Course Overview

The aim of the programme is to:

  • Develop a thorough knowledge and applied competence in the fundamentals of health economics, including health technology assessment;
  • Develop an ability to critically appraise alternative systems of healthcare finance and delivery in terms of equity and efficiency;
  • Expose the student to policy debates regarding access to healthcare, and how it is affected by new and expensive technologies.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre(PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed in a variety of ways, including coursework and final examination. A dissertation, completed over the summer, is also used to assess performance.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Normally applicants require a primary degree with Second Class Honours, Grade 1, which will have included the study of
economics to intermediate level. Students who hold a Higher Diploma in Economics with Second Class Honours, Grade 1, or equivalent may also apply. IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent if applicable.

Applications from people with experience in the pharma-ceutical industry or the healthcare system are also welcome. Applicants without a background in economics will be offered an opportunity to take courses in economics before starting the programme. Applications to the part-time programme are especially welcome.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time; 2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2017

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

Next start date

September 2017

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting



PAC code

GYC26, full-time
GYC27, part-time

Course Outline

The course consists of taught modules, an internship and a minor dissertation. Compulsory modules include Economics of Health and Social Care, Economic Evaluation in Healthcare, Health Systems and Policy Analysis, Econometrics, and Applied Health Technology Assessment and Decision Making. Students can also specialise by choosing options from modules such as Market Access, Systematic Reviews, Cost Benefit Analysis, and Applied Health Econometrics.

Students spend up to three months on placement with an appropriate organisation, which may be a pharmaceutical or medical device company, a public agency, a research centre or an international organisation. The internship allows the student to apply the theories and techniques learned in the taught modules.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have embarked on a range of careers in areas like the pharmaceutical industry, management consultancy, and the voluntary and public sectors, as well as taken further education at PhD level or sought research assistantships.

Who’s Suited to This Course

The course will suit recent graduates in Commerce, Business, Social Sciences and Arts who have studied economics to intermediate level and who are interested in pursuing a career in health economics. The course will also suit people who are working in the pharmaceutical industry or in the health care system who want to advance their career by gaining a thorough understanding of the theories and methods of health economics.

Learning Outcomes

  • Conduct basic and advanced statistical tests on economic and health related data
  • Design and carry out econometric testing of relationships between health variables and underlying factors.
  • Conduct a systematic search and review of cost effectiveness studies in a particular disease area.
  • Design and estimate a hypothetical cost effectiveness study using Treeage and Excel
  • Learn the basic theories in health economics
  • Understand the critical issues in health care systems and policy analysis. 

Work Placement

Each student completes a 12 week placement with a company, a government agency or with a suitable health economics researcher. Placements have been organized in major pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, in government agencies such as the Health Services Executive and with leading research centres such as the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway.

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,015 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Tuition

€5,791 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2016/17

Fees: Non EU

€13,250 p.a. 2016/17

EU Full time programme (GYC26 / 1MHE1):  €6,015 p.a.; EU Part time programme (GYC27 / 1MHE2): €3,065 p.a.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

What Our Students Say

Anna P.

Anna P. Hobbins |   MSc (Health Economics)

I have found the learning environment to be excellent with help and support for students in a variety of areas. The staff lectures, library, etc., are helpful and informative. The campus at NUI Galway is a student-friendly environment with excellent facilities, which are continually improving. I would certainly recommend a postgraduate course in Health Economics as it has many practical applications and prepares students for further research or entering the pharmaceutical industry. Many students are placed in pharmaceutical companies over the summer. Previously some students were kept on in companies where they did their placement, while others have gone on to do PhDs in Ireland and the UK. I would definitely choose NUI Galway if I was starting over again. We had an amazing year with speakers from abroad and we also had fun!

Liam McMorrow |   Curently studying for his PhD in Health Economics in the UK

I found the MSc in Health Economics to be an intensive, well organized programme that provided me with the knowledge and confidence to pursue a PhD and a career in academia. The course modules taught us how to approach and answer problems in health economics and how to apply skills that were directly applicable to the workplace. I used many of the skills we learned in my master’s thesis and am now in the process of using the knowledge and techniques I learned at NUI Galway in my PhD.