SA408      Half Unit
Health Economics

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Matthew Skellern OLD.2.27


This course is available on the MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing, MSc in Health, Population and Society, MSc in International Health Policy, MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics) and MSc in Social Policy (Research). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

In allocating places in this course, students enrolled in the MSc in International Health Policy and MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics) have priority. Any remaining places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Course content

This course develops basic economic concepts as they are applied to the health sector, and provides for specialisation in health economics. Nature of health care as an economic commodity. How markets and insurance markets work, and how they can fail for health care and health care insurance. The economics of paying providers and different approaches taken by governments in different countries. Incentive mechanisms and Diagnostic Related Group payment schemes and yardstick competition. Labour markets in health care. Economic evaluation as a regulatory tool.


15 hours of lectures and 18 hours of seminars in the MT.

Optional evening review classes in first half of MT.

Revision session in the ST.

Formative coursework

In-class progress test in the MT.

Indicative reading

The course draws from a variety of textbooks and articles. A thorough reading list is provided at the start of term. The course makes repeated use of the following textbooks:

S Folland, A C Goodman & M Stano, The Economics of Health and Health Care (7th edn), Prentice Hall, 2012.

J Bhattacharya, T Hyde & P Tu, Health Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

J Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy (5th edn), Macmillan, 2016.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 10.2
Merit 64.9
Pass 24.5
Fail 0.4

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2015/16: 69

Average class size 2015/16: 14

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 89%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)