HP4A4E      Half Unit
Health Economics

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Alistair Mcguire COW 2.02


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

Course content

Distinction between health and health care. Nature of health care as an economic commodity. How markets and insurance markets work, and how they can fail for health care and health insurance. Incentive mechanisms and principal-agent relationships in health care. Yardstick competition and Diagnostic Related Group payment schemes. Labour markets in health care. Economic evaluation as a regulatory tool.


The course will be delivered in no less that 22 hours and includes lectures and seminars. In seminars students will work in small groups to complete problem sets and learning activities set by the course lead.

Formative coursework

1,500 word essay forms the basis of formative review

Indicative reading

The following is a basic reading list for the course: S Folland, A C Goodman & M Stano, The Economics of Health and Health Care (3rd edn), Prentice Hall, 2001; B McPake, L Kumaranayake & C Normand, Health Economics - An International Perspective, Routledge, 2002.

Students will be given access to essential readings before the course begins through the pre-sessional reading programme on Moodle, which they will be expected to read prior to the first day of class.


Take-home assessment (100%) in the ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 34
Merit 45.5
Pass 17.3
Fail 3.2

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information