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Course content

The UCL MSc in Health Economics and Decision Science spans the disciplines of economics, statistics and epidemiology - training students in applied problems, while providing the theoretical foundations expected of an outstanding UCL postgraduate degree. Strong links to industry and demand for skills in this area mean that graduates of this programme will be highly employable.

About this degree

Students choose between a decision science or economics stream and complete eight taught modules and a project. Some students will have the opportunity of an industry internship. All graduates will understand how the political, economic and physical context of health systems frames the application of economics and decision science. Graduates will be able to conduct rigorous cost-effectiveness analyses of health technologies and interventions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits compromising eight taught modules worth 15 credits each and a substantive piece of student-led research that will carry 60 credits. Students must undertake either four or five core modules. The combination and number of modules studied will depend on your chosen stream and whether your background is in statistics or economics.

Core modules

At least four modules (60 credits) must be selected from the following list. The selection of core modules is specific to the student's preferred stream.

  • Health Systems in a Global Context
  • Health Policy and Reform
  • Economic Evaluation
  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Medical Statistics I
  • Econometrics
  • Key Principles of Health Economics
  • Modelling for Decision Science
  • Microeconomics for Health

Optional modules

  • Bayesian Methods in Economic Evaluation
  • Health Economics
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Concepts and Controversies in Global Health
  • Climate Change and Health
  • The PPE of Health
  • Medical Statistics II
  • Research Methods and Evidence for Global Health
  • Economics of Health and Population
  • Urban Health

In addition to the modules listed, student may select one optional module from any department in UCL. 


All students undertake an indepedent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of up to 10,000 words (60 credits). Some students may conduct their research project together with industry partners.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be delivered using a wide range of methods including classroom teaching, peer-led seminars, online lectures and practical exercises, moderated debates, group exercises and reading and writing tasks. Assessment varies from written examinations, to essays, portfolios and oral presentations.


A number of students will have the opportunity to undertake an industry placement. This will not be assessed as part of the programme and access to placements is voluntary and based on open competition.


Graduates of this MSc may go on to work within the pharmaceutical industry, local or national government departments, international organisations, think tanks, consultancies or in academia among other opportunities. Programme organisers liaise with a range of potential employers to create internship opportunities where students can experience the working environment in their field and develop important professional networks.


As the global population grows and ages, so too does the challenge of providing equitable access to cost-effective healthcare. This MSc has been developed to fill a gap in training and skills in higher education, to embrace the multidisciplinary nature of health economics and decision science and provide students with a solid theoretical foundation - while allowing them to choose specific pathways within which they can focus on either more advanced modelling or advanced applied economics.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL offers a unique, multidisciplinary environment in which to study health economics and decision science. The teaching team comprises economists, statisticians, epidemiologists, mathematicians and public health doctors among others. As a world-leading university, we research, publish and consult on the topics we teach. Our strong links to industry, policy and academia enhance the relevance of our teaching and the employment opportunities of our graduates.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute for Global Health

81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Visit the Health Economics and Decision Science (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!




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