Advanced Health Policy and Health Economics

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Andrew Street COW 1.02, Dr Justin Parkhurst COW 2.12 and Dr Huseyin Naci COW 3.01


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Health Policy and Health Economics. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The PhD programme is centred around this core course and all students registered in their 1st, 2nd or 3rd year are expected to attend. 

Alongside a set of bespoke lectures, the course includes a journal club where key articles are critically appraised and a series of seminars given by faculty in the Department of Health Policy and external speakers, thereby guaranteeing exposure to different materials, research areas, and theoretical perspectives and analytical techniques.

Students will be required to participate in work-in-progress seminars where students present work relating to their theses and contribute fully to discussions on their colleagues' work. The course will provide students with insights into the breadth of work in the areas of health and social care policy and health economics, and will act as a supportive critical forum for discussion of each PhD student's work-in-progress.


Over the course of the academic year, 24 hours of lectures 24 hours of seminars will take place.

Students on the course will have reading weeks in Week 6 of both Michaelmas and Lent Terms.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce two one-hour presentations over the course of the academic year. In one of these, the student is to contribute to the course's journal club by critically appraising an important contribution to the health policy or health economics literature. In the other instance, students will present work-in-progress, thereby showing understanding of the concepts of the course and its application in designing their PhD thesis.

Indicative reading

Tim Bhattacharya, Timothy Hyde, and Peter Tu: Health Economics (Palgrave Macmillan 2014)

Robert H. Blank and Viola Desidera Burau: Comparative Health Policy, 3rd edition (Palgrave Macmillan 2013)

Peter Burnham: Research Methods in Politics, 2nd edition (Palgrave Macmillan 2008)

Michael F Drummond et al.: Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes (Oxford University Press 2015)

Sherry Glied and Peter Smith: The Oxford Handbook of Health Economics (Oxford University Press 2013)

Andrew M Jones ed.: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, 2nd edition (Edward Elgar 2013)

Stephen Morris et al.: Economic Analysis in Health Care, 2nd edition (Wiley 2013)


Oral examination (100%).

Summative assessment in the first year of full-time PhD enrolment will consist of a 5,000 word thesis document detailing students' thesis proposal, including research question, a literature review, a description of their methodology, their plans for data collection and a timetable through to completion. Students are subject to a viva voce and marking of this document by the two non-supervisory members of the department who make the decision on upgrading. Students will be required to achieve a minimum grade of 60%.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2021/22: 6

Average class size 2021/22: 3

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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