Join our flexible online degree in health economics.

Health economics applies economic thinking to the analysis of health and health care. In this postgraduate degree, you’ll:

  • get to know the core issues in health economics and their relevance to working health professionals
  • master the tools you need to analyse and address the limited resources faced by the health sector, and
  • learn to face the challenges of resource allocation as you build your health research skills.

Who can join our online MSc in health economics?

This distance-learning degree is aimed at health professionals. If you’re a professional in health care looking to improve their understanding of health economics and research methods, it’s designed for you.

Study with the award-winning Health Economics Research Unit (HERU)

The first unit in the UK and Europe to focus its research on health economics, HERU was founded in 1977.

Its impactful research informed the introduction of routine breast cancer screening, smokefree legislation, and minimum unit pricing in Scotland.

HERU has active links with health policymakers across the UK, including:

  • the Evidence Directorate of Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • the Analytical Services Division (ASD) of the Scottish Government
  • NHS Education Scotland, and
  • NHS Health Scotland.
Read about HERU

What you’ll study

You can choose to study for a:

  • Masters (180 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), or
  • start with one of the short courses that make up this degree (15 credits).

How you’ll study

Online learning

Health Economics for Health Professionals is delivered flexibly, 100% online.

You can learn with us anywhere, with no need for a study visa, and set your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

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 online access to our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Each course provides a structured but flexible learning approach through the periodic release of materials, including a study guide or worksheets, links to journal articles and e-books, relevant websites, video and audio podcasts, and online discussions.

Your tutors

You’ll study with a team of practising health economists from our Health Economics Research Unit (HERU).

Your tutors are actively involved in policy-shaping research, and HERU is one of the leading centres for health economics research in Europe.

We’re a Queen’s Anniversary Prize winner for our sustained excellence in health economics research over the last 40 years.

Assessments

This degree is assessed entirely online. We use several types of assessment, including multiple-choice quizzes, short-answer tests, essays and presentations.

Hours for taught courses

If you plan to study part-time, we recommend you take no more than 30 credits per term. Students typically take one or two 15-credit short courses per term.

15 credits

  • Around 150 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 10 – 15 hours per week per term.

30 credits

  • Around 300 hours of study and assessment time to complete.
  • You’ll study 20 – 30 hours per week per term.

This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.

You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.

There may be some activities scheduled at a fixed time, such as online meetings with your tutor or assessments with deadlines. But otherwise, you can access and work through each course at your convenience.

Hours for 60-credit projects

A 60-credit project is around 600 hours of study time.

This is around one term of full-time study.

You can dedicate a full term to your project and work on it full-time. Or you can complete it part-time, spreading the hours you dedicate to it over two terms.

When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.

But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.

Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.

Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:

  • Be realistic
  • Create a weekly schedule as a guide

If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.

Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and email. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.

We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.

We’re a member of the Access scheme run by the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Access study spaces, books and journals in your area

The SCONUL Access scheme allows you, as a University of Aberdeen student, to access books and resources at university libraries across the UK and Ireland, or visit them for a quiet place to study.

You’ll be able to use study spaces, books and journals at over 150 university libraries which belong to the scheme.

Find out about the SCONUL Access scheme for libraries.

Your support team

Our friendly team are here to answer any queries you have before, during and after your studies.

Dr Shelley Farrar

Shelley is the degree coordinator. She’ll be on hand to answer any questions about degree content before you start and to help you throughout your studies.

Clare McHattie

Clare is part of the School’s postgraduate teaching support team. She’ll be there throughout your studies to answer any of your non-academic queries.

Get in touch

The online education team is here to answer any questions you have right now about this qualification, or about studying online.

Ask us a question

Where this will take you

Careers

Economic analysis is regularly drawn upon by policymakers and regulators in the health care sector, by professionals in the pharmaceutical industry and by clinicians and managers involved in the organisation, purchasing and provision of health care.

However, given the shortage of health economists in Scotland, the UK and internationally, and, therefore, health economics knowledge and skills, it is increasingly important for non-economists to have a clearer understanding of how they can effectively apply and interpret economic concepts and utilise tools in their own organisation.

Industry Links

You’ll benefit from HERU’s strong links with health policymakers across the UK, including:

  • the Evidence Directorate of Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • the Analytical Services Division (ASD) of the Scottish Government
  • NHS Education Scotland, and
  • NHS Health Scotland.

Lifelong career support

Our career support doesn’t stop when you graduate.

You have access to our free careers service while you study, and beyond.

  • 1:1 appointments
  • CV checks
  • Interview prep
  • Job opportunities

Fees and funding

The fees quoted above are based on you starting your studies with us in the 2024/25 academic year.

We have confirmed that our fees will rise by 5% for the 2025/26 academic year. Our indicative costs include a 5% fee rise each year.

Pay as you go

This is a pay-as-you-go degree.

You do not have to pay the full tuition fee upfront.

You can spread the cost and pay as you go, term by term.

How it works

  • You decide how many credits to study for each term.
  • At the start of term, you pay only for the credits you’re taking that term.
  • This gives you control over your costs and workload for each term of your degree.

Your personalised cost breakdown

Use the degree scheduler to plan your studies and see your cost breakdown, term by term.

Learning resources

Access to all the books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.

Printing

You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.

There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:

Find out more about funding options.

Student card

All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.

20% Alumni discount

You’re entitled to 20% off our postgraduate taught degrees and short courses if you have a degree from the University of Aberdeen. View Alumni discount details.

10% NHS discount

NHS staff receive 10% off online postgraduate degrees and short courses offered by our School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition; our School of Psychology; and our ILM leadership courses. View NHS discount details.

How discounts work

Discounts are applied during your application process. Only one discount can be used per application. If you are eligible for more than one discount, we will apply the largest discount for you.

Why study health economics online with the University of Aberdeen?

You’re in expert hands

We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.

Award-winning research

We’re proud winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour for a UK university, for sustained excellence in health research over the last 40 years.

Why we were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize

NHS and alumni discounts

NHS staff get 10% off this online degree. University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off.

Entry requirements

MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • A 2:1 (upper-second) UK honours degree (or equivalent).

You can also apply if you have:

  • alternative/lower qualifications and an appropriate level of relevant experience.

These are our minimum entry requirements. They are given as a guide and do not guarantee entry.

Short course route to online MSc Health Economics for Health Professionals

If you do not meet these entry requirements, or are not ready to commit to a full MSc, you may be able to use our online short courses as a route into this degree.

Find out about our short course route to entry

You apply through our online Applicant Portal. It allows you to upload relevant qualifications and documents.

There is no application fee at the University of Aberdeen.

What you need to apply for this degree

  • Degree transcript
  • Personal statement
  • Degree certificate
  • CV / Resume
  • Reference

Reference

You will need a reference letter from your university discussing your academic ability. If you have been out of education for a long time, you can use your current or most recent employer or another professional person.

Apply now

Start with our step-by-step guide. It explains degree transcripts, what to write in your personal statement and how to use our Applicant Portal.

Apply as early as you can. This is so we have time to review your application and get a decision to you. We also want to ensure you have time to enrol before teaching starts.

September 2024 intake

Teaching starts on 23 September 2024.

Application deadlines will be announced in due course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world.

See the minimum entry requirements above. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check equivalent qualifications from your country.

Visa requirements

You do not need a visa to study online with us.

English language requirements

Teaching is delivered in English.

If English is not your first language, use our English requirements checklist to see if you need to provide evidence of your English language skills when you apply.

English language tests and scores

If you do need to provide English language test scores, these are the tests and minimum scores we accept.

These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements.

IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)

  • 6.5 overall
  • 5.5 for listening and speaking
  • 6.0 for reading and writing

TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition

  • 90 overall
  • 17 for listening
  • 21 for reading
  • 20 for speaking
  • 21 for writing
  • TOEFL DI code is 0818

Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency

  • 176 overall
  • 162 for listening and speaking
  • 169 for reading and writing

LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)

  • Overall High Pass
  • 33 for listening, reading and speaking
  • 38 for writing

PTE Academic (online test not accepted)

  • 62 overall
  • 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing

For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.

You will need access to:

A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:

  • Windows 10 or later
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.

Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.

Reliable internet access

We recommend:

  • a wired connection
  • a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.

Speakers or headphones

  • We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
  • A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.

Software

We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.

If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.

See our detailed IT requirements for more information.

NEW: Try our degree scheduler

Choose your courses

Choose your courses

See all the courses that are part of this degree and choose what you want to study.

Manage your study schedule

Manage your study schedule

Control the pace and cost of your degree. Decide how much you want to study each term.

Save to your wishlist

Save to your wishlist

Save your schedule to your wishlist so you can view and edit anytime.

Customise your degree

Master of Science

180 credits

£16,000

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Postgraduate Diploma

120 credits

£10,580

This indicative cost is based on 120 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Postgraduate Certificate

60 credits

£5,160

This indicative cost is based on 30 credits of study per term, starting in September 2024.

Apply for this programme

Start month
September
INDICATIVE COST
£16,000

This indicative cost is based on 180 credits of study over two years, starting in September 2024.

Apply via our Applicant Portal
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