Having a specialist knowledge in Health Economics is an increasingly important asset and extra responsibility of medical personnel. The Postgraduate Diploma Applied Health Economics will enable health care professionals to be well equipped to elicit the maximum value from finite budgets. It will help students understand why Health Economics has and should become integral to healthcare decision making as well as understanding the underlying principles, methodologies and processes associated with this established and growing international discipline. Unlike other courses, the Postgraduate Diploma Applied Health Economics covers the key disease area pertinent to Health Economics for healthcare decision making.
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 and implement Health Economic evaluations in clinical practice scenarios.
Module 1 - Health Economic Decision Making and Health Technology Appraisal/Assessment
In this module, you will understand and evaluate the purpose, principles and processes of health economics in healthcare decision-making and HTA, understand and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of health economics in healthcare decision making and HTA in regard to meeting their aims/achieving their purpose and understand the relevance of Health Economic decision making to clinical practice.
We will look at what is Health Economics and what is its purpose; some common misconceptions of Health Economics and HTA; Health Economics and HTA as part of Evidence Based Medicine/ Practice (from national to sub-national to personal practice) and the relevance of health economics to you as a healthcare professional.
Module 2 - Principles of Obtaining Patient Access in Healthcare Systems
You will develop a critical understanding of the way in which benefits or clinical value are calculated and judged within health economic decision making.
We will identify clinical benefit; 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 and critical appraisal of clinical data: evidence-based medicine and HTA/health economic decision making.
Module 3 - Health Economic Modelling and Analysis
This module will develop a critical understanding of the economic burden of chronic diseases, types of economic analyses, establishing pay thresholds and budget impact.
We will investigate and establish the economic burden of disease; types of analysis: cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and cost-minimisation; perspectives: which costs should be included? We will also explore willingness to pay thresholds; establishing budget impact and challenges such as rare diseases and end of life considerations.
Module 4 - Understanding the Use of Data in Health Technology Assessment
You will develop a critical understanding of data interpretation including levels of evidence and statistical interpretation of data.
It will cover:
Module – 5 National and International Health Economic Decision Making
You will 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.
We will ask what are the international Health Economic decision-making processes? Examine Legislations vs. Recommendations; stakeholders and payers; HTA vs. non0HTA processes such as Procurement, Tendering, Commissioning and evolving health system policy as it relates to health economic decision making.
Module 6 - Sub-National (regional, institutional) Health Economic Decision
You will appreciate and evaluate the process of implementation of Health Technology Appraisals at the regional and local levels and the process of implementation of Health Technology Appraisals at the regional and local levels.
We will explore how national decisions are 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 and the challenges such as national recommendations meet sub-national budget constraints.
The course is delivered online and 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 oneday of introductory lectures. The lectures series give an opportunity to meet face to face with tutors/other students prior to the online course.
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 and reflective writing. Students are not required to attend the lectures however 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. In relation to study time, typically, we suggest aiming to login on to the course website daily. (Then when you miss a day it is less of an issue). High achieving students will typically spend one to two hours each night after work and then set aside additional time at the weekend. You should expect to spend a minimum of 10-15 hours on the course each week of the module.
The research methodology module will be delivered over a period of 12 weeks with a mix of teaching material, individual work, group work and assessment. The majority of this will be delivered online. The professional project will then be developed, discussed and delivered over the final eight months of the calendar year. Students taking up the option of the non-medical prescribing module will attend the University for taught components of the course, in line with the part-time delivery mode of the module, and need to spend a fixed amount of time in practice with a mentor.
Students will have access to over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles and conference proceedings. You will also have access to the Learning Resources Centre materials at the University of South Wales. FINDit is the University’s portal which allows you to search for over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles, conference proceedings and approximately 160 databases via one search box- the majority of these materials are accessible online. Interactive study skills modules are available to study via Blackboard to enable you to utilise the library services fully.
Admission to the course is typically through the following qualifications:
Those without recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account. The RPL process is in line with the University of South Wales' Regulations and students seeking to access this mechanism will submit evidence to the Course Director at Learna Ltd. The portfolio will subsequently be examined in liaison with the Course Link at the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education.
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
The PG Diploma in Health Economics is being introduced with the express purpose of promoting and enhancing professional skills and knowledge among its students which have direct relevance and application to the demands of their working roles. There is increasing competition for employment in the healthcare arena, with increasing specialisation. There is a need for postgraduate qualifications to assist with career enhancement and support specialisation.