Health Policy and Systems Research

Category: Methods for HPSR,Policy analysis,Systems Thinking,
Institution:University of Aberdeen
Country: UK
Region: Europe
Language: English
Audience: Masters Students,


Overall goals of the course

The course aims to take a global perspective on health policy and systems research (HPSR), providing students with knowledge and understanding of the key characteristics of health policy, health systems, and the contribution of research in this field. The course covers a wide variety of topics including health systems around the world, the effects of social inequalities on health inequalities and their repercussions for social policy, issues of public health policy, and how research can make credible contributions in this context. The principal aims are:

•       To introduce different health systems: what they are, how they are defined and financed and to encourage a critical and comparative perspective;

•       To explore health inequalities and health and social policy issues;

•       To provide an overview of HPSR.


NB: The course title will change from Health Systems and Policy to Health Systems and Policy Research in Academic Year 2016/17


Learning objectives

The main objectives of the course are to ensure that each course participant acquires a knowledge and understanding of:


Health systems around the world:

UK health systems, regional differences and international comparisons; Universal health coverage;

User fees, private and social health insurance, tax financing of health care;

Resource allocation, priority setting, performance assessment;

Health inequalities, health and social policy:

The social gradient in health;

Unemployment and mortality;

Pay, employment and health;

Health policy making;

Health policy and systems research (HPSR):

Key characteristics and knowledge paradigms informing HPSR;

Doing HPSR: research questions, rigour, quality and ethical issues


Major topics covered

Classes will be a combination of lectures, video presentations, small group discussions, plenary discussions, and small group activities. Classes will be also devoted to student presentations on assignment topics.


Teaching formats

Pre-requisite: Any Postgraduate Programme

Course materials:

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