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Health Economics Practice

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Economics Practice is a practice-oriented course, designed to give students an excellent grounding in the use of economic decision-making in the health sector. Economic decision-making is becoming increasingly important in the health area, with scarce resources being available for ever-increasing needs. This course provides students with transferrable skills that can be used in a healthcare business or policy environment. The course recognises that healthcare is as much a business as a policy area, and this is reflected in modules on health care markets and health care innovations.

Unique Aspects of the Course
This course is a practice-oriented course, delivered online, designed to prepare students for applying economics in the healthcare sector. It also provides transferrable skills, which help to develop the student in a personal, professional and intellectual capacity. Graduates of the programme have gone on to work in healthcare providers and insurers as well as health policy research positions. Industry practitioners have been attracted to the course from both private and public sectors, including healthcare providers (both practitioners and administrative functions) and pharmaceutical companies.

"In such a difficult economy, decision making in the HSE has become much more difficult. This course gives us the necessary tools and skills to allow us to make the best possible decisions to benefit the people who have the most need.” – Sinéad Ní Bháicéir, Clerical Officer, Cork University Hospital

Entry requirements

To apply for this course, you will need:
◾A degree in business and/or Economics

◾A degree with at least a 2H2 grade in a health related discipline

◾ For those with degrees or equivalent outside the above categories, applicants should have a minimum of 4 years' experience as health sector practitioners or professionals in which case they may be accepted on the basis of recognition of prior experiential learning.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


Full-time 1 year
Part-time 2 years

The course will be delivered predominately online, facilitating self-directed learning. Field trips, guest lectures and live cases may be organised for times that suit both full-time and part-time students.

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
This course focuses on equipping graduates with the economic decision-making skills to improve efficiency and/or equity in the healthcare sector. Graduates will be attractive to employers in the private, public and voluntary sectors. Previous graduates have found employment in a mixture of all three settings and those who were in employment prior to beginning the course have found that it has greatly enhanced their career prospects.

Further enquiries

Dr. Ann Kirby, Programme Director. Tel. +353 (0)21 490 3679, E-mail

Dr. Brian Turner, Programme Director. Tel. +353 (0)21 490 2974, E-mail

Ms. Eimear Roantree, Programme Administrator. Tel. +353 (0)21 490 2574, E-mail

Subjects taught

The Postgraduate Diploma in Health Economics Practice (Part I of the MSc) includes 60 credits of taught modules. The core modules examine economic decision-making in health, in terms of financing, resource allocation, distribution and delivery of healthcare.

The other modules relate to evaluating health outcomes, health services resourcing, research skills and methods for health economics, healthcare markets and innovations in health practice.

The course is examined entirely through continuous assessment, including written assignments, participation in online discussions, reflective learning logs, and presentations. Emphasis is placed on transferrable skills and the personal, professional and intellectual development of students.

The course has numerous links with healthcare practitioners and businesses, and this is reflected in guest lectures and online live cases, where students are set a real-life problem by a healthcare practitioner or organisation and asked to develop solutions to this problem.

Students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma and achieve a minimum of 60% average in their assessment may transfer their registration onto the MSc Health Economics Practice, which involves a six-month placement in the healthcare sector. (Those already working in the sector may continue in their positions.) During this six months, students will be expected to address a problem in the organisation for which they are working, using economic decision-making techniques.


This course is taught by a number of leading experts in the area of health economics in Ireland, as well as having an input from the business perspective. The teaching team are all qualified to PhD level. Members of the team have published in national and international journals and contribute to national debates in the broadcast, print and on-line media.

The 2015/16 teaching team comprised

Dr. Jane Bourke

Dr. Lee-Ann Burke

Dr. Ann Kirby

Dr. Brendan McElroy

Dr. Aileen Murphy

Dr. Brian Turner

Dr. Edel Walsh

Assessment method

The taught modules are assessed entirely via continuous assessment, including a combination of written assignments, online discussions, reflective logs, and presentations.

The placement is examined via a combination of reflective learning logs, a written report on the placement and a presentation of that report.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU €7,000 (per academic year)full-time. The part-time course fee is half the full-time fee in the particular year of study. [2015/2016 Irish/EU €3,500 full-time (Part 2: MA in Health Economics Practice]

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

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