UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

SSC in Medical Policy and Management

Second year students on the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), UCL Medical School
25% - Participation & Attendance; 25% - Pre-Course Knowledge Quiz; 25% - 1,500 word written assessment; 25% - Post-Course Quiz

Course overview

A physician is obligated to consider more than a diseased organ, more even than the whole man - he must view the man in his world.  Harvey Cushing

The role of the doctor will increasingly include significant input to managing and leading health services. To do this effectively, the leaders of the future need education and training in appropriate skills and competencies. The 21st Century Doctor: Understanding the doctors of tomorrow.

Policy decisions made every day will affect a physician’s practice. Clinical autonomy will be constrained by what kinds of health care are available, what treatments and interventions you are allowed to offer, and what health care priorities are set. The undertanding of policy, finacing and budgeting in health, and of management is an important component of medical training. Added to these, innovations in medicine and life sciences (new medicines, robotics and prosthetics, uses of ehalth and mhealth, AI and data analytics) are increasingly playing a role in the routine practice and in fostering patient-centerred care. 

This SSC aims to introduce students to different aspects of medical policy and management, ranging from the different environmentsin which it can be developed, to the vast number of important statutes that directly or indirectly affect doctors, so that they can better understand the world that Cushing refers to. It also introduces students to the relevance of management in the day-to-day life of a future doctor, particularly in light of current NHS reforms. Data on how the NHS is financed and its links to decision-making and how it affects doctors, as well as key concepts in health economics will be discussed. The role of innovation and technology in medicine and health, much discussed lately, and possible benefits for patients and healthcare staff, as well as current and foreseeable challenges, will also be debated. 

Lectures will draw from the experience of experts in different fields.

Learning outcomes

This SSC will equip students with the tools and knowledge to:

  • Briefly explain what public policy is, and its relationship to medicine and doctors.
  • Outline and design a simple audit that includes all the necessary features.
  • Be able to use the basic principles of argument analysis to deconstruct the underlying principles of a piece of policy.
  • Broadly understand main concepts in management and discuss its relevance to the health care public sector and health management in light of the NHS reform.
  • Briefly explain the concept of health economics, and its relevance to public policy.
  • Recognise some common tools and instruments used to quantify the impact of a disease.
  • Briefly explain the major ideas surrounding public health financing.
  • Briefly outline the nature of several important piece of legislation concerning healthcare provision, and the practises of doctors.  
  • Understand the different innovations being developed in the areas of technology, digital health, bionics, data analytics, informatics, distributed ledger technologies, amongst others, and how these could (or not) be adopted by health systems and their policy implications.
  • Discuss possible benefits and challenges for technological adoption in medicine and healthcare.
  • Distinguish and discuss the challenges and innovation in developed nations compared with those of less developed nations, as well as undertanding new business models in health arising from emerging and developing market economics. 

Topics covered

An Introduction to Public Policy and Its Relationship to Healthcare

Prof. Albert Weale, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy, Department of Political Science

Audits and Arguments

Dr Bilal Mateen

Health Management

Dr Susana Frazao Pinheiro

Health Economics & Economics Evaluation

Dr Neha Batura, Centre for Global Health Economics

Assisted Dying

Prof. Jonathan Montgomery, Faculty of Laws

Health innovation

Dr Susana Frazao Pinheiro and Guest Speakers

Healthcare Policy and Technology in Developing Nations

Dr Susana Frazao Pinheiro

End of term test

Assessment summary

This SSC will be assessed by:

  • 25% - Participation & Engagement
  • 25% - Very brief presentation
  • 50% - 1,500-word Essay critically analysing a piece of legislation or proposed health policy from a list provided by the course organisers or a topic proposed by the student (this is an opportunity to explore a topic you might be passionate about in more detail)

Essential reading

All readings and session slides will be provided by the lecturers via Moodle.

Past versions of this module


Last updated Thursday, 27 June 2019