HP4C5E      Half Unit
Using Health Economics to Analyse and Inform Policy and Practice

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Andrew Street COW 1.02


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The health care sector is extremely complex, and this gives rise to concerns about how the health system should be organised, how incentives should be designed, and how performance should be evaluated. The objective of the course is to give students an introduction to how health systems are constructed, and how the various parts of the system interact; the role of regulation, resource allocation, payment arrangements, and performance measurement; the complexities of evaluating policy and performance; and the contribution that health economics can make to the evaluation and development of health policy. Participants are introduced to variety of econometric methods as the course progresses.


This course will be delivered online over a period of five weeks in Lent Term, as a combination lectures and seminars. The course will be delivered in a minimum total of 25 hours. Students will have access to lecture material delivered as short online videos. Seminars will take place online and students will work in small groups on structured learning activities set by the course lead.

Formative coursework

The formative assessment is an outline of the presentation.

Indicative reading

Bridgewater B, Hickey GL, Cooper G, Deanfield J, Roxburgh J. Publishing cardiac surgery mortality rates: lessons for other specialties BMJ 2013; 346 :f1139

Busse, R, et al (2013), Diagnosis Related Groups in Europe: Moving Towards Transparency, Efficiency, and Quality in Hospitals? British Medical Journal, vol 346, f3197, pp. f3197. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f3197

Glazer J and McGuire TG. Optimal Risk Adjustment. Chapter 26 Jones A (ed) Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham 2006

Mason, A., Goddard, M., Weatherly, H., & Chalkley, M. (2015). Integrating funds for health and social care: an evidence review. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 20(3), 177-188.

Smith PC, Street A. Concepts and Challenges in Measuring the Performance of Health Care Organizations Chapter 30 Jones A (ed) Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham 2006.

Williams A. Economics of coronary artery bypass grafting. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.291.6491.326


Essay (80%, 4500 words) and continuous assessment (20%) in the LT.

The course will be assessed on the basis of a 4500 word essay on a specific topic (80% of the final mark). In writing this essay, students will be able to demonstrate and synthesise what they have learned from the lectures, reading material, group discussions and their own independent research and thinking. 

Students will also undertake continuous assessment during the course (20% of final mark)

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2019/20: 1

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills