Health Policy, Planning and Financing (Specialization in Health Economics) MSc - part time


Health Policy, Planning and Financing (Specialization in Health Economics) MSc - part time


Expert in Health Care Policy, Planning and Financing


Part-time degree program



Accreditation number



Institute of Economics


Department of Health Policy and Health Economics




4 semesters (2 years)

ECTS credits


Minimum number of students


Maximum number of students


Short description

Our program is a unique initiative in Central and Eastern Europe: it offers basic knowledge similar to that in programs in Western Europe, but in addition it also prepares students to apply their knowledge and specific analytical skills in the context of middle-income countries.

The Specialization in Health Economics, launched in English, offers multi-disciplinary expertise and a problemoriented approach. Such knowledge and skills will remain relevant in the long run and help graduates understand and analyse key issues of future health systems, such as: efficiency of health technologies, sustainability of health financing, and techniques to measure and influence the performance of health care systems.

The Master Program enables graduates to understand the complexities of health care systems both at macro and micro levels and to perform tasks in analysis, planning, financing and management of health technologies, health care services and health systems. We expect applicants from foreign countries who would like to acquire state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in the areas mentioned above with a special focus on applicability in emerging markets. Foreign students studying at Hungarian medical universities may choose to combine their medical degree with the degree offered by our program. A master degree in English can also be an attractive option for Hungarian students, given increasing international co-operation in several areas of health care.

The part time programme is especially tailored for those participants who already have working experience and would like to further develop their knowledge and skills without giving up their working position


The program includes an optional internship module. The MSc internship gives students the opportunity to apply the concepts and technical skills they have mastered during the first two semesters:

  • The duration of the internship is 160 hours.

  • It can be completed at pharmaceutical companies, government agencies (including the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Fund Administration), health care organisations, consulting companies, commercial insurance companies and research institutions.

  • Students have to prepare an internship report.

Strength of program

Our faculty members have an exceptional combination of international work experience at multinational public and private organizations (e.g. OECD, Novartis in Basel, University of Sheffield, Erasmus University Rotterdam), research and teaching both abroad and in Hungary. Our faculty members serve as policy advisors to global health care corporations, public decision-makers and international professional societies (e.g. International Society For Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research).

The MSc program also benefits from the experiences of the members of the  International Advisory Board. Our international exposure guarantees the transferability of knowledge and skills learned here to different health care systems and technologies.

International Advisory Board (IAB)

The International Advisory Board was set up in 2010 with the purpose of helping the DHPE to meet international standards in its programs and extend its international relationships. Members of the IAB are also to contribute to the education of the master program.

The basic courses module (24 credits) offers the basics of multi-disciplinary orientation and comparative analyses of healthcare systems, and includes courses on health economics; health policy; health law and ethics; epidemiology, public health, etc.

The professional core material (36 credits) includes the analysis of healthcare systems, institutions, services and technologies as well as the development of alternatives in decision-making. Furthermore, courses deal with health economic evaluations; health financing; health services organisations; health informatics; statistical methods in healthcare analyses, etc.

The specialization in health economics covers the most important international sources of knowledge, while also preparing students to execute practical applications. The student’s individual professional program plays a vital role, which is realized in the form of the thesis seminar and internship. The compulsory courses are as follow: methodology of economic modelling in health care; measurement of patient-reported outcomes; financing of health technologies; health technology assessment; strategic pricing and marketing of health technologies; thesis seminar. Students have to select elective courses which can be any courses offered at ELTE in any MA/MSc program.

The contact hours of the course are organised in three educational weeks in each semester. One week (Monday to Saturday) presence is required per month in each month from September to November (first semester) and from February to April (second semester).

Basic courses

Basic economics

The course presents micro- and macroeconomics theory and applications at an intermediate level.

Students will learn core issues of microeconomics (scarcity, choice and interaction of choices, consumer and firm behaviour, modelled operation of market forces and nature of market failures, etc.) understand the contexts of economic processes and methods of economic analysis. Getting familiar with neoclassical microeconomics and its applications, boundaries and extensions, studens will be able to apply their knowledge to policy debates and evaluation on issues including health care and health insurance markets.

During the course we also examine the basic macroeconomic issues: economic growth,


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Introduction to health economics

Students should learn basic terms of health economics and understand key principles. Topics cover the economic mechanisms of health care markets as market failures, supply and demand of health care, resource allocation principles, equity aspects of health care financing and delivery, and micro- and macro-dynamics of health expenditures. Analysis of demand and supply factors of health care expenditure, and methods of sustainable health care financing are discussed briefly.

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Introduction to health policy

The purpose of this course is to enable students for (i) the analysis of health systems and their performance and (ii) the evaluation of possible strategies and tools of health system reforms, as well as factors influencing the health policy process.

The first part of the course introduces key concepts of health systems analysis and performance measurement; including health system objectives, functions, actors and organisational structures. The second part of the course analyzes possible strategies and tools aimed at achieving key health policy goals. The course also discusses the key issues of realizing health system reforms.

The course puts a great emphasis on the team-work and presentations


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Health law and ethics

The main objective of the course is to provide all students the theoretical and practical legal skills needed for the study of Hungarian health system and for their prospective work. Students will be familiar with the main terms and institutions of the Hungarian legal system and governmental structure. They should learn the main ways of finding the legal base of solving problems in the field of Hungarian health law. The course provides the students an insight into the decision-making process of the Hungarian government in the field of health system. The course contains also an outlook on the main characteristics of other countries’ health law systems.

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Public health

This course gives an introduction to public health, clinical and preventive medicine to students. By the end of the course the participants will be familiar with the basic medical knowledge related to major diseases and will be able to critically analyse and summarise original scientific and political documents of public health. Major public health data sources will be utilised for analyses.

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Basic statistics

The course covers the basic statistical methods with an emphasis on concepts and application in medical sciences and economics rather than on the in-depth coverage of traditional statistical methods. Stata 13.0 is introduced to aid to carry out the statistical computations. PS software is used for sample size and power estimation.

Each method is introduced by examples from the scientific literature. Applicability of each method, checking model assumptions and interpretation of the results are covered in the lectures. Students perform exercises by STATA, and PS-software related to all topics.

By the end of the course participants will be able to use a professional statistical software, present


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Professional core material


The aim of the subject is to provide basic concepts and methods of epidemiology and necessary knowledge to judge the validity of an epidemiological study and to interpret its results. By the end of the course students will be able to judge the relevance and validity of epidemiological studies and will be prepared to utilize their results in health economic modelling and health policy making.

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Principles of health economic evaluation

Students should be familiar with the basics of economic evaluations. They should learn the main types of economic evaluations, the major steps of conducting economic evaluations. They should understand the applicability of economic evaluation in health care and health technology assessment to improve the allocative efficiency of health care systems.

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Health policy in the European Union

The purpose of this course is

  • to introduce students to the history of European integration, the EU’s basic principles and institutions, the operation of its institutional system, the legislative framework and the EU’s decision making mechanisms,
  • to explore the position and the complex role of health, its relation to other sector policies in the EU as well as the fundamental health policy issues and their EU dimension, and
  • to discuss the implications of global challenges, to analyse and understand the impacts of different EU-level sector policies on health as well as the influence of certain EU-level health policy initiatives on national health


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Health financing

The aim of the course is to

  • widen the students’ knowledge on health system financing;
  • provide the theoretical basis for analysing provider-payment methods; and
  • discuss the international and Hungarian experiences with provider-payment methods.

The course covers the following topics:

  1. Purchasing of health services (provider-payment methods): theoretical basis.
  2. Purchasing of health services (provider-payment methods): international experiences
  3. Key issues of resource


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Introduction to health services organisation

Students should learn basic terms of health services organization. Be aware of different types and levels of care and their most important characteristics. Analysis of trends in the organization development of health services and case studies. The course is composed of three major parts (I-II-III) there are the overview of health systems characteristics (key actors and authorities, ownership type, funding options and basic packages), organization of typical health services (eg. primary care, long-term care). Different levels and type of care and other topics like integration of services, patient path management and connecting issues of quality assurance.

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Planning and management of public health projects

The purpose of this course is to introduce to students the methodology and practice of project planning and management with a view on specifics of public health projects and requirements of EU funded projects. The methodology is the logical framework approach widely used in the EU. By the end of the course students will be able to apply the techniques learned and plan simple public health projects.

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Corporate economics

I. Corporate Strategy.

  1. Introduction
  2. Corporation and Enterprise
    1. Definition
    2. Legal forms, Corporate Governance
    3. Purpose, Values
  3. Corporate Strategy
    1. Levels, Stakeholders
    2. Environment
    3. Resources and Competencies
    4. Strategy Formulation Process
    5. Execution, Measurement of Progress
  4. Competitive Advantage, Competitive Strategy
    1. Price-based, Differentiation, Hybrid strategies
    2. Diversification, Integration
    3. Mergers, Acquisitions
    4. International Environment, Globalization
  5. Strategy


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Information technology in health research

The course covers advanced data storage, management (spreadsheets) software for health care research.

Topics include:

  • types of data storage,
  • spreadsheets as a data storage,
  • working with data
    • cells, rows, ranges, sheets, workbooks
    • formatting cells, ranges, tables
    • built in styles, custom number formats
    • using basic functions, string, mathematical, statistical etc.
    • visualisation, creating, modifying graphs
    • inserting pictures and other objects
    • advanced functions
    • data validation, data protection
    • data


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Statistical methods in healthcare analyses

The course covers advanced statistical methods for health care research. The course is applied in the sense that is focused on estimating models and interpreting the results, rather than understanding the detailed mathematics behind the methods.

Topics include:

  • simple and multiple linear regression,
  • model development,
  • assessment of goodness-of-fit,
  • logistic regression,
  • logistic regression in case-control studies,
  • logistic regression for prediction,
  • Poisson-regression,
  • ...

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Specialization in Health Economics - Compulsory program

Methodology of economic modelling in health care (1)

The module is designed for students who wish to learn basic modelling techniques for health care decision analysis. During the semester economic models related to common reimbursement questions are developed in MS Excel spreadsheets. By the end of the module students will be able to design, develop and interpret economic models and will be familiar with basic methods to handle uncertainties around resource allocation decisions.

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Methodology of economic modelling in health care (2)

The module is designed for students who wish to learn advanced modelling approaches, techniques and applications for health care decision analysis.

During the semester economic models related to strategic pricing, risk sharing arrangements, health care investment and public health decisions are investigated, and students get insight into advanced modelling techniques supporting health care decisions, as discrete event simulation, Markov simulation and probabilistic sensitivity analysis. By the end of the module students will be familiar with health care modelling methods applicable to a large scale of decision making situations and will be able to understand and interpret the fundamentals of some advanced modelling techniques.

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Measurement of patient reported outcomes
  • Students need to be aware of the recent paradigm shift in medicine resulted in the increasing relevance of measuring health outcomes based on the opinion of the patient/individual
  • Students are required to be familiar with the basic concept of measuring patient reported outcomes (PROs), including international guidances
  • Students are introduced the concept of measuring quality of life (QoL), including measurement in special populations, especially in childhood
  • Students are required to be familiar with concept, steps and key terms of development, local adaptation and validation of PRO/QoL measures/instruments
  • Students


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Financing of health technologies
  • Introduction / Principles Transparency Directive
  • Risk-sharing
  • Risk-sharing II.
  • Cost-containment policies
  • Internal price referencing system
  • External price referencing
  • Generic and biosimilar drug policies
  • Financing wholesalers and pharmacies
  • Financing hospital technologies
  • Financing clinical development of pharmaceuticals
  • Financing research of new health technologies
  • ...

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Health technology assessment
  • Components of HTA
  • Multicriteria decision analysis
  • HTA implementation in high income countries
  • Operation of HTA agencies; Joint HTA at European level
  • HTA implementation in lower income countries
  • Transferability of HTA
  • Evidence synthesis / systematic literature review
  • Collection of local data
  • Critical appraisal of health technology assessment
  • HTA of special technologies: medical devices and diagnostics
  • ...

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Elective program



Thesis seminar (1)

This course gives an extra help to students preparing their thesis besides the tutorship of their supervisors.

The course starts with a discussion on how to write a good thesis. The rest of the course consists of presentations and discussions of each student’s own work as he or she is proceeding. Each work is discussed at least three times, research topic, objectives and methods.

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Thesis seminar (2)

This course gives an extra help to students preparing their thesis besides the tutorship of their supervisors.

The course starts with a discussion on how to write a good thesis. The rest of the course consists of presentations and discussions of each student’s own work as he or she is proceeding. Each work is discussed at least three times, research topic, objectives and methods.

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Career opportunities

The master’s program prepares students for career positions in both the private and public sectors. This includes health administration (e.g., health ministries, local governments, health insurance organizations, etc.), manufacturers and retailers of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, public and private health care providers, voluntary health insurance funds, commercial insurance companies, non-profit organizations, educational and research institutions, as well as the media.

Job examples

Policy advisor in the ministry of health; market access manager at an international pharmaceutical company; analyst at a health technology analysis institute; manager at a health fund; strategic director at a health insurance company.

EU/EEA students
non-EU/EEA students
Tuition fee/semester

1,380 EUR

3,000 EUR

non-EU/EEA students
Tuition fee/semester

3,000 EUR

Offered for the next academic year


Start program

06, Sep, 2017

Deadline for applications - September intake

07, Aug, 2017

Is there a February intake


Admission requirements - Language requirement

Advanced English language knowledge

Documents to submit with application
  • Online application form

  • Bachelor-level degree

  • Transcript of records

  • CV

  • Motivation letter

  • Copy of the main pages of the passport (needs to be valid)

  • Copy of application fee transfer

Further comments (if needed)

Applicants must have a BA/BBA degree in any of the following areas: social science, public health studies, health administration, health sciences, economics, business administration or a medical degree.

Application procedure

The application starts at the online application system. Students need to register in the system, fill in the online application form, upload the required documents and follow the instructions during the application process.

Procedure of the entrance examination:

Short-listed applicants will be notified about the exact time and date of application interviews conducted via Skype. Applicants are responsible for having technically suitable conditions for the interview at their side. The application interview via Skype will include a discussion on the following topics:

  • What are the major challenges for your country’s health care system in the next 10 years?

  • What could be the role of economic analysis in improving health care in your country?

Program leader

Dr. Zoltán VOKÓ
Head of Department; Director of the MSc Program

Program coordinator

Faculty of Social Sciences

Faculty of Social Sciences