Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Health Economics

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At a time where the average lifespan is increasing, and long-term health management is becoming more essential, the healthcare sector grapples with persistent budgetary pressures. Escalating costs in healthcare, fuelled by sophisticated research, development, and diagnostic tools, coupled with the global strain on healthcare budgets, underscore the importance of a diploma in health economics. This qualification is becoming a cornerstone in making informed healthcare decisions.

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Health Economics, offered via an accessible online format, empowers healthcare professionals to optimise resource allocation within limited budgets. It also provides students with a comprehensive understanding of why health economics is a critical component in healthcare policy and practice.

PgDip Applied Health Economics

Next intake: September 2024Key Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
30th August 2024
Course start date
2nd September 2024 (view full module dates)
100% Online
Total Fees
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The course on Health Economics enhances expertise by exploring a variety of principles, techniques, and approaches, now adopted worldwide to different extents. These are instrumental in making decisions about medications, medical devices, treatment options, and preventive health measures across public, private, and mixed healthcare settings. What sets our course apart in health economics is the expertise of our teaching professionals, who bring to the table key insights into disease areas relevant to applied health economics and healthcare decision-making.

By enrolling in our Health Economics course, students will gain insights into the various applications of health economics across multiple healthcare systems. This course stands out among other health economics courses by providing practical knowledge applicable to real-world healthcare scenarios.

On a successful completion of this flexible post graduate diploma in health economics, you’ll be able to:

  • Evaluate sub-national health economic decision-making processes and gain working knowledge of health economics used in health technology appraisals.
  • Gain critical understanding of the economic burden of chronic diseases, various types of analyses, setting pay thresholds, and the budget impact.
  • Critically analyse data and data interpretation.

Next intake: September 2024 Key Facts

Awarding University
University of South Wales
100% Online
12 months
Class Size
15 - 20
Application Deadline
30th August 2024
Course start date
2nd September 2024 (view full module dates)
Total Fees

Why Study an Applied Health Economics Postgraduate Diploma with Learna

We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online courses, giving you access to flexible, affordable distance learning in partnership with world-leading educators.


100% Flexible

Our courses are 100% online. No fixed study times mean you can log in and learn whenever and wherever.

Multidisciplinary - study in a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.


Expert Led

All of our programmes are authored and developed by world leading experts in their field.

Our faculty are selected due to their subject expertise, experience and teaching abilities to ensure the highest standards of educational excellence.


Career Boosting

Get a University Validated postgraduate qualification in just 1 calendar year instead of 2 academic years.

40% of our alumni reported an increase in salary 2 years after studying with us.

Who is this course for?

Our distance learning post graduate diploma in health economics has been developed for:

  • NHS Managers
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • CCG commissioning teams
  • CCG Pharmacy teams
  • Pharmaceutical Industry Professionals
  • Other suitably qualified and interested individuals.

How Will I Learn?

You will be supported throughout your studies by a committed team of internationally recognised educational experts.

Our courses are conducted through our interactive online learning platform, log in daily whenever and wherever you want. No fixed timetable empowers you to study when it suits you

These usually occur within groups of 10-20 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.


Our online post graduate diploma in health economics allows you to study for just one calendar year and is a part-time, distance-learning course. The course is worth 120 credits and comprises six modules of 20 credits, each running over a period of six weeks.

Module Aims

  • To understand and evaluate the purpose, principles and processes of health economics in healthcare decision making & HTA.
  • To understand and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of health economics in healthcare decision making & HTA in regard to meeting their aims/achieving their purpose.
  • To understand the relevance of Health Economic decision making to clinical practice.

Module Content

  • Principles of Health Economics
  • The role and function of health technology assessment (HTA)
  • Common misconceptions of Health Economics & HTA
  • Health Economics & HTA as part of Evidence Based Medicine/ Practice (from National, to Sub-National, to Personal Practice)
  • The relevance of Health Economics to healthcare professionals
  • The effect of budget on decision making

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate processes used in health economic decision making.
  2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of health economics used in health technology appraisals.

Module Aims
Develop a critical understanding of the way in which benefits or clinical value are calculated and judged within health economic decision making.

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
  • Critical appraisal of real world data

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to critically appraise the strengths and limitations of the Quality Adjusted Life Year as a measure of clinical benefit.
  2. Demonstrate 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.

Module Aims
To develop a critical understanding of the economic burden of chronic diseases, types of economic analyses, establishing pay thresholds and budget impact.

Module Content

  • Investigating and establishing the economic burden of disease
  • Types of analysis: Cost-effectiveness, Cost-utility and Cost-minimisation
  • Exploration and analysis of cost perspectives
  • Willingness to pay thresholds
  • Establishing budget impact
  • Challenges: rare diseases, end of life considerations, unlicensed comparators, affordability and work flow change

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically appraise to budgetary burden of chronic disease.
  2. Critically appraise the implementation of health economic analysis and budgetary impact in real life/complex clinical situations.

Module Aims
Develop a critical understanding of data interpretation including levels of evidence and statistical interpretation of data.

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

Learning Outcomes

  1. Show an ability to critically evaluate the validity of published data.
  2. Critically appraise statistical interpretation of scientific data related to health economics.

Module Aims
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.

Module Content

  • Examine the international Health Economic decision making process
  • Legislations vs. Recommendations
  • Stakeholders and Payers
  • HTA vs. non HTA processes: Procurement, Tendering, and Commissioning
  • Evolving Health System policy as it relates to Health Economic decision making
  • Maximising patient benefit in healthcare decision making

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate, understand and contrast the current models of healthcare decision making.
  2. Critically appraise the legal basis of economic decision making.

Module Aims
To appreciate and evaluate the process of implementation of Health Technology Appraisals at the regional and local levels. Appreciate and understand the makeup and evaluation of the stakeholder group at regional/local level.

Module Content

  • Applying national decisions/guidelines at a subnational level
  • Data required to make decisions at a Sub-National level
  • Stakeholders/decision makers at a Sub-National level
  • Challenges of implementation at national level to meet Sub-National budget constraints
  • Implementation of HE analysis at sub national level with real world data
  • Budgetary analyses at subnational level with real world data

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically appraise the implementation of HTA advice at the regional and local level, evaluating the challenges of local implementation of national decisions.
  2. Critically evaluate stakeholder contributions to decision making at regional/local level.

Assessment Methods

The diploma in health economics places assessments at the heart of the learning process through the employment of clinical scenarios to enhance problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. Since the scenarios act as a focus for learning and assessment, the two are intrinsically linked.

The six modules on the course have the same assessment format and for all modules, you will be assigned a dedicated expert tutor. Your tutor will then facilitate case discussions with the group, whilst monitoring, assessing and marking your work throughout. You will also participate in a combination of module activities that may be group and/or individual based, dependent on the module.

These innovative teaching methods enable you to envisage the translation of your studies into your every day work and practice. Due to the online nature of the course, you will be expected to regularly login and participate in the course - ideally on a daily basis. Students are recommended to spend around two hours per day on their studies. Our dedicated Student Support Team are also available to help with any problems you may face. From navigating our online platform to advising you on deadlines, our team can assist with any questions or challenges you may have along the way.

  • Every week students are presented with two/three clinical case-based scenarios that are reflective of every day clinical practice and research.
  • Tutors will post a number of questions and prompts to aid students in a formal discussion of each case.
  • These discussions are facilitated throughout by your tutor and are then assessed at the end of every module.

For this assessment, students will work on a group assignment and/or an individual assignment.

  • Group assignments are designed to hone skills in the multidisciplinary, holistic approach to modern treatments and patient management by requiring group participation in a single piece of work.
  • Individual assignments are designed to hone skills in academic career progression through such tasks as reviewing papers, developing scientific posters or abstracts, peer-reviewing, social media activities, patient information leaflets and essays.
  • Students are provided with case-based problems in the form of a one-hour timed examination.
  • The exam consists of 30 'Single Best Answer' questions.
  • Students are required to complete the exam online within the set time.

The reflective journal is used by students throughout each module to monitor personal progress. This is guided by weekly feedback from your tutor and is graded at the end of every module. The journal typically includes the following:

  • Initial expectations and reasons for taking the course.
  • Module and/or personal learning objectives.
  • Description of events, issues and learning points within current personal practice.
  • Change in every day practice due to knowledge gained on each module.
  • A description of what has been learned during the module.

Entry requirements

Since our distance learning post graduate diploma in health economics is conducted entirely online, it's accessible to both UK and international students without international surcharges.

Applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare, policy or economics field.

Applicants without these recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account. In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level, and demonstrate requisite analytical skills.

Documents Required

  • A copy of your updated CV including your address and date of birth.
  • A copy of your undergraduate degree certificate.
  • The name and email address of someone who is able to provide a reference, this can be a work colleague, employer or former tutor.
  • A detailed personal statement explaining why you would like to undertake the course.
  • A copy of your proof of English competency (see below).

English Language Requirements
Proficiency in the English language is also essential to completing our courses. If English is NOT your first language, we ask for proof of competency during the application process. We are able to accept an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 for each band) or an equivalent qualification.

If you do not meet these requirements, please don’t worry. The University of South Wales run a number of English Language Programmes at the Centre for International English to prepare you for your academic studies. You can also contact our admissions team on for more information on the qualifications we accept.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for September 2024:
Application deadline - TBC

Option 1: Upfront Payment in full. Option 2: Interest free payments every other month for the duration of the course.

DateInstalmentsUp-Front Payments
1st November 2024£766
1st January 2025£766
1st March 2025£766
1st May 2025£766
1st July 2025£766

† Deposits are non-refundable
†† Prices are subject to review following each intake

Option 3: Lower your monthly payments by spreading the cost for between 2 and 8 years with a loan from our lending partner Lendwise*.

*Subject to eligibility criteria.


Learna | Diploma MSc has a partnership with Lendwise which is a leading private student loan provider, to help UK students fund their course fees should they require financing. Lendwise is a UK-based education finance platform through which candidates can fund their postgraduate and professional qualification studies at leading educational institutions.

A Lendwise loan comes with a fixed interest rate for the duration of the loan (between 2 and 8 years) and no early repayment penalties. The interest rate offered will depend on the overall applicant profile and the application process is entirely online.*

*Other sources of funding are available.
Learna | Diploma MSc does not offer financial advice, recommend or endorse any financial product. You should always check the suitability of the product that is of interest to you. If you are in any doubt as to its suitability, we suggest that you seek independent professional advice.

Talk To Our Students

Why Learna

We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online diploma courses, giving you access to flexible, affordable distance learning in partnership with world-leading educators.

Our courses are some of the most affordable of their kind, providing value for money without compromising on quality. We also don't apply an international surcharge. No fixed timetable means you can log in & learn on the go, at your convenience.

Being totally online means we can select the very best tutors and resource editors, no matter where they’re located.

Connect with multidisciplinary people around the world to expand your insights & broaden your career prospects.

Our programmes produce 90% fewer emissions than campus-based learning.

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