POL8521 - Comparative Health Policy


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

This course gives an introduction to the study of health policy in a comparative perspective. The health care sector represents a tremendous opportunity for studying an institutional arena undergoing rapid and profound changes, and an increasing number of political scientists are now affiliated with research related to the management and organisation of the health sector. The organizational changes in health services over the last decades have challenged the traditional bureaucratic and professional management by introducing principles from the private sector. The changing public and private roles and the developing modes of financing, managing and delivering health services pose several important questions from the perspective of political science. The course introduces central concepts and theoretical approaches in order to understand what informs the decisions of health policy. This course aims to introduce the principles of health care organisation and policy in a comparative perspective, identify the key characteristics and components of health care systems, assess each health care system's strengths and weaknesses, and discuss the recent health care reform efforts in OECD countries.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the student shall:

  • be in the forefront of knowledge on the main components of a health system, different classifications of health and welfare systems and the structure and organization of health systems in a comparative perspective
  • be able to contribute to the development of new knowledge in the discipline

Skills - the student shall demonstrate the ability to:

  • treat one of the themes which was discussed in instruction in an independent empirical analytical manner which is at a high international level

Learning methods and activities

Lectures/group discussions. Supervision of term paper. The essay is to be an independent discussion of a topic taught in lectures, and is to consist of 20 pages.If 6 or fewer students sign up for a planned course during the first 2 teaching weeks, the course will be offered as an instructed reading course.

Required previous knowledge

Master's degree in Political Science or equivalent.

Course materials

To be decided at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
POL3523 10.0 AUTUMN 2017
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  10.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level



Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Social Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Political Science
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Sociology and Political Science


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