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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Molecular and Clinical Medicine

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Health Economics and Applied Health Economics (MCLM11072)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Introduction to Health Economics and Applied Health Economics will provide a grounding in the key concepts of health economics and their practical implications for medical decision making. The relevance of these concepts for specific resource allocation problems in Health Care/Public Health will be analysed and evaluated.
The course will touch on international variations in health system funding arrangements, health system resources in a UK context before focusing on consumer and producer behaviour in health and healthcare, opportunity cost in health systems, assessing value in healthcare and public health, and economic evaluation of health technologies within clinical trials. Students will be encouraged to think from an economist's perspective and critically reflect upon important features and failures of health care markets. At completion of the course, students will be capable to critically appraise health economic evidence from clinical trials.
Course description This course provides an introduction for postgraduate MSc Clinical Trials students to concepts from the field of Economics that are relevant for health and health care, with a special focus on conducting clinical trials. This includes some core topics of Economics as well as the special tools of Health Economics/Economic Evaluation. The special features of health and health care within an economics market paradigm will be analysed. Students will develop an in depth understanding of the market failures arising from these features and acquire knowledge of several important examples. Based on that, students will learn about the demand and supply of health care as well as the influence one can have on the demand for healthcare in terms of lifestyle decisions. Concepts of equity and equality are studied and the concept of incentives is analysed firstly with respect to the overall health care market and subsequently the special features within clinical trials are critically reflected upon.
The relevance of Health Economics for evidence-based medicine and evidence based decision making will be studied together with the principles of economic evaluation. The tools of health economics as applied in economic evaluations will be analysed and applied in detail. Students will develop a strong understanding of how health outcomes can be valued, costs can be measured, and how alternative interventions may be compared and learn how to apply different tools of economic evaluation. A key learning objective is that students will be capable of evaluating economic evaluations in the field of Clinical Trials. Finally, to place Health Economics into context knowledge students will critically appraise economic evaluations of clinical trials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Online Activities 100, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 40, Formative Assessment Hours 12, Summative Assessment Hours 10, Revision Session Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 21 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Online Participation: 20%br /
Group work: 20%br /
Written assignment: 60%br /
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain, apply and evaluate the concepts of scarcity, demand & supply and opportunity cost in health systems
  2. Differentiate the key mechanisms of markets and market failure in health care
  3. Analyse and evaluate cost-effectiveness evidence to choose between different treatment options or health technologies
  4. Critically appraise economic evaluations in the field of Clinical Trials
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will train students' skills in the evaluation of new types of evidence. Taking an economics perspective applied to familiar problems will encourage critical thinking. Communication of challenging ideas will be developed in tutorial sessions. Special focus will be on the threshold concepts of health economics, for example opportunity costs.
Keywords(Health) Economics,resources,healthcare,markets,evidence
Course organiserMiss Katharina Diernberger
Course secretaryMrs Elspeth Currie
Tel: (0131 6)50 9242
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