SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMB725020
Module Leader Sarkis Manoukian
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Nursing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

-108 This module on health economics is designed to provide students with the analytical tools to understand, from an economic perspective: the nature of health care systems internationally; techniques to assess specific health intervention programmes; and frameworks for evaluating actions on determinants of health and wellbeing. 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 government intervening in health care. In doing so, we will discuss health care systems and 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 how economic frameworks for evaluation are challenged by the need to evaluate public health initiatives aimed at addressing health determinants and broader aspects of wellbeing. The module will be delivered via a combination of group work, lectures and tutorials.


-360b7 Why is it important to study health from an economic perspective? b7 Markets and market failure in health care b7 Health care systems and incentives in health care b7 Equity in health care 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 Equity and social values b7 Evaluating complex, community-based initiatives: case study and challenges Using economic principles in practice: setting priorities in health care

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to1. Describe basic economic concepts and how these can be used in public health and health care settings2. Define, critically appraise and apply concepts of economic evaluation used to appraise health and health care interventions3. Critically challenge economic evaluation methods taking into account broader public health and social actions aimed at health and wellbeing determinants 4. Define, critically appraise and apply concepts of equity (in health care and health) from an economic perspective5. Summarise how economics approaches to priority setting can be used in health care planning.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The m odule is delivered online via GCULearn and classroom based. Students may elect to study the module EITHER online OR on campus, but may not transfer between both. Students will be encouraged to work in a self-directed manner, taking responsibility for their own learn ing, personal development and practice competence. Academic components, which will be delivered via lectures and tutorials and supported with on-line materials via GCU learn, will provide an overview of topics and themes of relevance to the module. Academic guidance and opportunities for formative feedback will be provided on an individual and/or group basis. This module consists of group work, lectures and directed learning. Group work will take place in class focussing on 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 and students will be given a formative assignment to be completed in groups e.g. a group presentation on a topic from one of the lectures. Online students will be provided with a variety of online teaching and learning approaches such as online lectures, discussion boards, synchronous and asynchronous discussion activities. Students will be given opportunities to engage in debate and tutorials online via GCU Learn; interacting with, not only, online students but also the face to face module cohort. 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 will be supported electronically through the use of GCULearn. Assessment for the course involves an open book exam where the students will have one week to answer all questions set.

Indicative Reading

AULD., C., et al. 2004. Section 7, Chapter 5: Health Economics and Public Health. In: DETELS., R., et al (eds) .2004. Oxford Textbook of Public Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DONALDSON., C., GERARD., K. 2005. Economics of Health Care Financing: The Visible Hand. (2 nd edition). London: Palgrave Macmillan DONALDSON., C. 2011. Credit Crunch Health Care: How Economics Can Save Our Publicly-Funded Health Care Systems. Bristol: Policy Press (Chapters 1 to 4) DONALDSON., C., MASON., H., SHACKLEY. 2012. Contingent Valuation in Health Care. In: JONES., A. (ed). 2012. The Elgar Companion to Health Economics. (2 nd edition). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. DRUMMOND., MF., et al. 2015. Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes. (4th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press. MENZEL., P. 1999. Toward a broader view of values in cost-effectiveness analysis of health. The Hastings Center Report. 29, 3. pp7-15. MITTON., C., DONALDSON., C. 2004. Priority setting toolkit: A guide to the use of economics in healthcare decision making. BMJ Books: London. (Chapters 2, 4 and 5). WEINSTEIN., M, TORRANCE., G., MCGUIRE., A. 2009. QALYs: The basics. Value in Health. 12 (Supplement), S5-S9.

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Work in a self-directed manner, taking responsibility for own learning, personal development b7 Develop study and IT skills to underpin effective learning b7 Develop communication skills; written, oral and listening b7 Demonstrate an ability to contribute to professional discussion b7 Work effectively with others b7 Underpin professional development by integration of theory and practice b7 Develop enhanced awareness of connections between knowledge, skills and values in relation to self and others Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills in a range of situations

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning 80.00
Directed Learning 16.00
Assessment 30.00
Lectures 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Take Home Exam n/a 100.00 50% Take Home Exam