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PGCert Health Economics for Health Care Professionals (distance learning)

Learn how to apply basic concepts of health economics to your work

Year of entry: 2024 (September)
Show year of entry: 2023


1-2 years part-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Join us online or in person to find out more about postgraduate study at York.

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Mounting pressure on health care budgets worldwide has focused attention on how best to organise health care systems and the spending within them.

The University of York distance learning courses in health economics allow you to gain a qualification without interrupting your career, and offer the flexibility to spread study over a period of years to suit your professional and personal circumstances.

The Postgraduate Certificate course is the first of three distance learning courses in health economics that are offered by the University of York, the other two being the Postgraduate Diploma Health Economics for Health Care Professionals and the MSc Economic Evaluation for Health Technology Assessment.

Combined expertise

This course is a collaboration between the Department of Economics and Related Studies and the York Health Economics Consortium.

Innovative Research

The Department of Economics and Related Studies ranks jointly in the top 10 for impact and is joint 14th for research in the UK - according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

Course content

This course will provide you with the basic principles and tools of health economics so that you can understand the work place situations you encounter from an economic perspective and apply basic economic concepts in your work.

Our health economics distance learning modules run on varying semester dates:

Basic Economic Concepts

  • Start date: 25 September 2023
  • Exam dates: 14 - 15 December 2023
  • Reassessment dates: 8 - 9 August 2024

Health Economics: Concepts and Analysis

  • Start date: 2 January 2024
  • Exam dates: 21 - 22 March 2024
  • Reassessment dates: 12 - 13 August 2024

Introduction to Health Care Evaluation

  • Start date: 8 April 2024
  • Exam dates: 27 - 28 June 2024
  • Reassessment dates: 14 - 15 August 2024


You will take core modules which may include:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Identify the primary economic and health economic dimensions to projects and problems encountered at work and integrate these with existing qualifications, skills and professional knowledge. 
  • Combine these dimensions with experience and training from existing professional qualifications and/or related knowledge, to provide appropriate economic and health economics advice to project leaders and managers, both economists and non-economists, in the work place.
  • Use appropriate mathematical, graphical and data analysis techniques (both computer-based and non computer-based) to model the economic dimensions to work-based problems.
  • Access and synthesise information from academic and professional research in health economics and health technology assessment, using training provided as part of the programme induction.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Additional costs

The programme will include a (highly recommended) two-day residential workshop held at the University of York in September for PG Certificate students only, followed by a second (voluntary) two-day residential workshop in March. Attendees will need to arrange and meet their own transport, accommodation and any other related costs for either of these events.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching format

Your teaching will be supported using the University's virtual learning environment. For each module being studied, you will have access to the following:

  • a workbook specific to the module being taught, containing the basic text for the course, references to additional reading and exercises;
  • our Programme Handbook which explains the main rules that govern your time with us;
  • a textbook containing core material (for some modules) available electronically via us or by individual student (hardcopy) purchase;
  • discussion boards regularly monitored by a module tutor or module leader;
  • an assessed work submission facility;
  • automatically marked multiple choice questions (for some modules);
  • pre-recorded videos, support slides and lecture notes;
  • live Q&A sessions arranged so that students can discuss issues with their module leader (for some modules).


Teaching location

As this is a distance learning course, you will be able to complete much of the work you need to do for each module in your own home or place of work. The programme will provide the opportunity to attend 2 'two-day' residential workshops held at the University of York (September and March). Although attendance is not compulsory, it is highly recommended that you attend the first workshop in September as it offers introductory lectures and seminars, as well as training in the use of our web-based learning environment and information systems. It will also give you the opportunity to meet some of our staff and fellow students.

Assessment and feedback

Each module contains two or three pieces of assessed work. This will be marked to provide feedback on your progress. The modules themselves are assessed by examination close to the end of the module's twelve week study period. All examinations and pieces of assessed work will be online.

Careers and skills

This is a Continuing Professional Development course and is designed for those who are already employed.

Career opportunities

  • Director within NHS
  • General manager for a health care company
  • Health care analyst
  • Health economics & outcomes research manager
  • Consultant physician
  • Medical writer

Transferable skills

  • Integration of new knowledge with existing professional background.
  • Application of appropriate mathematical, graphical and data analysis techniques to apply to a wide range of work-based problems.  

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent
Other qualifications and experience We may also accept experience deemed to be of an equivalent standard. Contact the programme administrators for guidance. You are not required to have experience or qualifications in economics.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
KITE 459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our English language requirements.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Applications for this course are open. Please submit your application by 17:00 BST on Friday 28 July 2023.

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