Comparing HEPL and HE

Health Economics, Policy & Law

The multidisciplinary Health Economics, Policy & Law (HEPL) programme and the monodiscplinary specialisation Health Economics (HE) have much in common, but there are also some important differences. On this page, you find a comparison of the programmes.

Student at table looking at booklet

Compulsory courses 

Health Economics, Policy & Law and Health Economics share the three courses that form the economic core of both programmes: Economics and Financing of Health Care Systems, Economics of Health and Health Care, and Health Technology Assessment.

In addition, HEPL students follow International Health Law and Comparative Health Policy, plus a course on quantitative and qualitative research methods, Advanced Research Methods. These courses make the programme multidisciplinary, possibly in combination with elective courses and a thesis topic.

In contrast, HE students have three courses with an emphasis on applying and assessing quantitative research in health economics: Applied Microeconometrics, Public Health Economics and Seminar Health Economics.

Elective courses and exchange  

We offer a list of seven economics-focused courses, which are open to all HEPL and HE students. HE students are required to choose three courses from this list:

All HEPL students pick two courses. In addition to the economics courses, they have the option to choose two courses with a focus on policy sciences and policy ethics:

For HEPL students, it is also possible to go on an exchange and follow elective courses abroad. Depending on the choices you make with regards to electives and thesis, you can either reinforce the economic character of the Health Economics, Policy & Law programme or broaden its scope.


Both programmes require that students write a master’s thesis. Health Economics theses have an economic topic and contain advanced quantitative analysis. HEPL students can write a thesis with an economic topic, but they may also choose something different, for instance using qualitative research methods. The procedures and deadlines for the thesis are the same for both.


The Health Economics, Policy & Law programme is entirely organized by Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM). Health Economics is a joint venture of Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management and Erasmus School of Economics.

Admission and registration

  • All HEPL students are registered at Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management
  • HE students can be registered at either Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management or Erasmus School of Economics.
  • HE students at Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management receive a Health Economics, Policy & Management diploma with specialization HE
  • HE students at Erasmus School of Economics receive an Economics & Business diploma with specialization Health Economics
  • Admission requirements may be somewhat different between Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management and Health Economics. Within ESHPM, the criteria for HEPL and HE are the same

In summary, why choose HEPL or HE?

Both programmes aim to train students who can contribute to improvements in healthcare, health policy and healthcare systems. The economic perspective and research methods are very important in both. The multidisciplinary Health Economics, Policy & Law adds the perspectives of policy sciences and law/human rights. Health Economics takes you deeper into research in health economics.

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