HAR687: Economic Evaluation and Health Care Financing


This module introduces the basic principles of economic evaluation as applied to healthcare interventions and health care financing. The core part of the course focuses on economic evaluation and covers the different types that are available and the various stages and techniques that need to be applied to generate results. As alternative techniques are described, the strength and weakness of each will be highlighted, with the students being encouraged to critically appraise their appropriateness to different contexts. The course also introduces the concepts of markets and market failure, models of health care financing and objectives of health care systems.


This unit aims to introduce the basic principles of economic evaluation as applied to healthcare interventions and health care financing. It will provide students with knowledge and understanding of these basic principles and the ability to operationalise them in applied research. It will also enable students to critically appraise their validity and appropriateness to different contexts.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, a candidate will be able to:

  • describe and reflect upon the principles of economic evaluation;
  • describe and reflect upon the methods used to undertake economic evaluations in healthcare;
  • critically appraise published economic evaluations;
  • describe and reflect upon alternative health care financing systems.

Teaching Methods

The aims and learning outcomes are achieved through two main teaching methods.

Firstly, informal lectures, some of which will include group exercises, will provide the majority of the contact hours with lecturers.

Secondly, tutorials will be given to explore in more depth some issues arising in the preceding lectures. These will take the form of student-led discussions and practical work. They will reinforce the learning outcomes and provide practical experience of applying some of the concepts.

Further support will be provided online via multiple choice questions and discussion boards to support students’ self-led learning.


Formative assessment: written assignments comprising long and short answers which will assess the knowledge and understanding of students relating to the methods and application of some economic evaluation techniques. This work is not formally assessed or marked but model answers will be provided and student answers will be reviewed in a group session.

Summative Assessment: A 3 hour written unseen examination (100% weighting) will be undertaken to assess the knowledge and understanding of the student relating to the principles and methods of economic evaluation and health care financing.

Students must pass the exam in order to pass the course.

The pass mark is 50%.