and tools 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. Critically evaluate 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. Critically evaluate the mechanisms of other health care systems

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. 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: 

The module will cover 16 topics. Lectures and practical exercises will be used to deliver the module. Among the topics are: 

•  Introduction to economic analysis in health care

• Demand for health care

• Supply of health care

• Supply induced demand

• Market failure

• Health insurance

• Economic evaluation

• Cost measurement

• Valuation of health outcomes

• Economic modelling in health care

• Common topics on economic evaluation studies

• Critical appraisal

• Health technology assessment

• Willingness to pay and discrete choice experiments

• Health care financing

• 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 activities20Lectures, seminars, master-classes to enhance learning through introduction to key topics, specialist areas and role models and diversity of contexts and outcomes
Scheduled learning and teaching activities15Group discussions, practical exercises, simulated case-studies and engagement with real-world scenarios to foster experiential learning with opportunities for peer and tutor feedback.
Guided Independent Study19Web-based learning; resource gathering and in-depth reading during the period of module delivery. Preparation and writing of assignments
These 54 hours make up the off-the -Job learning element mandated by the ESFA guidance. The additional 96 hours required for the award of university credits arises from reflection on the taught material.


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group reflection and discussionScheduled, throughout term1-9Oral Feedback

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
Presentation3515 mins (10 minutes presentation, 5 minutes questions/ comments)1-9Oral feedback
Written scientific paper-style report651,500 words (maximum)1-9Written feedback


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Presentation (35%)Presentation (to be conducted in person or via video conferencing) Notes of presentation also be submitted1-9Typically within six weeks of the result
Written scientific paper-style report (65%)Written scientific paper-style report (1,500 words maximum)1-6,8Typically within six weeks of the result

Re-assessment notes

Same as for the original summative assessment, to include response to the written feedback and undertaken during the University’s agreed referral/deferral period. 


If the reassessed presentation cannot be delivered directly to the tutor then it can be conducted by video-conferencing/Skype or submitted as a video. Notes of the presentation should also be submitted. Same as for the original summative assessment, to include response to the written feedback and undertaken during the University’s agreed referral/deferral period.


Please also refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

• Morris S, Devlin N, Parkin D and Spencer A. 2012. Economic Analysis in Health care. John Wiley & Sons.

• Drummond MF, Sculpher MJ, Claxton K, Stoddart GL, Torrance GW. 2015. Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes. 4  th  ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE –  (general one) (specific to Health Economics module)


Web based and electronic resources: A full list of recommended resources will be available of the University of Exeter’s electronic learning environment (ELE,    )

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Health economics

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date