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PU5542: ECONOMICS OF HEALTH BEHAVIOUR (2021-2022)

Last modified: 16 Aug 2021 13:45


Course Overview

The health behaviour of individuals – smoking, alcohol, poor diet, physical activity – are major contributors to development of health problems. Health policy needs to be effective and cost-effective. Economics as a discipline contributes to the understanding of health behaviors and provides tools for evaluating policy interventions to influence health behaviour.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Prof. Paul McNamee

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

This course introduces the students to key economic concepts that help explain and predict health behaviours. This course builds on concepts introduced in 'PU5008: Introduction to Economics and Health Economics', by providing discussion of how economic concepts and tools can be used as a means of understanding and influencing health behaviours.  Theoretical models of health behaviour and health production are introduced and examined, together with important concepts related to equity and health inequality, to understand the extent to which these can be applied in the development and evaluation of policies and interventions that aim to inform or change behaviours. The types of health behaviours that will be studied in the course include lifestyle choices relating to diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking, both for healthy populations as well as for people with long-term conditions.


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Data Exercise (10%)    

Short Essay (40%)        

Essay (50%)

Resit for students taking the course in AY20/21:

Resit if students fail the course (E1 or lower). Resit would consist of new essay assessment covering all course learning outcomes.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralAnalyseAnalyse the contribution of economic measurement tools to understanding health inequality
ConceptualUnderstandUnderstand basic economics concepts and how these are applied to health behaviours, critically reflecting on their strengths and limitations
ConceptualApplyApply more advanced economic concepts and theories to health behaviour, critically reflecting on their strengths and limitations
ProceduralUnderstandUnderstand the types of interventions and health policies designed to influence health behaviour and health inequality
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate how economic concepts and methods can be used to develop and evaluate policies that encourage health behaviour change and improvements in health and well-being

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