HP433      Half Unit
Health Care Regulation

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Rocco Friebel COW 2.09


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

Course content

Health care systems are complex organisational structures governed by an ambition to provide high-quality health care services to its population. In this context, governance describes a framework through which individual stakeholders are being held accountable to improving the quality of services and safe-guarding high standards of care. In turn, this framework ensures a consistent evaluation and regulation of care processes and is crucial for the efficient functioning of health care systems around the world.

This course provides a detailed perspective on the complexities surrounding the interplay between different stakeholders in the regulation of health care markets and the problems facing the management of health care services. The course builds on theoretical concepts and on principles of sound economic analysis and exposes students to learning from regulatory experiences beyond the health sector, including from data sciences, and medical research environments.

Following completion of this course, students will have an advanced understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of regulation and governance and they will be familiar with key topics of current concern, including the problems associated with health care management, planning, purchasing and commissioning, and quality of care. Knowledge drawn from this course will equip students with the necessary skills required to understand the complexities of health care regulation and governance and to critically assess policy decisions in their respective health systems.


This course will be taught in no less than 25 hours and will consist of lectures and seminars delivered in the Winter Term. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the WT.

1 x 1000 word essay. Students will be able to submit a short 1000 word essay (on any topic of their choice, but taken from the list of debates covered in the seminars). Students are expected to submit their formative assignment within one week of participating in the seminar debate that is linked to the topic of their choice. Therefore, submission of formative essays will be in waves, and not all at once. These will be graded and feedback given to students. This allows students to get valuable experience of writing at MSc level, and the expectations of the summative assessment. For example, if a student’s formative work flagged particular concerns this could be addressed ahead of the summative submission.

Indicative reading

  • A. Dixon, T. Harrison and C. Mundle, Economic regulation in health care: What can we learn from other regulators? King’s Fund, London, 2011, available at: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/default/files/Economic-regulation-in-health-care-paper-The-Kings-Fund-November-2011_0.pdf
  • R. Busse, N. Klazinga, D. Panteli and W. Quentin, Improving healthcare quality in Europe: Characteristics, effectiveness and implementation of different strategies World Health Organisation, Geneva, 2019, available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/327356/9789289051750-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
  • R. Field, Health Care Regulation in America: Complexity, Confrontation, and Compromise, Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 336.
  • M. Gaynor, C. Propper and S. Seiler, “Free to choose? Reform choice and consideration sets in the English National Health Service”, American Economic Review, vol 106 (11), 2016, pp. 3521-57.
  • M. Lodge and L. Stirton Accountability in the regulatory state. In: Baldwin, Robert, Cave, Martin and Lodge, Martin, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Regulation. Oxford handbooks in business and management. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • R. Saltman, R. Busse, E. Mossialos (eds) Regulating entrepreneurial behaviour in European health care systems, Open University Press, 2002.
  • R. Saltman and A. Duran “Governance, Government, and the Search for New Provider Models”, Int J Health Policy Manag, 2015, 4(1), pp. 1-10.
  • M. Lodge (2014) Regulatory capture recaptured. Public Administration Review, 74 (4). pp. 539-542.
  • J. Costa-Font, G. Turati and A. Batinti The Political Economy of Health and Healthcare – Rise of the Patient Citizen, 2020, available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/political-economy-of-health-and-healthcare/8AFCCB199BE731939F2A5A285A0BFF59
  • E. Mossialos, G. Permanand, R. Baeten and T. Hervey. Health Systems Governance in Europe: The Role of European Union Law and Policy. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • G. Permanand and E. Mossialos “Constitutional asymmetry and pharmaceutical policy-making in the European Union” Journal of European Public Policy. 2005;12(4): 687-709


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2022/23: 61

Average class size 2022/23: 15

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half 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
  • Communication