SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMB723302
Module Leader Marissa Collins
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Nursing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module on health economics and development is designed to provide students with the analytical tools to understand, from an economic perspective: the nature of health care systems internationally; how to assess health care reforms and specific health intervention programmes; and frameworks of health determinants. The module is divided into three main parts. First, we outline the basic economics of health care systems, addressing issues such as the degree to which health care can be provided via market mechanisms, and, if not, what this means for health care reforms globally. In doing so we will compare health care systems and discuss equity issues associated with different health care systems. Secondly, we consider the evaluation of health care; what do we mean by cost-effectiveness analysis and cost-benefit analysis in a health context, and how do we measure health (and other benefits) arising from specific interventions? Third, we examine the economic perspective on health determinants: what are the recent trends in global health, how do we measure health at the macro level and how do economic models of health determinants help shape national and international health policies?


-357b7 Why is important to study health from an economic perspective? -357b7 Markets and market failure in health care b7 The role of incentives in health care reform: the demand side b7 The role of incentives in health care reform: the supply side b7 Equity in health care from an economic perspective b7 Comparative health care systems from an economic perspective b7 Principles and frameworks of health economic evaluation b7 Case studies in economic evaluation b7 Measuring and valuing the benefits of health services b7 Setting priorities for health improvement: programme budgeting and marginal analysis b7 Economics and health inequalities b7 Economics and determinants of health

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should:- Understand how basic economic concepts can be used in health and health care policy analysis- Be able to articulate demand-side and supply-side health care reforms- Be able to outline how such incentive-based reforms might be assessed- Be able to outline a basis for international comparisons of health care systems- Be able to define, critique and apply concepts of economic evaluation used to appraise health and health care inventions- Be able to define, critique and apply concepts of health determinants from an economic perspective

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is delivered online via GCU learn or classroom based. Students may elect to study the module EITHER online OR on campus, but may not transfer between both. Academic components will be delivered via lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive discussions, directed and self directed study. This combination will depend on whether the module is being delivered on site at GCU face to face, blended at GCU or a venue other than GCU e.g. contractual international agreement or being delivered completely online. Group work will take a contemporary health economics issue (e.g. asking whether health care systems would be better off with no government interference), the outcomes of which would then be addressed in a related lecture (delivered either face to face or online). The programme will be research-led and will reflect and enhance contemporary scholarship. A strong emphasis will be placed on students taking responsibility for participation, for their own learning and for the dissemination of knowledge to other students within the seminar setting. However, independent student learning (for both face to face and distance learning students) will be supported electronically through the use of GCU Learn. Assessment for the course is continuous and will involve two assignments (an essay and an open book exam). There will be no final exam. The fundamental aim of the teaching and learning strategies are to meet the educational needs of experienced professionals. Students will be encouraged to work in a self-directed manner, taking responsibility for their own learning, personal development and practice competence.

Indicative Reading

Evans RG (1984) Strained Mercy: the Economics of Canadian Health Care. Butterworths, Toronto. Donaldson C (2011) Credit Crunch Health Care: How Economics Can Save Our Publicly-Funded Health Care Systems. Bristol, Policy Press Donaldson C and Gerard K (2005, 2nd edition) Economics of Health Care Financing: The Visible Hand. London, Palgrave Macmillan. Donaldson C and Shackley P (1997) Economic evaluation. In Detels R, Holland WW, McEwan J and Omenn GS (Eds) Oxford Textbook of Public Health (Third edition). Oxford, Oxford University Press. Drummond MF, Sculpher M, Torrance GW, O'Brien B, Stoddart GL (2005, 3rd edn) Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Gold MR, Siegel JE, Russell LB and Weinstein M (1996) Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. Oxford University Press, New York. Journals for reference: British Medical Journal Health Economics Health Policy Health Policy and Planning Journal of Health Economics Lancet Medical Decision Making Social Science and Medicine

Transferrable Skills

In undertaking this module the students will develop and consolidate skills in the following areas: analysis, communication, accessing information sources, C&IT utilisation of equipment, independent study, time management, reasoning and reflection skills, health and safety, health economics theory and practice, Government and public health issues, teamwork, professional confidence, decision making and how to disseminate information.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FDL) 9.00
Seminars (FDL) 6.00
Assessment (FDL) 30.00
SCPHN Practice 80.00
Lectures (FT) 9.00
Directed Learning 25.00
Independent Learning (FT) 80.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Independent Learning (FDL) 80.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 45% Essay 2000 words
Coursework 2 2.00 60.00 45% Open Book exam at home
Placement 1 n/a 0.00 45% Obligatory Placement for students only undertaking SCPHN pathway