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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Health Systems Analysis (PGSP11431)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide students with the ability to evaluate healthcare systems, policies and reforms in any country or region of the world. A core objective is to provide students with knowledge of economic principles and how these are applied by health policy-makers.
Course description This course aims to provide students with the ability to evaluate health systems and policies in any country or region of the world. A subsidiary objective is to provide students with knowledge of economic principles and how these can be applied by policy-makers in health. Health systems analysts can provide answers to important policy questions because they have developed a conceptual framework for determining which choices are most efficient. This has become the dominant framework in health policy-making in many countries. In addition, those who want to influence, formulate or implement health policy must have a good understanding of economic concepts and theories and how these can be applied.

Outline content

The course is organised around 10 sessions covering three broad areas of health systems policy debate: healthcare financing, health provision and sustainability.

The course is taught by a combination of video lectures, interactive videoconferences and online discussion fora. In general, each topic is introduced via two video lecture and is then explored in greater depth in the interactive videoconferences and online discussion fora. Students are expected to complete essential readings before attending videoconferences or posting their blogs and other contributions to the discussion fora, and they have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on their contributions throughout the course period.
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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will be based on two components: 1) Student reflections and input to discussion fora (30%) 2) Written essay of 3,000 words (70%).
Feedback Feedback on the discussion forum contributions that make up the portfolio component of the assessment will occur throughout the course period. In addition, verbal feedback is provided during the interactive videoconferences. These sessions include the opportunity for students to seek guidance and feedback on their planned approach to the assessed essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A critical understanding of the role played by economic analysis in health policy and how different models of revenue collection and pooling can lead to different outcomes in terms of equity and efficiency.
  2. An ability to evaluate the various models of health system governance, with a particular focus on the evaluation of market vs. planned approaches.
  3. An ability to evaluate the organisation and delivery of health systems, with a focus on human/ pharmaceutical resources and use of information.
  4. An ability to identify and evaluate methods by which resources are allocated or channelled to individual and institutional providers of health services.
  5. Demonstrating the analytical skills required to present, communicate and debate issues in health systems policy from an economist's point of view.
Reading List
Carrin, C et al (2011), Health Systems Policy, Finance and Organization, Elsevier.
Morris, S et al (2012), Economic Analysis in Health Care, Wiley (2nd ed).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Mark Hellowell
Tel: (0131 6)51 1330
Course secretaryMs Maria Brichs
Tel: (0131 6)51 3205
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