Diploma in Applied Health Economics

Team: Health Economics Team

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Health Economics will focus on direct application to current topics, case studies and processes relevant to the student’s own remit and country of practice.

Course Information


Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales. On successful completion of this course, you will receive a University of South Wales Postgraduate Diploma.

Our online 1 year Postgraduate Diploma in Health Economics will focus on direct application to current topics, case studies and processes relevant to the student’s own remit and country of practice. The course is worth 120 credits and comprises 6 modules of 20 credits each.

Our Diploma in Health Economics has been developed for NHS Managers, Doctors, Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, CCG commissioning teams, CCG Pharmacy teams, Pharmaceutical Industry Professionals and other suitably qualified and interested individuals. Having a specialist knowledge in health economics is an increasingly important asset and extra responsibility of medical personnel.

On completion of the Health Economics Diploma, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the application of health economics in healthcare decision making.
  • Critically evaluate current research in health economics for healthcare decision making.
  • Apply a critical awareness of current issues in health economic evaluations.
  • Implement health economic evaluations in clinical practice scenarios.

Course Structure

The online course lasts one calendar year and is a part-time distance learning course. It consists of 6 modules per year, each of 6 weeks duration.

Aims of the module:
  • Understand and evaluate the purpose, principles and processes of health economics in healthcare decision making & HTA
  • Understand and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations s of health economics in healthcare decision making & HTA in regard to meeting their aims/achieving their purpose
  • Understand the relevance of health economic decision making to clinical practice
Synopsis of module content:
  • What is Health Economics? What is it’s purpose?
  • What is HTA and what is it’s purpose?
  • Common misconceptions of health economics & HTA
  • Health economics & HTA as part of Evidence Based Medicine/ Practice (from National, to Sub-National, to Personal Practice)
  • Health economics and it’s relevance to you as a healthcare professional
On completion of this module the student should be able to demonstrate:
  1. An in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals on health economic evaluations
  2. The ability to critically evaluate processes used in health economic decision making
  3. An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the epidemiology and global impact of rheumatology conditions.
  4. A working knowledge of health economics used in health technology appraisals
Aim of the module:
  • Develop a critical understanding of the way in which benefits or clinical value are calculated and judged within health economic decision making.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Identifying clinical benefit: Critical Appraisal and Systematic Literature Review
  • Length vs. Quality of life (QoL): the Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY)
  • Challenges with length of life estimations: time horizons, extrapolation, bias towards the younger patient, the need for future discounting
  • Avoidance of negative events
  • Critical appraisal of clinical data: Evidence Based Medicine and HTA/health economic Decision Making
On completion of this module the student should be able to demonstrate:
  1. A working knowledge of the way in which clinical benefit is measured and judged/valued in economic decision making.A working knowledge of the way in which clinical benefit is measured and judged/valued in economic decision making.
  2. The ability to critically appraise the strengths and limitations of the Quality Adjusted Life Year as a measure of clinical benefit
  3. The ability to apply principles of Evidence Based Medicine to assess the quality of clinical evidence used to support patient benefit within HTA/ health economic decision making.
Aim of the module:
  • Develop a critical understanding of the economic burden of chronic diseases, types of economic analyses, establishing pay thresholds and budget impact.
Synopsis of module content:
  • Investigating and establishing the economic burden of disease
  • Types of analysis: Cost-effectiveness, Cost-utility and Cost-minimisation
  • Perspectives: which costs should be included?
  • Willingness to pay thresholds
  • Establishing budget impact
  • Challenges: rare diseases, end of life considerations, unlicensed
On completion of this module the student should be able to demonstrate:
  1. A critical awareness of the budgetary burden of chronic disease
  2. An in-depth knowledge of the implementation of health economic analyses
  3. A critical understanding of budgetary impact and thresholds of pay in health economics
Aim of the module:
  • Develop a critical understanding of data interpretation including levels of evidence and statistical interpretation of data
Synopsis of module content:
  • Additional Data Sources: Real World Data, Expert Opinion, The Patient’s Voice
  • Statistics: Confidence intervals and p-values
  • Statistics: Hazard ratios and NNT
  • Statistics: Bayesian statistics and Cox model?
  • Statistics: Sensitivity Analysis and Marginal Analysis?
  • Statistics: Indirect Comparison and Meta-Analysis
On completion of this module the student should be able to demonstrate:
  1. A critical awareness of the origin of data
  2. An ability to critically evaluate the validity of published data
  3. A critical appreciation and understanding of the statistical interpretation of scientific data related to health economics
Aim of the module:
  • To develop a critical understanding of the international health economic decision making processes within legal frameworks together with the procurement and tendering processes associated with treatments.
Synopsis of module content:
  • What are the international Health Economic decision making processes?
  • Legislations vs. Recommendations
  • Stakeholders and Payers
  • HTA vs. non HTA processes: Procurement, Tendering, Commissioning
  • Evolving Health System policy as it relates to health economic decision making
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate, understand and contrast the current models of healthcare decision making
  2. Critically appraise the legal basis of economic decision making
  3. To be able to compare the international HTA and the comparison of HTA and non-HTA health economic decision making
Aims of the module:
  • To appreciate and evaluate the process of implementation of Health Technology Appraisals at the regional and local levels.
  • to appreciate and understand the makeup and evaluation of the stakeholder group at regional/local level.
Synopsis of module content:
  • How are national decisions applied at a Sub-National level?
  • What additional information is needed at a Sub-National level and in what format?
  • Who are the stakeholders/decision makers at a Sub-National level?
  • Challenges: National recommendations meet Sub-National budget constraints.
On completion of this module the student should be able to:
  1. Critically appraise the implementation of HTA advice at the regional and local level
  2. Appreciate the make-up and decision-making process of stakeholders at regional/local level
  3. Critically evaluate the challenges of local implementation of national decisions


Online Diploma in Health Economics

The course puts assessment at the heart of learning by using clinical scenarios to facilitate problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. The scenarios act as both the focus for learning and assessment thus embedding assessment within the learning process.

Each of the 6 modules has the same assessment format. Due to the online nature of the course, students are expected to login and participate in the course regularly throughout the module (ideally on a daily basis).

Students are split into groups of 10-15 students and are assigned a dedicated expert tutor who:

  • Facilitates clinical case discussions with the group.
  • Monitors, assesses and marks each student throughout the module.
  • Students use the skills gained during the lectures to engage with the different activities (see below).

Each week, students are presented with 2/3 clinical cases with associated questions.  These cases are designed to promote discussion within a specific clinical area. Students:

  • Complete the questions.
  • Discuss the cases and issues surrounding the cases in a discussion forum.

Students discuss the cases within their tutor groups, facilitated by their tutor.  They use an online discussion forum to write well referenced, scientifically written postings.

The individual portfolio or journal is a learning log/diary. The purpose is for the student to reflect on their personal progress throughout the module. Students would typically include the following:

  • Initial expectations of the course, reasons for undertaking the course.
  • Module and/or personal learning objectives.
  • Description of events/issues/learning points within their personal practice.
  • Examples of change in personal practice due to knowledge gained throughout the module.
  • A description of what has been learned during the module.

Students are asked to think reflectively about what they are learning from each module, how this differs from their current practice, and how they can apply what they have learned through the course to their everyday practice as a health professional. Referencing would not typically be found in a learning portfolio nor would a simple list of points learned.

The group activity is designed to encourage group dynamics catering to the multidisciplinary nature within the field of Health Economics. Students are required to produce the following:

  • A group submission.
  • An individual submission.

Students are also marked according to their contribution to the group submission.

The group is given a specific task to accomplish over the 6 weeks of the module e.g. Develop an appropriate screening method for your clinic. Students are required to write well referenced, scientific reports.

  • 30 single best answer (SBA) questions.
  • One hour online assessment.
  • Questions are based on the clinical aspects of the module and their discussion topics.

Teaching Methods

Each module has the same format. Using an online platform and one tutor per 10-15 students, the self-directed distance learning is guided by tutor stimulated discussion based on clinically rich case scenarios. Group projects are undertaken alongside independent projects. Reflective practice is recorded in a reflective portfolio to help students consider how the learning can be translated into everyday work and practice.

Teaching starts with 1 day of introductory lectures. Students may attend these lectures in the UK (Glyntaff campus, University of South Wales)

The lecture series are delivered by the faculty and tutors, they are a pre-course organiser, giving students the tools required to undertake the online course such as:

  • Scientific writing
  • Levels of evidence
  • Harvard referencing
  • Reflective writing

The lectures series give an opportunity to meet face to face with tutors/other students prior to the online course.

Students are not required to attend the lectures however those who attend do benefit as they get a "jump start" to the course. Students who are not able to attend, should request a skype/telephone call to orientate them onto the course and are advised to review the lecture slides.

Entry Requirements

Health professionals working within a clinical setting, both UK and overseas, with a related Healthcare Science degree (including international qualifications) are eligible to apply for the PG Diploma in Health Economics course.

Applicants without the above academic criteria but relevant/suitable experience can apply. Applications will be judged on the individual specifics of background and qualifications including ability to work at Postgraduate level (applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at Postgraduate level and demonstrate requisite clinical/professional knowledge).

Applicants should submit copies of the following with their application:

  • Qualification certificates
  • One written reference
  • English language qualification (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) please see University of South Wales for further details

Latest News: Super early bird deadline for March 2018 intake is 2 weeks away. Apply today secure your place before Friday 27th October and receive £200 off your chosen course!!