Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health
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Online Short Course: Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health short course explores some some key ethical, economic and political problems in health policy. It is taught online only. 

The course includes 6 sessions of 10 days each and 2 seminar exercises lasting 20 days and each including 2 parallel sessions:

Session 1. Case study: obesity as a challenge for health policy


Session 2. Evidence based policy and health

Session 3. Measuring health benefits: QALYs and their discontents


First Seminar

Session 4A. Expensive treatments and the 'rule of rescue'

Session 4B. Different needs and equal rights

Session 5. Democratic accountability and healthcare resource allocation 



Second Seminar

Session 6A. Health inequalities and society

Session 6B. The ethics of health promotion

Session 7. Intellectual Property Rights and global justice


Session 8. The challenge of infectious diseases

The course is facilitated by Giovanni De Grandis and James Wilson.

Who is the course suitable for?

The course is addressed to everyone interested in health policy, in applied ethics and in the principles that should inspire public services and the welfare state. We expect healthcare professionals and administrators to be especially interested, as well as students of philosophy, political sciences and welfare economics.

The course requires active participation and sets deadlines within each session, but within these constraints participants can manage their schedule with ample flexibility. Discussion and collaborative tasks are essential parts of the course: this does not require being online at the same time but participants should be able to contribute to the activities on a regular basis (i.e. be able to work on the course at least 2-3 times a week).

How is the course assessed?

Students are required to complete the assignments for each session, which are the basis of the continuous assessment. This assessment method enhances the course experience, helps participants in managing their time and in advancing together, as well as enabling them to monitor their progress and receive on-going personalized feedback. You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course

Is the course suitable for people outside the UK?

Yes, anybody who has a proficient level of English can participate and fully benefit from the course. Living in different time zones is not a problem. However, the examples and issues covered in the course mainly address the health policy problems typical of high-income countries. Students from developing countries may find that the topics covered do not reflect the health priorities of their countries.

What does it cost?

The course costs £280 + VAT (20%) = £336

How long does it take?

You should be able to set aside around 10 hours per session in order to complete the course. As the course is online, you can choose when to do this flexibly.

When does it start?

Dates for the 2015 run of this course will be posted in due course. 

Further Questions?


Email Giovanni De Grandis for further enquiries.

How Do I Apply?

Applying is very simple. Go to the course webpage and click on the select box. First you will have to register with UCLeXtend and then you will be redirected to the page where you can make the final registration and pay by debit/credit card.

What our students said about the course.


"Thank you for a very interesting course. It gave an excellent insight into the complicated issues concerning the distribution of health resources" (Ulrikke Hernaes, Bergen).

“This is a great introductory course with a wide variety of topics covered. The structured questions really helped me learn and get to the heart of the many health related issues covered on this course. The tutor was really helpful and nice too!” (Sarah Mills, Manchester).

“An invaluable opportunity to take time to think both broadly and deeply, and to challenge one's own assumptions. The course content was rigorous but the tutor highly supportive, and the format flexible and imaginative. It was hard work but we also had fun” (Catherine Max, London).

“I really enjoyed the course and the topics, though I struggled with the deadlines sometimes. This was my first online learning experience and I was very satisfied, and I feel like continuing it on a different subject” (Timea Balogh, Brussels).

“I really enjoyed the PPE of Health online course: it was engaging and interesting. Giovanni, the tutor, was great and encouraging” (Vanessa Oo, London).

“Thank you for the course content and discussions, undoubtedly it has been an enriching experience for all of us” (Nadia Gonzalez, Louvain).

“Thank you for a very interesting course” (Eliz Kilich, Oxford).