Applied Health Economics Postgraduate Diploma

The online Applied Health Economics Postgraduate Diploma focuses on the application of current topics and case studies to healthcare decision making. Course Code: QPDP015

Course Overview

Diploma MSc is a collaborative partner of the University of South Wales and on successful completion of this course, you will receive a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Health Economics.

Our online one year Postgraduate Diploma in Applied 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.

Having a specialist knowledge in health economics is an increasingly important asset and extra responsibility of medical personnel. Our Postgraduate Diploma in Applied 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.

On completion of the Applied Health Economics Postgraduate 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

Our online Applied Health Economics Postgraduate Diploma 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.

Entry Requirements

Since our courses are conducted entirely online, they are accessible to both UK and international registered healthcare professionals.

Applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare field, such as a medical or nursing degree. Registered healthcare professionals 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 the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.

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 [email protected] for more information on the qualifications we accept.

Teaching Methods

You will be supported throughout your studies by a committed team of internationally recognised educational experts. Find out more about our world-class tutors on the Applied Health Economics Team page.

Our courses are conducted entirely online through self-directed distance learning. You’ll receive guidance throughout your course with tutor-stimulated academic discussions, which are based on clinically-rich case scenarios. These usually occur within groups of 10-20 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.

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.

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.

Orientation and Study Skills Week (online)

Once you have secured your place on the course you will be invited to participate in our Orientation and Study Skills week, held in the week preceding the start of the course. This will prepare you for your course and take you through how to navigate the learning platform, course format and teaching methods, the assessments for each module, research skills and good academic practise.


The Applied Health Economics course 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.

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.

  • Every week students are presented with two/three case-based scenarios that are reflective of every day clinical practice and research.
  • Your tutor 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.

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.

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.

Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for March 2022: £4,980
Total Course Fees for UK & International
Students for March 2022:

Application deadline - February 14th 2022

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Instalments Up-Front Payments
Deposit payable
on acceptance
£830 £4980
1st May 2022 £830
1st July 2022 £830
1st September 2022 £830
1st November 2022 £830
1st January 2023 £830

Deposits are non-refundable

Early Bird Discount Deadline