Postgraduate taught 

Environment & Sustainable Development MSc

Health Economics in Developing Countries ECON5133

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course focuses on health issues in developing countries through the lens of economics. It covers several topics including the relationship between health and development, nutrition and productivity, the role of financial markets, inequalities in health and health care quality, the economics of epidemics, and the role of information, beliefs and behavioural biases. A unifying theme is understanding why health remains poor in developing countries and what policies can change this equilibrium. During the course, students will learn about cutting-edge empirical research in the field and will be able to apply economics tools to health issues in developing countries.


One 2-hour lecture each week for 10 weeks.





Word Count 




1,500 words

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce students to cutting-edge empirical research in the area of health economics applied to developing countries. The course aims to teach practical skills related to research design, statistical analysis and policy evaluation. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Appraise the key assumptions and the main insights of theoretical models in health economics and apply them to understand empirical findings.

2. Carefully evaluate challenges and limitations around the empirical evaluation of the effects of health policy interventions in developing countries.

3. Communicate knowledge acquired on both theoretical and empirical issues concerning health issues effectively in writing.

4. Work collaboratively in a group to produce a combined piece of coursework, by liaising with other class members, allocating tasks and co-ordinating group meetings.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.