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Health Economics and Health Policy - MSc

University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Full time & Part time September MSc, PgDip 1 year full time, 2 years part time

About the course

Aimed at health care professionals and managers, as well as new graduates, this programme provides an introduction to the central issues in health economics and health policy involved in the management of primary health care.

This programme is suitable for people currently working in the health care sector (in both the public and private sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry) who wish to improve their understanding of and skills in health economics. It may also be of interest to new graduates who wish to pursue a career in health economics and/or health services research.

The course does not require a first degree in economics.Students who do have a first degree in economics may be interested in our MSc in Health Economics and Econometrics.

Why Study this Course?

The MSc Health

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

The normal entrance requirement for our Masters programmes is a good Honours degree (upper second-class or above), or an equivalent professional qualification and professional experience.

Appropriate career experience may also be taken into account. It is hard to give general rules on these matters, since each case is considered on individual merit. However, the factors which tend to count in your favour are suitable health services managerial experience, favourable reports from academic referees, or proven ability in research or publication. You should give as much evidence as possible of your capabilities in these areas.

Course Content

Where is University of Birmingham


Student Profile(s)

Bill Malcolm

Current role - Health Economics and Outcomes Research Manager at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I have worked in pharmaceuticals for just over 10 years when I joined the industry after completing an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. I worked in various commercial roles before becoming a senior medical development advisor at Novartis in 2009. One of the fastest growing sectors in pharmaceuticals at present is Health Economics – this is due to the ever growing presence of health technology assessment groups the world-over, together with the need to drive efficient use of money spent in healthcare in the context of a struggling European economy. A Master’s Degree course in Health Economics is a pre-requisite for entrance into this field within Pharmaceuticals. The University of Birmingham has a fantastic reputation in this field and a strong pedigree of producing postgraduates with the skills required for the field.

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

It was recommended to me by a previous colleague at my last company, AstraZeneca. The University of Birmingham has a well-established pedigree in this field together with excellent teaching staff.

What did you think were the best points of the course and the University?

The best part of the course was the flexibility for students that are also in full time employment. The quality of material taught was excellent and relevant to employers.

What advice would you give to current students?

Remain positive when the pressure of exams comes along. Continue to remind yourself why you are studying this and where it is all leading to. Never lose sight of your objectives for undertaking this work and plan your career early on.

How did you grow as a person by studying at University?

I have enormously enhanced my skills set in this specific area. It also helped awaken my grey matter to the extent that I was excited to study again and be passionate about the field. It has changed my life considerably as I have relocated to a different part of the UK to pursue a new role as a Health Economics and Outcomes Research Manager for one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

Shola Bolaji

I have always been interested in Health Economics. My boss suggested I undertake a post graduate course in Health Economics and highly recommended the University of Birmingham even though it is 4 hours away from where I reside! I then researched the University and a few others and found that the one week block teaching at the University would be ideal for me as I work full time. This meant I could study part-time and only come down to Birmingham the weeks I needed to for lectures. Also, the fact that the University has a train station of its own meant I could easily commute between my hotel accommodation and the University whilst in Birmingham for lectures.

The department is well organised, lecturers are very welcoming, respectful and fair to students, always ready to support students and at the same time remain professional. Lectures are well structured and very interactive; feedback is always requested in order to improve the ways lectures are delivered. There is an effective two-way communication channel between students and lecturers through the student representatives and also the very polite, friendly and hardworking administrative staff.

The best part of being a student at the University and the Health Economics department is having people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities come together. This has fostered friendship, learning about different cultures, sharing of ideas and learning from one another.

The most challenging part of the course for me is organising my time to get all my assignments done and study for my exams. However, with forward planning and good time management I was able to hand in all my assignments in time, study for my exams and have been rewarded with very good grades.

You won’t regret studying on this course as it is a very interesting course however you’ve got to start giving it all from day 1. It may look very tough like anything else but I can assure you, you’ll be rewarded at the end of it as hard work does pay!

I am currently in a full time employment however, the course will open up more opportunities for me and allow me to work in a variety of organisations both public and private. I feel very confident, more knowledgeable in the area of Health Economics and ready to take on new challenges as the course has equipped me with all the necessary tools/skills to do this.

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