Health Policy

Academic Study Board of Public Health

Teaching language: English
EKA: S550018302
Censorship: Second examiner: Internal
Grading: 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Esbjerg
Offered in: Autumn
Level: Master

Course ID: S550018301
ECTS value: 7.5

Date of Approval: 26-03-2019

Duration: 1 quarter

Course Title

Health Policy

Course Responsible

Name Email Department
Despena Andrioti Bygvraa


Name Email Department City
Despena Andrioti Bygvraa
Fereshteh Baygi
Gabriel Gulis
Jens-Jørgen Jensen
Leena Eklund Karlsson
Olaf Chresten Jensen

Course secretary

Name Email Department City
Sabine M. Talbot

Aim and overall content

To describe and analyse present-day national and international policy is-sues relevant to the health care sector from both political science and eco-nomic perspectives.

The purpose is to obtain analytical skills to understand health policy pro-cesses encompassing: health policy formulation, decision and implemen-tation.

The purpose it further to apply different theoretical perspectives from political science and economics to the health policy process and to under-stand the health policy process within existing organisational and institu-tional structure for health care systems.

Mandatory prerequisites


Relationship between the learning objectives, type of teaching and type of examination

After participating in the module the student should be able to:
  • discuss the use of economic evaluation and health technology as-sessment in policy formulations and decision making
  • discuss the regulation of markets for medical doctors and the reg-ulation of pharmaceuticals
  • discuss the regulations for subsidies and co-payment for health care providers and for copayment and private health insurance
  • discuss health care reforms
  • discuss international comparisons of health care systems and how international organisations influence national health policy
  • discuss aspects of organising and financing health care systems

Learning Objectives - Knowledge

The module contributes to the following elements of the competency profile of the programme:

  • have extended knowledge on the theories, methods and strategies used to promote and protect the populations health and well-being

Learning Objectives - Skills

The module contributes to the following elements of the competency profile of the programme:

  • development, implement and evaluate programmes, policies and institutions that aim at prevention, health promotion, care, rehabilitation, and treatment.

Learning Objectives - Competencies

he module contributes to the following elements of the competency profile of the programme:

  • be able to communicate and interact in interdisciplinary collaborations – locally, nationally, internationally – in connection with public health-related initiatives, questions, methods and theories
  • be able to identify individual learning needs and structure individual learning in different learning environments 

Recommended literature

Articles and relevant references will be listed in the .ppts presentations.

Furthermore, several relevant scientific articles and publications will be presented in the course of the module.

Additional reading text books on the respective bookshelf in the campus library are:

  1. Birn A-E, Pillay Y, Holtz T (2009). Textbook of International Health: Global Health in a Dynamic World. 3rd edition Oxford University Press, Chapters 11 and 12
  2. Olsen J A. (2017). Principles in health economics and policy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, Chapters 2, 9, and 10
  3. Henderson J. (2014) Health economics and policy 5th Edition South-Western College Pub. Chapters 3, and 4
  4. Morris S, Devlin N, Parkin D, Spencer A (2012). Economic Analysis in Health Care. 2nd edition, John Wiley and Sons, chapters 2 and 6
  5. Gøtzsche P (2013) Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime. Radcliffe Publishing

Further reading to refresh your memory:

  1. Buse K, Mays N, Walt G. (2012). Making health policy. 2nd edition, Open University Press
  2. Drummond MF editor (2007). Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. 3. ed., re-print. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press; Chapters 2 and 7 

For your assignment as per the literature review format

  1. Robson et al. The effectiveness of occupational health and safety management system interventions: A systematic review. Safety Science 45 (2007) 329–353, doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2006.07.003

Content (changes may occur)

Overview of teaching activities

  1. Introduction to health policy. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 3/9, 12:00-15:00

  2. Consumers’ behaviour in health care insights. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 4/9, 12:00-15:00

  3. Supply and cost of health care with a focus on seafarers. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 10/9, 12:00-15:00

  4. International Trade Agreements and Global Health Policies. Jens-Jørgen Jensen, 11/9, 12:00-15:00

  5. Funding provision and governance. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 17/9, 12:00-15:00

  6. Understanding and tackling the influencers/factors of health: Fereshteh Baygi 18/9, 12:00-15:00

  7. Political systems and health systems. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 24/9, 12:00-15:00

  8. Health policy agenda: Health 2030. Gabriel Gulis, 25/9, 12:00-15:00

  9. WHO and Globalization. Leena Eklund Karlsson, 1/10, 12:00-15:00

  10. Globalization- migration of health professionals. Jens-Jørgen Jensen, 2/10, 12:00-15:00

  11. Paying health care providers. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 8/10, 12:00-15:00

  12. Pharmaceutical policy. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 9/10, 12:00-15:00

  13. Evidence based health policy. Olaf Chresten Jensen, 22/10, 9:00-12:00

  14. Implementing Evidence Based Medicine– effects from interventions Olaf Chresten Jensen 23/10, 12:00-15:00

  15. End of term quiz. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 29/10, 12:00-15:00

  16. Summing up of the module. Despena Andrioti Bygvraa, 30/10, 12:00-15:00

Teaching format and feedback

In this module the students will acquire new knowledge on national and international policy issues relevant to the health care sector in lectures. Students will train their ability to apply different theoretical perspectives from political science and economics to the health policy process in de-bates, case study group work and presentations delivered by students.

The module consists of a) lectures and b) students’ presentations

  • (a)The module is based on a series of lectures building on the different theories so that students understand the relevance of political economy approach in relation to the decision making in public health. The lectures will be coupled with exercises, presentations and case studies for group work in the classroom.

Active participation from the students is expected throughout the course.   

  • (b)Each student will present a health related topic assigned by the module coordinator at the beginning of the semester. For every presentation a discussant will be designated to prepare relevant questions complementing those prepared by the rest of the students, based on the presentation and facilitate the discussion in the      classroom. This will allow continuous peer assessment.
  • (c)Deepen knowledge of their topic will help the students in the final exam and facilitate the studies accomplishments.
  • (d)Each student is expected to actively participate in the group work. 
  • (e)Homework: A topic of major interest in health policy will be discussed during the lectures. The students are expected to read the relevant material, try to answer the relevant questions and actively participate in the discussions.

Like all other modules at SDU, this module is based on ‘Activating Teaching & Active Learning’ which constitutes the core principles of education at University of Southern Denmark.

Students and teachers share the responsibility for implementing these principles throughout each programme.

Together with teachers and fellow students at SDU, the students are part of a binding learning community characterized by mutual respect, openness and commitment. Students show active involvement in class, independent studies and in collaborative work with other students. Students provide a full-time effort and continuously develop their ability to be independent and take responsibility for their own academic development. They are proactive, eager to explore and ready to learn.

The teachers at SDU are responsible for planning and implementing teaching and learning activities that support students’ active learning, both inside and outside the lecture room. The planning of the teaching reflects the teachers’ high academic and professional level and their clear focus on the learning objectives of each module and the programme. Teachers support, guide and challenge students in a learning community characterized by mutual respect, openness and commitment. 

Students at the Faculty of Health Science continuously receive feedback in various forms. Students participating in the module will receive direct oral or written feedback from teachers on assignments and oral presentations. Oral feedback may also be given to students on question posed during the lectures. Written feedback may be posted on the blackboard upon previous agreement with the interested students. After the exams students, may receive feedback upon request of a personal appointment with the module coordinator. Furthermore, their peers will provide feedback on assignments and oral presentations throughout the module, using different assessment tools such as rubrics.

Student learning activities 
The students are expected to:

  • Actively participate in the lectures, group work and presentations in the classroom
  • Read the basic relevant textbooks chapters with regards the teaching activities, as well as the additional reading given by the faculty
  • Prepare for the group work and in classroom exercises
  • Prepare and present a health policy topic
  • Prepare the questions and facilitate the discussions on a health policy topic
  • Use designated tools for peer assessment


Expected student workload in this course

The ECTS value of this course is 7,5 ECTS corresponding to a student workload of 210 hours:

Teaching hours (inc. exercises and supervision): 48 hours
Preparation/self-study: 162 hours

Examination regulations




Time of examination

The ordinary exam takes place in the week immediately after the end of the module.

Exam schedules for the entire programme are available at 


Written assignment




Written assignment


Individually written assignment.

The students will write a scientific essay on the topic they presented in the classroom as assignment for the final exams. Please use the “Guide for Assignment Presentation” (Blackboard) for the formal structure of the essay. It should be presented in a scientific way and follow the standard format of a scientific article (abstract, introduction, material and method, results, discussion and conclusions, and bibliography).

Form of examination

Compulsory assignment


Second examiner: Internal


7-point grading scale


Student Identification Card - Exam number




10 normal pages.

Examination aids

Not relevant for this type of exam.

Assignment handin

The assignment must be handed in on blackboard in SDU Assignments.

ECTS value


Additional information

Grade 12 is given if the student has shown excellent performance, having comprehensively fulfilled the module’s objectives with no or only a few minor weaknesses.

External comment

The module is identical with 3972701. Used exam attempts will automatically be transferred. 

Correlation between the competency objectives and type of teaching and exam

Through the teaching forms and in combination with the exam form the students will learn about policy issues relevant to the health care sector and will train their ability to apply different theoretical perspectives from political science and economics to the health policy process individually and in small groups.