UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSING040: Health Systems, Policy and Financing

Medical School, School of Pharmacy students; short-course students from other UCL departments subject to approval
Individual essay of 2000 words (65%; group assignment of 2000 words (25%); oral presentation (10%)

Course overview


The module aims to engage students in critical thinking around policy and financing in health systems, the main challenges faced and strategic and innovative approaches to help tackle those. The role of decision models and cost-effectiveness analysis for planning will be touched upon. This module will also provide students with key concepts and tools around evidence-based policy, monitoring and evaluation, and a debate on the potential role of real world data and real world evidence. Current financing of health systems and innovative financing will be discussed, as well as the role of governance. The module will look into patient centred care, and cases of patient empowerment will be considered. The use of innovation and technology in health will be a recurrent theme. The emergence of new business models with a particular focus on emerging and developing countries will be addressed.

This is a very interactive module. Students will build upon modules previously taught to discuss how strategic thinking, new business models, innovations, technology, data, can play a role in helping to tackle policy reforms, uncertainty and financing challenges.  

Learning outcomes

This module will provide:

  • Understanding of health policy and financing of health systems, and inherent complexities
  • Knowledge of the development of national strategic plans, and comprehension of the importance of sources and uses of financing, and of monitoring and evaluation in health
  • Ability to critical assess the use of innovation, technology and new business models in health
  • Ability to think critically and strategically about challenges in healthcare and ways to address those
  • Ability to present, argue and communicate complex ideas and to work both individually and in teams

Topics covered

  • Health policy and public health
  • Health inequities and resource allocations
  • Evidence based public health policy, monitoring and evaluation, and the role of real world data and real world evidence  
  • Health financing and the health systems - Determinants of healthcare expenditure
  • Decision models in health and the role of cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Governance and the role of the private sector in health provision and delivery
  • Patient empowerment and patient centred care
  • Innovative financing
  • Health systems in emerging and developing countries: new business models
  • Innovation and technology in health

Assessment summary

65% - Individual essay (2,000 words);

25% - Team essay (policy memo);

10% - short presentation/ discussion 

Essential reading

Past versions of this module

MSING040 18/19

MSING040 16/17

Last updated Wednesday, 28 June 2017