Health Economics and Policy

  • Online certificate course
  • Department of Health Policy
  • Application code OCC-HEP
  • Starting 2021
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Global

Health economics and policy banner

Global healthcare is in the midst of a historic transition: since the 193 United Nations’ member states officially adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, global spending on healthcare has grown significantly, reaching 10 per cent of global GDP by 2017. In the same period, low-income countries spent $41 per capita on health, compared to $2,937 in high-income countries.*

On the Health Economics and Policy online certificate course, you’ll use economic principles and how they relate to healthcare to explore the challenges facing the industry. You’ll also engage with policy proposals designed to address inequality in the system. Alongside mechanisms such as supply and demand, you’ll gain insight into healthcare financing systems and universal health coverage, and will explore the complexities of the healthcare labour market. Finally, you’ll develop a balanced view of health and social justice, allowing you to assess the inequalities and social determinants of health, and make justifiable decisions regarding fairness in the system.

This course has been designed by faculty from the Department of Health Policy at LSE. Bringing together interdisciplinary research and teaching, the Department aims to influence and improve how health policy is designed, implemented, and evaluated. Experts and alumni from the Department have made substantive contributions to health planning and delivery on the global stage, working as policy specialists in governments, NGOs, and the private sector.

*World Health Organization (2019).

CPD Certified

This course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 50 hours of learning. 

Programme details

Key facts

Registrations close: 18 May 2021   

Course starts (Orientation opens): 26 May 2021

Module 1 starts: 2 June 2021

Duration: 6 weeks (excluding orientation)

Commitment: 6–9 hours per week

Fee: £2,200   

Course outcomes

  • Develop in-depth knowledge of key economic principles and concepts related to the healthcare sector, such as supply and demand, efficiency and equity, and market failures
  • Explore a nuanced perspective on healthcare financing systems and how they can be utilised in the pursuit of universal health coverage
  • Gain insight into the complex healthcare labour market, including workforce planning and forecasting, workforce shortages, and the impact of external shocks
  • Develop an understanding of the pharmaceutical market, including the key steps in the life cycle of a pharmaceutical product, and the economic theory underpinning these steps
  • Cultivate a balanced view of health and social justice by assessing health inequalities and fairness, deconstructing the social determinants of health, and identify potential policy solutions to rectify inequalities in the system

Programme structure

  • Orientation Module
  • Module 1: Economic principles applied to healthcare
  • Module 2: Health financing systems
  • Module 3: The healthcare labour market
  • Module 4: Paying healthcare providers
  • Module 5: The market for pharmaceuticals
  • Module 6: Health and social justice



Professor Alistair McGuire – Professor of Health Economics and Head of Department, Department of Health Policy, LSE

Dr Miqdad Asaria – Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, LSE Health

Dr Laia Maynou-Pujolras – LSE Fellow and Research Officer, Department of Health Policy, LSE


There are no prerequisites for this course.


This course is presented entirely online, in collaboration with leader in online education GetSmarter. View this Health Economics and Policy online certificate course on the GetSmarter website.

Modules are released on a weekly basis, and can be completed in your own time and at your own pace. 

This interactive, supportive teaching model is designed for busy professionals and results in unprecedented certification rates for online courses.

Reading materials

All reading materials for this course will be made accessible to you through the Online Campus. Notes for each module are often downloadable, and you are able to save any information or collateral you use to your personal profile.

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