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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

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
  • Prof. Paul McNamee

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


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.

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

Data Exercise (10%)    

Short Essay (40%)        

Essay (50%)

Alternative Resit Assessment

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
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
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

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