All over the world, in both high-income countries as well as low-income countries, there is a tremendous need for expertise in health economics. Health economists study and analyze not only how resources are used and how this affects health, but also how resources should be used so as to ensure maximum health benefits. So far, most health economists have worked with healthcare systems, but the need for expertise in health economics is increasing in public health work and public health policies.
Expertise in health economics is also valuable with organizational and system changes, or with analyses of health and medical care systems.
In order to be able to work with these issues, knowledge of theories and methods both within health economics and within public health is needed – how one studies the health of the population and its developments. Those fulfilling the entry requirements to apply are those with basic public health from Umeå University or from another university/higher education institution.
This programme corresponds to the second year of the Master’s programme in Public Health with a specialization in health economics (120 credits). The programme ordinarily consists of four terms (2 years), which corresponds to courses of a total of 120 higher education credits. This educational programme presumes that one-half has been completed at an earlier date, which means that the programme consists of 60 higher education credits. The programme syllabus contains two mandatory courses in health economics and a number of elective courses at Epidemiology and Global Health and at Umeå School of Business and Economics.
Thereafter, a Degree of Master of Science (120 ECTS credits), Main Field of Study: Public Health, Specialization: Health Economics, is obtained. (Name for the degree in Swedish: Medicine masterexamen, Huvudområde folkhälsovetenskap, Inriktning: Hälsoekonomi).
Of those who study health economics, many have a background in healthcare, such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians or dentists. Many also have a social or behavioral science undergraduate education, such as social workers, economists, political scientists or psychologists.
A number of scholarships are available for non-European students.
The Master’s Programme with a specialization in Health Economics has been developed in collaboration between the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and Umeå School of Business and Economics. The studies are to be characterized by a high degree of independence, an active search for knowledge, problem solving and critical analyses and evaluations based on a scientific approach. The working methods vary between individual study work, group work, seminars and lectures. A student on the programme has of course a guaranteed enrolment in all of the programme courses. Some of the courses build on one another and should therefore be taken in a specific order. The course syllabuses state the prerequisite requirements for each course. This is an international programme with students coming from many countries. All teaching is done in English.
The programme can lead to a career in a variety of public and private sector organisations both nationally and internationally. Many graduates will go on to work in national, regional and local public institutions, from the Ministry of Health to hospitals, e.g. as planners, strategists, evaluators and analysts, and controllers. Potential international employers include the World Health Organisation, OECD, and a variety of non-governmental organisations, e.g. in health advocacy, policy, evaluation, or research. Other graduates will work in the private sector, for pharmaceutical or health insurance companies. A future university career in research is another path.
The programme equips students with skills in health economics, epidemiology, biostatistics, evaluation methods, interview techniques and academic writing. These skills will prove useful both for those joining the job market for the first time, as well as for those who plan to return to their previous workplaces after completing the degree.
Degree of Master of Science (120 credits), Main Field of Study: Public Health, Specialization: Health Economics.
Application and eligibility
Second year of Master’s Programme in Public Health with a Specialization in Health Economics, 60 hp
International admission round
Type of studies
Application and Tuition fees
Tuition fee, first instalment
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