MSc Health Economics SeNSS

Full Time
Degree of Master of Science


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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. Based in the Norwich Medical School, 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 research and tackle some of the biggest questions in the provision of care for national government, the NHS, the private sector or research organisation.


MSc Health Economics SeNSS (South East Network for Social Sciences) doctoral training partnership) is designed for graduate economists with a keen interest in health economics. It will help you understand the ways in which economic ideas and principles are relevant to, and applied in, health and healthcare. Providing practical experience in the application of health economics techniques, you will gain an appreciation of the links between economic evaluation and economic theory, as well as 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.

Being taught within a research-active health economics group, you will 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.

This SeNSS pathway specifically prepares you for PhD study, and if eligible, enables you to apply for funding via the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Partnership, to which UEA belongs. Funding may be applied for as either a 1+3 Studentship (MSc Health Economics SeNSS + PhD), or solely for a PhD Studentship if you graduate the Masters course with a Distinction / Merit. 

Course Structure

The MSc Health Economics SeNSS can be completed in one year full-time, or over two or three years part-time. During this time you’ll complete four core taught modules in Macro and Micro Economics, Econometric Theory and Applied Econometrics, as well as two specialist modules: Health Economics and Econometric Evaluation in Health Care. You will also be introduced to Qualitative Research Methods via a non-credit-bearing module. 

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 from the UEA Health Economics Group to guide you throughout.

Teaching and Learning


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 either in person or via live video-linked sessions.

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


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

After the course

This programme is specifically designed to lead into postgraduate research, which may be followed by a career in research or academia. Alternatively you will be armed with the analytical tools and practical skills with which to start building a career in health economics, as 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.

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 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 180 credits:

Name Code Credits


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.




This module focuses on various theoretical aspects within the linear regression framework using matrix algebra, complemented by simulations and applications to provide more intuition. A specialist econometrics software is used throughout, allowing a better understanding of the theoretical material using real world data and simulations. After a review of fundamental concepts in Econometrics, the module progresses to a detailed discussion of the multiple linear regression model (MLR), focusing on the theory of estimation, inference, and other important issues, such as, model misspecification and models that involve nonlinearities. The properties of the OLS estimator are discussed in detail, and simulated examples show all the adverse consequences on these properties if certain assumptions in the data or the population do not hold. Real world applications are considered, discussing whether these assumption hold in reality. For example, the presence and consequences of having non-spherical errors is discussed, focusing on the problem of heteroscedasticity. Moreover, special attention is paid on the problem of endogeneity, while the instrumental variable approach is presented as the main strategy to deal with it.




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.




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.




The module is about modern macroeconomic theory where economies and not their parts are studied. The focus is consequently on the overall performance of the economy rather than on the functioning of particular parts of the economy. The module uses dynamic general equilibrium models where consumers, firms and governments are modelled as forward-looking agents who make the best of the economic environment they live in.




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, efficiency and equity. The module uses these principles to explore relevant topics in health and healthcare. The following topics are covered: * 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. * Inequity and inequalities in health and healthcare. * The use of economic evaluation of health care interventions using techniques such as cost effectiveness analysis and cost benefit analysis. * the determinants and consequences of health, and the economics of health behaviour.




The purpose of this module is to illustrate the depth of skills and knowledge that have been developed through the MSc programme. The skills to be developed 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 their research in a written format 3: apply their knowledge of qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies to their own area of self-chosen content or subject material. Students will be encouraged to consider their dissertation work for publication either within the University or in refereed academic journals.




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
  • Degree Classification Bachelors degree - 2.1 or equivalent

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate 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: 58 (minimum 50 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 2020, is £215.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,850 (full time)
  • International Students: £16,400 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be charged as half the annual fee in each of the first two years. Students can also pay a pro-rata fee for each module studied (only available for UK/EU students).

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


Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.


SeNSS 1+3 Studentship

The MSc Health Economics (SeNSS) is fundable by the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership as part of a 1+3 (Masters+PhD) studentship. Successful candidates who meet the eligibility criteria will be offered a full studentship that both covers their tuition fees and pays them a stipend (of £15,009 per year for 2019/20). EU applicants will usually only be eligible for a studentship that covers their tuition fees.

Full details, including details of the application process, can be found on UEA’s SeNSS web pages. To be successful, prospective students must submit two course applications, for the MSc Health Economics SeNSS as well as to study a PhD programme at UEA, by 20 January 2020. The 1+3 Studentship Funding has a separate application deadline of 3 February 2020. 

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 2019 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 2019. 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.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

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

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

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: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515