The University of Southampton

ECON6038 Health Policy & Economics

Module Overview

The growing expertise in health economics at the Department of Economics offers a unique opportunity for the introduction of a health policy and economics module. The importance of health for any human being, the size of the health sector, the limited resources available to meet the needs of an aging population (with higher levels of chronic disease) make health economics an important aspect of everyday life. At the same time, the relevance of health economics to a large number of sectors (e.g. health services, public health, medicine, pharmaceutical and health technology industry) makes this module of direct interest to postgraduate programme in Global Health, Public Health and other health related studies. This module is offered as a compulsory module in the MSc Global Health programme.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Explain the use of economic concepts and underlying theories about health care and healthcare systems. • Analyse and quantify the economic and resource implications of health care demand and supply and market failures • Demonstrate the application of economic analysis to inform health policy decisions and planning

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the concepts behind health economic analysis and decision making
  • Understand the basic premise under which allocation decisions in the public health field are taken
  • Understand the structure and functioning of health care markets
  • Critically analyse the advantage and disadvantage of government intervention in health care
  • Apply a global perspective to understanding the resource implications and economic efficiency of health care systems


The module will provide an introduction to the economics of health, health care markets and public policy. Six themes are covered: 1. Intro to Economics: economics, economic theory and applied economic analysis 2. Demand for Health: Grossman Model and causality 3. Public Health: economics of addiction 4. Economic Evaluation: theoretical and empirical introduction to economic evaluation 5. Market failures: Insurance, moral hazard, selection and causality 6. Health care systems: UK and international

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will consist of lectures and hands-on applications to improve students’ learning and analytical skills. In-class group discussions will facilitate deep understanding and encourage critical thinking.

Independent Study130
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Other. You will access to relevant study materials including lecture slides, selected reading and assignment details/electronic submission via Blackboard.


Assessment Strategy

Both elements of the assessment must be passed to pass the module. The pass mark for all assessments is 50%. A qualifying mark of 40% on each assessed component of the module must be achieved. Each of the component marks is then combined, using the appropriate weighting, to give an overall mark for the module. If the overall mark is less than 50% when the weighting has been applied to the components, this constitutes a failure of the module. Students who have failed a module will be referred in only the components in which they did not achieve the qualifying mark. Marks for the components which were passed will be carried forward.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Multiple choice Test 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 50%
Multiple choice Test 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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