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Health Economics and Decision Science MSc

The MSc Health Economics and Decision Science spans economics, statistics and epidemiology. You will receive training in the theoretical foundations of these disciplines, which is enhanced through applied problems. You will benefit from the programme's strong links to industry and gain a range of skills that are in demand from prospective employers.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: 2-5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£12,890 (FT)
£6,440 (PT)
Overseas:
£21,010 (FT)
£10,450 (PT)


Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in economics, statistics, mathematics or a related quantitative field such as epidemiology, engineering or physics.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

By the end of the programme, you will understand how the political, economic and physical context of health systems frames the application of economics and decision science. You will also be able to conduct rigorous cost-effectiveness analyses of health interventions and technologies to inform policy at regional, national and international levels. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits, compromising eight taught modules worth 15 credits each and a substantive piece of student-led research that will carry 60 credits. You must undertake five compulsory modules. The combination/number of modules studied will depend on whether your background is in statistics or economics.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Health Economics and Decision Science.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

Five core modules (75 credits) must be selected from the following list. 

  • Health Systems in a Global Context
  • Economic Evaluation in Health Care
  • Medical Statistics I
  • Econometrics for Health
  • Microeconomics for Health*
  • * Students who do not have an Economics undergraduate degree are required to take Introductory Microeconomics for Health as a pre-requisite before taking Microeconomics for Health
  • Dissertation in Health Economics and Decision Science

A supplementary, non-credit bearing Mathematics and Statistics pre-programme revision course is required of all students.

Optional modules

Three optional modules (45 credits) must be undertaken. Options may include the following:

  • Modelling for Decision Science
  • Bayesian Methods in Health Economics
  • Health Economics
  • The Social Determinants of Global Health
  • Concepts and Controversies in Global Health
  • Climate Change and Health
  • Medical Statistics II
  • Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Global Health Policy
  • Research Methods and Evidence for Global Health
  • Urban Health
  • Evaluating Interventions
  • Health Management: Planning and Programme Design
  • Gender and Global Health
  • Key Principles of Health Economics

In addition to the modules listed, you may select one optional module from any department in UCL.  

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:   Microeconomics for Health (GLBH0030) will now be a compulsory module. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of up to 7000 words (60 credits). Some students may conduct their research project together with industry partners.

Placement

A number of students will have the opportunity to undertake an industry placement over the summer. This will not be assessed as part of the programme and access to placements is voluntary and based on open competition.


Covid-19 placement updates
Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned placements for this programme. This will depend on social distancing measures, the availability of the relevant placements, and the relative risk of completing the placement. Your department will keep you updated if placements are able to occur and/or any alternative options available.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be delivered using a wide range of methods including classroom teaching, peer-led seminars, online lectures and practical exercises, moderated debates, group exercises and reading and writing tasks. Assessment varies from written examinations, to essays, portfolios and oral presentations.

Classes take place during business hours. Modules are delivered as blocks of study. The duration of modules ranges from two to eleven weeks.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

Home/EU applicants can apply for a postgraduate bursary offered by the Institute for Global Health. 

Find out more about funding on the Institute for Global Health website

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

African Graduate Scholarship

Note:
Deadline: 27th April 2020
Value:
Contribution towards fees, accommodation and some living costs (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Note:
Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2020/21
Value:
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates of this programme have the relevant skills and knowledge for a career within the pharmaceutical industry, local or national government departments, international organisations, think tanks, consultancies or in academia among other opportunities such as the Ministry of Health, Office of Health Economics, UCL, King's College London, Frontier Economics, and Evidera.

Employability

As the global population grows and ages, so too does the challenge of providing equitable access to cost-effective healthcare. This MSc has been developed to fill a gap in training and skills in higher education, to embrace the multidisciplinary nature of health economics and decision science and provide you with a solid theoretical foundation - while allowing you to choose specific pathways within which you can focus on either more advanced modelling or advanced applied economics.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL offers a highly multidisciplinary environment in which to study health economics and decision science. The teaching team for this programme comprises economists, statisticians, epidemiologists, mathematicians and public health doctors among others. As a world-leading university, we research, publish and consult on the topics we teach. Our strong links to industry, policy and academia enhance the relevance of our teaching and the employment opportunities of our graduates.

Department: Institute for Global Health

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This programme is intended for applicants with a suitable qualification (see entry requirements) in economics, statistics, mathematics or a related quantitative field such as epidemiology, engineering or physics. Candidates with a background in medicine or allied health sciences may be considered if they can demonstrate quantitative proficiency in mathematics and/or statistics at the degree level.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

Target Application Results Releasing Timeline

Nov - Dec applicants: End of Feb

Jan - Feb applicants:  End of Mar

Mar – Apr applicants: End of May

May- Jun applicants: Mid of Jul

Jul applicants (UK & EU only): End of Aug

Aug applicants (UK & EU only): Mid of Sep

In addition to the generic application criteria, applicants to this programme are required to write a 500 word-long dissertation research proposal. Please ensure that the proposal outlines the intended research question, includes a set of objectives, describes the methods you intend to use and suggests where you might find your evidence or data.  You might find it helpful to look at abstracts from open access journal articles to assist you with this task. However, be careful not to copy their wording as this would be considered plagiarism. During your time at UCL you will receive help in refining your topic and you may be able to change your topic if you have new ideas.


For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

Applicants are recommended to submit applications early. International students are advised to apply by the end of June as any applications received after June may not be processed in time for the September 2020 entry. 

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 20 August 2020