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Learn to apply economic thinking to health care.

Get a fundamental understanding of the key concepts in health economics. Gain the skills to analyse and address the challenges of limited resources within the health sector.

This online short course fits around full-time work. It’s ideal for health researchers and professionals working in health, government, academia and the pharmaceutical industry. You do not need any prior knowledge of economics.

You’ll learn from a team of practising health economists who are actively involved in policy-shaping research. And you’ll be joining a university awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for 40 years of excellence in health economics research.

You can use the credits you earn on this course towards our MSc in Clinical Nutrition and Master of Public Health qualifications.

What will I study?

You’ll cover the core topics in health economics, including:

  • key concepts of supply and demand and how these apply to health care
  • analysis of the main alternative systems for organising and financing health care
  • resource allocation and priority setting in health care
  • analysis of the main policy interventions in population health behaviours and the role of behavioural economics
  • fundamental concepts in economic evaluation
  • costing and benefit measurement
  • the rationale behind economic evaluation techniques.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand…

  • The key theories underpinning health economics.
  • The different ways in which health care can be financed and delivered.
  • The contribution of economics to health and health care and how it can assist decision making.
  • Economic evaluation, its underlying principles and main techniques
  • How to critically appraise published economic evaluations.
  • Arguments for and against alternative systems for organising and financing health care.
  • A range of policy interventions in health behaviours and the rationale behind them.

Why study Health online with Aberdeen?

How will I study?

This Health Economics course is delivered part-time, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

The course has five modules. Each module has a specific tutor who is a specialist in their field.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.

You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:

  • PowerPoint presentations
  • reading materials
  • practical exercises
  • assignments
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

Your tutors

This course is taught at Masters level by experienced health economists and researchers. You’ll learn from a team of specialists at our award-winning Health Economics Research Unit (HERU). HERU has been carrying out economic research into health for over 40 years. It’s one of the leading centres for health economics in Europe.

Your teaching team

Where will this take me?

Towards a Masters

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

MSc in Clinical Nutrition (180 credits)

  • Study online or on campus.
  • Available to study to Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) and Postgraduate Diploma level (120 credits).

Master of Public Health (180 credits)

  • Study online or on campus.

Further short courses

We have a range of online Health short courses you can use to build your skills.

Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:


Skills in health economics are increasingly in demand within the health sector, where limited resources present challenges at every level.

This course delivers career-enhancing skills that can help you:

  • inform public policymaking
  • inform management of resources
  • inform clinical decision making
  • work towards becoming a health economist.

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Free careers advice

We’ll help you explore your career potential and connect with job opportunities around the world.

You can access our free careers service while you study.

From interview training to CV clinics, we’re here with tailored, impartial and professional advice.

Am I ready?

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.

Apply for this course

Start date
18 January 2021