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Home>Study at York>Postgraduate>Courses>Health Economics (MSc)

Overview Comprehensive training in the theory and practice of health economics


1 year full-time

York pioneered study in 'health economics' and received the Queen's Anniversary Prize in recognition of its outstanding work at world-class level in this field in 2007. Studying for a Health Economics masters at York therefore means you'll be joining a programme with an international reputation for excellence.

The course will equip you with the experience and leading-edge skills you need for a career in research and health service decision-making. During your time at York, you'll have access to The Health Economics Resource Centre which provides a suite of rooms combining teaching materials, computing facilities and information resources.

Summer placements give you the opportunity to carry out research in the field under the supervision of an experienced health economist.

Course content What you’ll study


You'll study five compulsory core components, supplemented by a wide choice of optional units, to gain a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of health economics.

Taught by world-leading experts, you will complete modules to the value of 180 credits. This includes 100 credits of taught modules - some core and some optional - and an 80 credit dissertation.


For the Masters you will need to take 100 credits of taught modules.

There are five core modules which amount to 90 of your 100 required credits:

  1. Evaluation of Health Care (20 credits)
  2. Health Economics (20 credits)
  3. Clinical Decision Analysis (10 credits)
  4. One set from these choices:
    1. Econometrics 1 (10 credits) and Applied Microeconometrics (10 credits)
    2. Econometrics 1 & 2 (20 credits)
    3. Statistics and Econometrics (20 credits)
    4. Econometric Methods for Research (20 credits)
  5. One set from these choices:
    1. Advanced Microeconomics (20 credits)
    2. Applied Microeconomics 1 (10 credits) and Applied Microeconomics 2 (10 credits)

In addition you can choose one 10 credit option from:

  • Advanced Macroeconomics (10 credits)
  • Applied Microeconometrics (10 credits)
  • Design and Alalysis of Mechanisms and Institutions (10 credits)
  • Evaluation of Health Policy (10 credits)
  • Experimental Economics (10 credits)
  • Health and Development (10 credits)
  • Industrial Economics (10 credits)
  • International Macroeconomics (10 credits)
  • Labour Economics (10 credits)
  • Management Decision Analysis (10 credits)
  • Public Finance (10 credits)
  • Public Sector Economics: Microeconomic Applications (10 credit)

A full list and descriptions of modules are available.

You may be able to take one or more of your optional units from the following modules in environmental economics offered by the Environment Department. You will need to ask your masters director and the Environment Department's MSc director for permission, as this is not automatic.

  • Environmental Economics
  • Environmental Valuation


Over the three months of summer, you'll complete a piece of independent research, guided by a supervisor. The 10,000 word dissertation is worth 80 credits and offers you the chance to examine a topic in depth and to develop your academic research skills.

Most students on the MSc in Health Economics choose to do a summer placement under the supervision of an experienced health economist. These differ from the standard dissertation as the placement supervisor suggests the research topic. A list of topics is circulated in the middle of the Spring term and you are allocated to your preferred placement before the Easter vacation.

The summer placements involve many different institutions including academic research units, the NHS and pharmaceutical companies. Most students are based in UK but in recent years placements have taken students to Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Vietnam and the USA.

While you shouldn't try to organise your own placement, suggestions for topics and host institutions are always welcome. These should be given to your course director.

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.
Claire, MSc in Health Economics

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

This Masters combines a variety of different teaching methods, including:

  • Formal lectures
  • Seminars
  • Problem-solving classes
  • Practical computer-based sessions.

A member of the teaching staff will act as your supervisor throughout the degree, to help guide your studies and monitor progress. The department also has a vibrant research community. You’ll be able to attend the seminars and research workshops in which staff and invited speakers discuss their research.


Formal types of assessment in this course include:

  • Dissertation
  • Exams
  • Group project
  • Seminar presentation
  • Essays

As you study modules you’ll take part in assessments that do not contribute to your final mark, instead giving useful feedback on your progress and understanding.

National and international employers recognise York as one of the best institutions for Health Economics. 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.
Claire, MSc in Health Economics

Careers Where you’ll go from here

This course is ideal for people who want to work in research and health service decision-making. Potential employers will value the experience you'll gain on your summer placement. The MSc is also an ideal basis for progression to a PhD.

Career opportunities

You'll gain skills which will allow you to work in a variety of organisations. Previous graduates have gone on to work in:

  • Government departments
  • Research units
  • Universities
  • National health services
  • Health care organisations
  • The pharmaceutical industry.

Transferable skills

You'll develop a range of transferable skills during the course, including:

  • Independent working
  • Time management and people skills
  • Analytical and technical research skills
  • Communicating research.

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

You should have at least a relevant 2:1 degree in economics, or other relevant discipline. However many students have other qualifications, including medicine, pharmacy, and nursing. The Department of Economics and Related Studies provides a five-week Summer Session in microeconomics and quantitative methods for non-economists.

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system, which allows you to save your progress and return later to finish. If you're unable to apply online, you can submit a paper application.

International options

Visit general guidance on international entry requirements or email for further details for this course.

English language

If your native language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English language ability:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
  • Pearson (PTE) Academic: 61 overall with a minimum of 55 in each component.

We also accept other English tests. Visit postgraduate English language requirements for further information.

Enquire Contact our admissions tutors if you have any questions

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