MSc Health Economics

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Key facts

(REF 2014)

How can we increase effectiveness and efficiency? What is the monetary impact of smoking on the healthcare system? What value should we place on this drug or procedure? In an era of diminished budgets and ageing populations, health economists are in more demand than ever.

Study Health Economics at UEA and you’ll learn to make decisions that really count. You will be based in the Norwich Medical School, where you’ll not only develop an understanding of economic concepts related to health, public health, and health services policy, you’ll be part of a school at the forefront of research. You’ll train with a wide range of healthcare students, taught by leading academics, and you’ll be connected to a well-respected group of researchers who advise on international and national policies that affect people’s health, worldwide.

You’ll graduate ready to tackle some of the biggest questions in the provision of care for national government, the NHS, the private sector or research organisation.

Overview

Our course will help you understand the ways in which economic ideas and principles are relevant to, and applied in, health and healthcare. It will also enable you to gain practical experience in the application of health economics techniques.

If you’re a graduate economist, or you have a degree from another relevant disciplinary background such as the health arena or one of the quantitative social sciences, and have a keen interest in health economics, this course is for you. Through it you will also gain an appreciation of the links between economic evaluation and economic theory, as well as those between health service research and decision making.

During your time with us you will develop your analytical skills in quantitative research methods and critical appraisal. You’ll hone your ability to apply research results to practice, and to health service decision-making. You’ll also acquire practical skills in the economic analysis of health problems; for example, putting a price on the impact of Type Two Diabetes on a given NHS Trust.

You’ll be taught within a research-active health economics group. Which means you’ll have direct access to the most up-to-date statistics and thinking, and to people with real-world health economics research experience. You’ll also have the opportunity to expand upon an area of active research that interests you most, as you work on your dissertation within this stimulating academic environment.

Course Structure

Your MSc Health Economics can be completed in one year full-time, or over two years, part-time. During this time you’ll complete three compulsory modules, and three chosen from defined selections, so you can tailor your learning to your interests to a certain degree.

The three compulsory core modules are Introduction to Research Methods, Health Economics, and Economic Evaluation in Health and Healthcare. In addition, you’ll be required to select one quantitative methods module from Econometric Methods and Further Quantitative Methods, or – if you have a BA of 2:1 or above in economics – you can choose Economic Theory.

You will then need to choose a further two modules from options that might include Economic Concepts, Systematic Reviews and Synthesis, Economic Theory (if you have at least a 2:1 in economics), and Health and Development. (Options may vary and may depend on the numbers wishing to take them).

In addition to the taught modules you’ll research and write your sixty-credit Master’s dissertation on a health economics topic of your own choosing. You could decide to work on a systematic review and synthesis of previous research, to undertake your own original data analysis, or to work on a combination of the two. Whatever route you go down, you’ll be assigned a supervisor to guide you throughout.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, student-led seminars and computer practicals. The exact arrangements will vary from module to module, but each will include around 30-35 contact hours.

A high degree of student participation is required for this course, so you will be expected to fully prepare for all student-led sessions and seminars.

Independent study

For each taught module you will spend around 200 hours in private study, preparing for lectures, seminars and assessment. This is your opportunity to read widely, broadening your knowledge and understanding of the subject.

Your research dissertation will occupy you for the equivalent of about three months full-time, during which you’ll work independently under the guidance of your supervisor. You’ll need to read widely and undertake analysis, exploiting the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired through our taught modules.

Assessment

Most taught modules will feature a combination of assessment methods, including examinations, course tests and written assignments.

After the course

Our programme will arm you with the analytical tools and practical skills with which to start building a career in health economics. After graduation, you will be a sought-after professional ready to pursue a rewarding career as a health economist in government, the NHS, a pharmaceutical firm or the World Health Organisation.

You could also choose to enter into postgraduate research, followed by a career in research or academia.

Career destinations

  • Central government departments
  • NHS Trusts
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Pharmaceutical firms
  • Research or academia

Course related costs

Beyond your course fees, your only expense will be course books.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

ECONOMIC EVALUATION IN HEALTH CARE

On this module you will understand and critically appraise the economic studies of health care interventions; understand the range of evaluation techniques and appropriate circumstances for application; and appreciate the links between economic evaluation and economic theory, health service research and decision making and to have confidence to conduct further economic evaluation studies.

MED-7008E

20

HEALTH ECONOMICS

This module aims to equip you with an understanding of health economics, its value and limitations. It is suitable for students with and without an economics background as the course covers fundamental economic principles and their application to health care. These will include concepts of opportunity cost, supply and demand and efficiency. The module uses these principles to explore relevant topics in health and healthcare. The following topics are covered. The use of economic evaluation of health care interventions using techniques such as cost effectiveness analysis and cost benefit analysis. The application of economic principles to system level health policy issues such as health care priority setting, alternative models of health care financing and organisation, and equity and inequalities in health. There are also sessions of the determinants of and consequences of health and also the economics of health behaviour.

MED-7006D

20

INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS

MED-7021D

20

RESEARCH DISSERTATION

The purpose of this module is to illustrate the depth of skills and knowledge that you have developed through the MSc programme. The skills you will develop further include being able to; 1.Gain practical experience in conducting research in an area of self-chosen content or subject material. 2.Gain practical experience of presenting your research in a written format. 3.Apply your knowledge of qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies to your own area of self-chosen content or subject material. You will be encouraged to consider your dissertation work for publication either within the University or in refereed academic journals.

MED-7007X

60

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

ECO-7002A is only available to those students with an undergraduate economics degree 2:1 or above

Name Code Credits

ECONOMETRIC METHODS

Are you interested in working with data? Would you like to be able to make economics forecasts or predictions, or test an economic theory? If so, this module will introduce you the empirical techniques you need to satisfy these interests. This module will introduce you to econometrics, which is a combination of economic theory, mathematical economics, economic statistics and mathematical statistics. You'll learn some basic econometric techniques that will enable you to obtain numerical estimates of, for example, the relationship between expenditure on a good and income, or the relationship between years of education and pay. In addition, as your seminars will take place in the computer labs, you'll gain skills in analysing data using the econometric computer package STATA. In the first part of the module, you'll be shown how to estimate a simple regression model, interpret your findings and test the relationships between variables. As you progress, you'll learn how to identify problems with your model and how to address these problems. In lectures you'll learn about the techniques; in seminars you'll apply these techniques to a variety of economic problems and estimate models with the help of STATA. In the later part of the module you'll consider a more advanced style of modelling, which is appropriate for dealing with data on the choices made by individuals. For example, owning your own home rather than renting, or going to university instead of entering the labour market. By the end of the module you'll be able to estimate appropriate regression models, identify problems which may arise and know how to address them. In addition, you'll be able use STATA and understand some of the methods, models and techniques that may be useful in the workplace.

ECO-7000A

20

ECONOMETRIC THEORY

Explore various theoretical aspects within the linear regression framework using matrix algebra and complemented by simulations and applications. The econometrics package Stata is used throughout. As well as reviewing fundamental concepts in Econometrics, you'll examine the multiple linear regression model (MLR), focusing on the theory of estimation and inference. Other important issues within this framework are also discussed, such as partitioned regression, model misspecification and linear models that incorporate nonlinearities. You'll analyse the consequences of having non-spherical errors, focusing on the problem of heteroscedasticity, and consider the consequences of endogeneity, examining the instrumental variable approach as the main strategy for dealing with this problem.

ECO-7002A

20

FURTHER QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

You'll build on the quantitative methods covered in Introduction to Research Methods. It will add depth to your knowledge already acquired in that module on measurement, survey instruments, study designs and statistics. You'll also take part in practical sessions where you'll apply the statistical knowledge gained to describe and analyse data sets.

MED-7013E

20

Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Students should select either ECO-7003A or ECO-7011A. ECO-7003A is only available to those students with an undergraduate economics degree 2:1 or above

Name Code Credits

APPLIED ECONOMETRICS

This module builds on econometrics material covered in earlier modules and is divided into two parts: 1) Time series methods (including ARIMA modelling, stationarity testing, ARCH/GARCH models, Volatility Spillover, VARs , Cointegration and VECMs) 2) Microeconometrics (including panel data methods, and models for binary response variables) There is an emphasis on the practical application of common estimation techniques, with the specialist econometric software package Stata used extensively.

ECO-7001B

20

ECONOMIC CONCEPTS

Introducing micro and macro economic analysis, this module will familiarise you with a wide range of economic tools which can be applied to issues relating to your Applied Training Programme. It covers, in particular, consumer and producer choice, market equilibrium, market structure, externalities and public goods, the macroeconomics of inflation, unemployment and growth and macroeconomic policy.

ECO-7011A

20

ECONOMIC THEORY I

This is an advanced module in microeconomic theory, designed for postgraduate students with a strong background in economics. The topics covered in this module include the duality approach to demand theory, firm theory, general equilibrium theory, game theory, choice under uncertainty, agency theory and the economics of asymmetric information. The rational-choice foundations of microeconomics are also critically examined.

ECO-7003A

20

HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT

This module provides a broad introduction to health issues in a context of development. It reviews different cultural understandings of health, and relationships between health, socio-economic change, livelihoods and poverty. The module also examines health policies of particular relevance to developing countries. While we look at health issues in general, we pay particular attention to links between HIV/AIDS and development.

DEV-7027B

20

SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS AND RESEARCH SYNTHESIS

Findings from systematic reviews have been increasingly used by health policy makers, clinicians and patients for making decisions. A systematic review of available evidence is also often required for developing new research, and for interpreting findings from a primary study. The module will include the following contents: 1.Introduction, framing questions and inclusion/exclusion criteria 2.Sources of evidence and literature search strategy 3.Data extraction and validity assessment 4.Synthesizing evidence from qualitative studies 5.Synthesizing evidence from quantitative studies 6.Quality of systematic reviews and overview of reviews 7.Recent development in research synthesis methods 8.Systematic review protocol. The learning outcome will provide you with the skills and understanding to appraise and interpret published systematic reviews, to develop a protocol and undertake a systematic review. By the end of the module, you will be able to: #Frame questions appropriate for a systematic review #Design an appropriate literature search strategy #Assess the relevance and quality of primary studies #Qualitatively and quantitatively synthesize data from primary studies #Appropriately interpret findings of a systematic review and meta-analysis #Understand common pitfalls in systematic reviews and meta-analysis #Become familiar with recent method research relevant to systematic reviews.

HSC-7057E

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Economics or related social science, medicine, pharmacy or other health care profession, with substantial quantitative (e.g. maths / statistics / econometrics / epidemiology) components
  • Degree Classification 2.2 or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements Also open to medical undergraduates who have successfully completed 3 or 4 years of study and wish to obtain a Masters by intercalation

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good first degree from a recognised higher education institution. The University will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant.

It is normal for undergraduate students to apply for entry to postgraduate programmes in their final year of study. Applicants who have not yet been awarded a degree may be offered a place conditional on their attaining a particular class of degree.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English or those whose degree was not taught in English. To ensure such students benefit fully from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. We also will require a certain standard to be achieved on the written element of the test. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE: 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

All scores must be less than two years old.

Special Entry Requirements

September Pre-Sessional Courses

You may be required to attend a pre-sessional course in mathematics and statistics run by the School of Economics prior to the start of your course. It runs for two weeks preceding the start of the Masters course in September. This course covers mathematical techniques for Economists, statistics and data analysis using statistical software. There is a separate fee for this course which, for entry in September 2018, is £215.

Fees and Funding

Fees for the academic year 2018/19 are: 

  • UK/EU Students: £7,550
  • International Students: £15,800

International applicants from outside the EU may need to pay a deposit

For those applying under the Health Education England contract, contract prices will apply.

Scholarships

50% Final Year Undergraduate Continuation Scholarship

Current final year UEA undergraduate students who gain a First class degree and progress onto a postgraduate course in September 2017 will receive a 50% fee reduction scholarship. Who do not gain a First class degree will be eligible for the 10% UEA Alumni Scholarship outlined below. Terms and conditions apply.

UEA Alumni 10% Scholarship

A scholarship of 10% fee reduction is available to UEA Alumni looking to return for postgraduate study at UEA in September 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515