Module Catalogue

HSC8027 : Health Economics

  • Offered for Year: 2017/18
  • Module Leader(s): Miss Tara Homer
  • Lecturer: Dr Yemi Oluboyede, Miss Katherine Carr, Dr Heather Brown, Miss Sarah Hill, Dr Jing Shen, Mr Eoin Moloney
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of this module is to introduce students to economic thinking and economic techniques which are of use in formulating and analysing health policy.

Day 1 of the module will deal with demand and supply of health, in particular market failure, equity and inequality.

Day 2 will focus primarily on economic evaluation, and will cover a range of topics including allocating scarce resources costing, the techniques of economic evaluation and the measurement and valuation of health and other benefits from health care.

Day 3 will focus on critically evaluating health economics articles, an introduction to econometrics, preference elicitation, and a brief overview of priority setting.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will provide an introduction to some fundamental concepts of economics that are relevant for healthy policy decision making and analysis. The first day will focus on how markets work and why they fail in health care. We will also cover what is meant by equity in health care and how successful different health care systems are at addressing/achieving equity. The second day of the module will be an introduction to economic evaluation. This day will cover definitions of costs and how costs can be measured and valued in an economic evaluation. An exploration of different methods for measuring benefits in economic evaluation, including QALYs, HYEs and contingent valuation will be explored. The three main types of economic evaluation cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis and cost-benefit analysis, how and when they should be applied and their pros and cons will be discussed. Refinements to economic evaluation, such as discounting, marginal analysis and sensitivity analysis will also be covered. The final day will start with a session on how to critically appraise health economic studies. The next focus is on preference elicitation methods. Specifically focusing on willingness to pay and discrete choice experiments. The day will conclude with a brief overview of priority setting.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study701:0070:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching and learning methods used, with the emphasis on practical activities in small groups and general interaction, were felt the most appropriate methods for a masters course with relatively small student numbers. Most of the students have significant experience of working in the health service, and the interactive nature of the learning methods enables them to discuss their experience and to relate that to the concepts and ideas being taught, thus aiding their knowledge and understanding of the subject area.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment is a 2000 word assignment split evenly between two essays. The two essays cover applied topic in health economics to provide students with the opportunity to apply economic theory to practice. This type of assignment allows students to utilise their analytical skills and knowledge of theory.

Reading Lists