MSc in Health Economics


Aims of the programme

The MSc in Health Economics has been running since 1978 and the course has been attended by over 750 British and Overseas students. It provides a comprehensive training in the theory and practice of Health Economics and gives students the experience and skills needed for research and health service decision-making. Graduates go on to work in government departments, research units, universities, national health services and health care organisations, and the pharmaceutical industry.


The Health Economics Resource Centre

The Health Economics Resource Centre (HERC) provides a suite of rooms that combine the teaching materials, computing facilities, information resources, and secretarial support used in the full range of health economics training programmes offered by the department.

The principle aim of the resource centre is to provide readily available facilities for private study and research, forming a base for students attending the MSc in Health Economics and for the group of doctoral students in health economics.

Please visit the HERC web pages for more information.

MSc students work alongside a large group of health economists and health service researchers. The Department of Economics and Related Studies and the Institute for Research in Social Sciences are internationally recognised centres of excellence in Health Economics. There are around 50 research staff in the Centre for Health Economics and the York Health Economics Consortium .


Admissions Requirements

Minimum entry requirement is the equivalent of an upper second class degree in economics, or other relevant discipline. However many students have other qualifications, including medicine, pharmacy, and nursing. The Department provides five-week Summer Session in microeconomics and quantitative methods for non-economists.

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Programme structure

There is further detail for each module in the module list section.

Compulsory core components:

  1. Health Economics
  2. Evaluation of Health Care
  3. Econometrics 1 and Applied Microeconometrics, or Econometrics 1 & 2, or Statistics and Econometrics, or Econometric Methods for Research
  4. Either Advanced Microeconomics or Applied Microeconomics 1 and Applied Microeconomics 2
  5. Clinical Decision Analysis

In addition students choose one 10 credit option from:

Category 1 modules:

  • Applied Microeconometrics
  • Design and Analysis of Mechanisms and Institutions
  • Health and Development
  • Health Care Management
  • Project Appraisal
  • Public Finance

Category 2 modules:

  • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Industrial Economics
  • International Macroeconomics
  • Management Decision Analysis
  • Public Sector Economics: Microeconomic Applications

NOTES: Timetabling should permit any choice of category “1" options although it might rule out some combinations from category “2" options. 

Students may be allowed to take one unit in environmental economics offered by the Environment Department. Students wishing to do so must first ask their MSc Director and the Environment Department's MSc Director for permission, which is not automatic.

  • Applied Environmental Economics

Summer Placement

Most students on the MSc in Health Economics choose to do a summer placement. These placements are compulsory for those students who receive Department of Health Studentships.

The placement covers the period 1 July to 30 September and is spent preparing an 8-10,000 word dissertation under the supervision of an experienced health economist. The placements involve the cooperation of many different institutions including academic research units, the NHS and pharmaceutical companies. Most students are based in UK but over recent years there have been placements in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Vietnam and the USA.

The placement differs from the standard dissertation in that the placement supervisor suggests the research topic. A list of topics is circulated in the middle of the Spring term and students are allocated to their preferred placements before the Easter vacation.

Students should not try to organize their own placements. But suggestions for topics and host institutions are always welcome and should be given to the Director of the MSc.

Student's view

Claire McKenna, student

Claire McKenna
MSc in Health Economics

As a non-economist, I really benefited from the six-week summer session in microeconomics and quantitative methods before I began. I met international students from many disciplines. National and international employers recognise York as one of the best institutions for Health Economics and some of the best economics books are written by staff at York and it is fascinating to be taught by these experts in their field.

Visitors come with particular expertise and contribute to teaching us. I also value participating in workshop presentations, which stimulate research discussion and improve communication skills. Another attraction of the course is the opportunity of a summer placement, at different institutions across the world - I look forward to that.


Department of Health Postgraduate Studentships

Eight NIHR studentships are available to EU students on our MSc in Health Economics programme.

All EU applicants to this programme will automatically be considered for these studentships. The studentship pays the tuition fee plus a maintenance grant of around £14,000 .

To guarantee consideration for one of these awards, applications to the MSc in Health Economics should reach the Department of Economics and Related Studies by 1 April 2016.

Students in a seminar