Health economists analyze resource use, health consequences and how to best use resources to maximize health gains. Until recently, most health economists have focused on healthcare delivery, but the need for health economic competence within public health practice and policy has become apparent.

While studying

Study one or two years

In the first year, students take courses in public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, qualitative methods, health systems analysis and social pathways in public health, as well as one course in health economic evaluation methods.

Degree of Master of Science, 60 credits

After this first year, those who wish will be awarded the Degree of Master of Science (60 credits), Main Field of Study: Public Health. During the second year, students take another three courses in health economics and a number of elective courses either at our department or at Umeå School of Business, Economics, and Statistics, including a thesis course.

Degree of Master of Science, 120 credits

After finishing two years of study, students will be awarded the Degree of Master of Science (120 credits), Main Field of Study: Public Health, Specialization: Health Economics.

Students with different backgrounds

Many of our students have a background in health or medical care. They are medical doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians or dentists. Many others have a background in social or behavioral sciences, such as economists, political scientists, psychologists, and trained social workers.

As in public health practice, our program brings together people with different backgrounds who share a common goal; to improve public health through health economic analysis. A number of scholarships are available for non-European students.


Studying on the program involves a high degree of independence, an active search for knowledge, problem-solving and critical analyses using a scientific approach. The learning methods vary between individual study, group work, seminars, and lectures. Course evaluations demonstrate that our students highly value the opportunity to study together with others from different educational and cultural backgrounds.

Enrolment on the program guarantees a place on each of the program courses. Some of the courses build on one another and should, therefore, be taken in a specific order.

This is an international program with students coming from many countries. All teaching is done in English.

Program Overview

Year 1 Compulsory courses

Global Public Health, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Qualitative Methodology in Public Health, Health Systems: Organization and Financing, Health Economic Evaluation Methods, Social Pathways in Health and Health Promotion.

Master thesis first year.

Year 2 Compulsory courses

Health economic theory, Advanced Topics in Health Economic Evaluation Methods, Evaluation in public health.

Master thesis second year.

Eligible courses

Tools and methods for economists, Evidence-Based Public Health, Equality and health, Social and environmental entrepreneurship, Project management, Environmental and natural resource economics, Advanced biostatistics and epidemiology, Health, environment and sustainability, Planning and management in health care.

Career opportunities

The program can lead to a career in a variety of public and private sector organizations both nationally and internationally. Many graduates will go on to work in national, regional and local public institutions, from the Ministry of Health to hospitals, e.g. as planners, strategists, evaluators and analysts, and controllers.

Many international employers

Potential international employers include the World Health Organisation, OECD, and a variety of non-governmental organizations, e.g. in health advocacy, policy, evaluation, or research. Other graduates will work in the private sector, for pharmaceutical or health insurance companies.

The program equips students with skills in health economics, epidemiology, biostatistics, evaluation methods, interview techniques, and academic writing. These skills will prove useful both for those joining the job market for the first time, as well as for those who plan to return to their previous workplaces after completing the degree.

Continue in public health research

Another path after taking the program is a university career in research.

Program taught in:

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Last updated May 3, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
2 years
296,800 SEK
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