FH3008 - Health Economics and Public Health


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours D

Course content

The course will provide an overview of fundamental health economic concepts and principles, and next how to apply these in a public health perspective and in terms of planning and evaluation of applied public health policy. The following themes will be covered:

  • To measure health in a life-time perspective: Health related quality of life and quality adjusted life years/healthy life years
  • Inequality in health and need for health services, prevention versus treatment
  • The organisation and financing of health services and public health work
  • Efficiency, distribution and equity
  • Methods for economic evaluation: Cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses
  • Public health policy, priority setting and welfare surplus

The course will cover fundamental health economic concepts and principles like healthy life years, efficiency and distribution, economic evaluation of public health policies and health services - and welfare surplus. The course provides an introduction to the organization and financing of health services and public health work in general, different aspects of efficiency, the understanding of welfare surplus, methods for health economic evaluation and prioritization. How to perform cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis will be discussed, including different ways to measure health – Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) and the burden of disease in terms of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY). We will also discuss the relevance of health economic concepts and principles in light of health policy and public health policy.

Learning outcome

After completing the course FH3008 the student should be able to:


  • Have a good knowledge of why we prioritize as we do in Norway, that is, know the prioritization criteria that are used in Norway including their history and how these are used in practice in various parts of the health care service and in public health work
  • Have knowledge of theory and methods for carrying out various forms of economic evaluation, including measuring costs and effects and the various forms of economic evaluation that exist (such as cost-utility, cost-effectiveness, and cost-benefit analyses)
  • Have knowledge of the theory behind and methods for measuring general health effects, health-related quality of life, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and in which settings the various health outcomes are used
  • Have knowledge of what lies in the terms equal and fair distribution, and how we as a society relate to these terms in practice
  • Know how we organize and finance the health service and public health work
  • Know various terms and theories within health economics (such as resource scarcity, production, supply, demand, utility, opportunity costs, externalities, elasticity etc.)


  • Be able to participate in health economic evaluations of interventions within health and public health work
  • Be able to explain and use various health economic theories, principles and concepts to shed light on various issues within the health care- and public health field
  • Be able to identify and assess various health economic methods that are used to answer questions related to health and public health work
  • Be able to assess, read and use knowledge from the health economics literature on various issues related to health and public health work
  • Be able to assess and discuss prevention versus treatment in the light of central health economic principles

General knowledge

  • Be able to discuss and contribute input on issues related to priority setting at various levels of the health service and in public health work, with knowledge rooted in health economics
  • Be able to influence decision-making processes and thereby contribute to equal and fair distribution of health and public health in the population in line with current regulations

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and exercises. Exercises with relevance for applied public health policies will be weighted more heavily.

Compulsory assignments

  • Approved assignment

Further on evaluation

Compulsory activity: The semester assignment is conducted as group work and is evaluated as pass/ fail after an oral presentation. The semester assignment has to be approved before the student can sit for the exam.

Required previous knowledge

Completed bachelor's degree. The course is part of the master's programme in Public Health.

Course materials

To be announced.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
KLH3000 5.0 AUTUMN 2018
KLH3012 5.0 AUTUMN 2018
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Health Science
  • Public Health
  • Economics
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Public Health and Nursing


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD School exam 100/100 D 2023-12-05 15:00 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
SL520 Sluppenvegen 14 1
SL410 orange sone Sluppenvegen 14 17
SL410 blå sone Sluppenvegen 14 2
Spring UTS School exam 100/100 D 2024-02-21 09:00 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
SL415 Sluppenvegen 14 11
SL310 Sluppenvegen 14 2
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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