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

As Physicians, policy decisions made every day will affect each and every one of you. 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.

This SSC aims to introduce students to different aspects of medical policy, ranging from the different environments, in 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. The role of innovation in health, and possible benefits for patients and health staff, as well as foreseeable challenges, will also be discussed. 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 it’s 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, and how these could (or not) be adopted by health systems and their policy implications.
  • Discuss possible benefits and challenges for adoption.
  • Distinguish and discuss the challenges and innovation employed in developed nations compared with those of less developed nations.

Topics covered

An Introduction to Public Policy and Its Relationship to Healthcare

Prof. Albert Weale

Audits and Arguments

Health Management

Dr Susana Frazao Pinheiro

Health Economics & Economics Evaluation


Assisted Dying

Prof. Jonathan Montgomery

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 & Attendance
  • 25% - Pre-Course Knowledge Quiz 
  • 25% - 1,500  Word written assessment (Choose any piece of legislation discussed over the 8 week course, or one of your choosing, and discuss the feasibility, ramifications, benefits, detriments or underlying ideology of said policy - e.g. You could write about the common law surrounding Assisted Dying, and look at what the judges have said. What is the current consensus, if any?)
  • 25% - Post-Course Quiz 

Essential reading

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

Last updated Thursday, 3 May 2018