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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Undergraduate Course: Health Systems Analysis (SCPL10034)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide students with the ability to evaluate health systems in any country or region. A core goal is to provide students with an understanding of economic principles and how these can be applied by health policy-makers in policy design, and by other analysts of health system performance. The course currently exists at SCQF Level 11 and has, since its introduction in 2013-14, been taken at that level by BMedSci Honours students doing an intercalated year within the Global Public Health Unit. The intention is to offer this course to intercalated BMedSci Honours students at SCQF Level 10 in line with CHSS regulations.
Course description The course aims to provide a critical understanding of how different models of financing and delivering health products and services can lead to different outcomes in terms of important policy goals such as equity and efficiency. Students will develop an ability to compare and evaluate various models of health system governance, with a particular focus on the evaluation of market vs. planned approaches. They will learn about the organisation and delivery of health systems, with a focus on human/ pharmaceutical resources and use of information, and be required to identify and evaluate methods by which resources are allocated or channelled to individual and institutional providers of health services. In disciplinary terms, students will develop competencies in applying economic principles to look critically at factors- including micro- and macro-economic factors- that have an influence on health systems policies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Online Activities 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 170 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1) Input to online discussion fora. Students to submit a portfolio of contributions to course discussions, comprising two short written reflections on readings and two examples of engagement in online discussions, with a total word count of 2,000 words (30%)
2) Written essay of 2,500 words (70%).
Feedback Student cohort will be given formative essay and feedback information (across all GPHU courses) in week 2/3 of semester 1.
Continuous feedback during face-to-face and online seminar sessions, alongside guidance and feedback hours.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the role played by economic analysis in health policy.
  2. Understand how different models of revenue collection and pooling lead to different outcomes in terms of equity/efficiency.
  3. Be able to evaluate various models of health system governance, with a particular focus on market versus planned approaches.
  4. Be able to evaluate the organisation and delivery of health systems, with a focus on crucial human/ technological resources.
  5. Be able to communicate important health systems concepts to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsHealth systems,health economics,markets,pharmaceuticals,health workers
Course organiserMr Mark Hellowell
Tel: (0131 6)51 1330
Course secretaryMr John Riddell
Tel: (0131 6)50 9975
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