HP423      Half Unit
Advanced Health Economics

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alistair Mcguire COW.4.05


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


Students must have completed Health Economics (HP420).

Alternative introductory economics courses are acceptable.

Course content

The course will cover: international comparisons of health care expenditure, individual health-seeking behaviour, health care insurance, contract theory applied to the health care sector (including principal-agent theory and incentive payment mechanisms), and equity in health care.

Students may find material from the half unit HP426 Applied Health Econometrics, to be beneficial to studying this course. See the HP426 course guide for further detail. 


15 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

All lectures and seminars will be taught by Professor Alistair McGuire. The lectures will be from weeks 2 through 11 (including reading week). The seminars will be weekly from week 3 through 11.

Formative coursework

A piece of formative coursework will be set and students will receive feedback on their work based on a 1,500 word essay

Indicative reading

Culyer, A.J., and Newhouse, J.P., (eds.), 2001, Handbook of Health Economics Volumes 1A &1B, (North-Holland, Amsterdam); Zweifel, P. and Breyer, F., 1997, Health Economics, (OUP, Oxford).


Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (40%, 2500 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2018/19: 30

Average class size 2018/19: 15

Controlled access 2018/19: No

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