Our Courses

In conjunction with the School of Business and Economics and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, members of HEPA provide undergraduate, Masters, PhD, and Executive Education programmes in Health Economics.


1: Undergraduate Programme


Students at NUI Galway are first introduced to Health Economics as part of the undergraduate Arts or Commerce degrees or alternatively as part of the Higher Diploma in Economics degree. A specialised module in Health Economics is offered in the final year of all three programmes which provides a comprehensive introduction to discipline and covers a broad range of topics.


2: Postgraduate Programme


The Masters in Economic Science: Health Economics degree at NUI Galway is a specialised programme providing critical insight into the complex economic issues that exist in health systems and into the economic impact of decisions within this domain. The focus of the course is to explore how resources in health care systems can be allocated effectively, efficiently and equitably. In particular, the course emphasises the theoretical and practical tools available to evaluate health technologies in terms of their clinical and cost effectiveness. The programme is designed 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 health care finance and delivery in terms of equity, efficiency and sustainability;
  • Expose the student to policy debates regarding access to care including new and expensive technologies.


In addition to studying the core theoretical and practical modules of the programme students have the opportunity to spend three months working with an appropriate health-related agency in the public, private or voluntary sector. The internship allows the student to gain direct experience of the practical application of health economics techniques in various settings. Students complete a minor dissertation during this internship. The research topic is usually linked to the research interests of a departmental supervisor and the work of the placement organisation.

The programme is available on a one year full time or a two year part time basis.


3: PhD Programme


In recent years, the Economics Discipline at NUI Galway has developed a successful PhD programme and Health Economics has been formally identified as a key research priority area within this programme. A growing number of PhDs in Health Economics are being undertaken by students under the supervision of members of HEPA in areas as diverse as cancer, heart disease, ageing, dementia, disability, diabetes, mental health, and health policy evaluation.


The PhD research degree provides an opportunity to undertake sustained supervised research leading to a doctoral thesis. The duration of this programme is normally 4 years, with the first year comprising taught courses for which credit is accumulated. During the first year, each student is also assigned a supervisor and a small group of other staff in a related field (Thesis Advisory Board).


The student is entitled and encouraged to transfer to the PhD programme in year 2 if he/she obtains a pass grade in all courses and at least an honours grade in the presentation of an advanced research proposal, normally between 5000 and 7000 words in length. During year 2 and year 3, the student continues to write his/her thesis; he/she is also expected to undertake annual assessments of their progress, that include a presentation of their work to fellow students and staff during the PhD (normally three presentations over three years) and an internal review board.


Students are also expected to attend seminars delivered by internal and external speakers; many of these are in the broad health economics field. The discipline also encourages PhD students to participate in national and international conferences (for which financial assistance may be available). Students also have the possibility to have their completed chapters included in the discipline’s working paper series and to publish their work in leading journals as they progress.


4: Executive Education Programme


A growing aspect of the educational component of the work of HEPA is the provision of Executive Education Programmes. These are offered to a variety of audiences across a range of subjects and in a flexible manner. Short courses provided include: 1 or 3 day specialist courses in health technology assessment and econometric analysis.


Short courses in Heath Technology Assessment provide a comprehensive introduction to all key issues in the methodology and practice of these techniques. Short courses in this area are designed for those with little or no prior knowledge of the field seeking only an appreciation and appraisal of studies done by others, or those requiring a foundation for the more advanced study of health economics. The courses also provide a detailed discussion of the official requirements of decision makers in relation to the conduct of health technology assessment in Ireland.


Short courses in Applied Health Econometrics include advanced lectures and practical work in the conduct of econometric analyses in the areas of health and health care.


For further information on courses offered by the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway please visit: