Specialization Health and Social Policy
New from summer term 2021!
interdisciplinary – international – interactive
for students in BBE, BW, IBW and WIRE
fully taught in English
30 students per term
What is this specialization about?
Health and social policies are dealing with issues such as health care, pensions, child care and old age care, unemployment, poverty and social exclusion, etc. In the European Union, public expenditure on health and social policies accounts for almost 30% of GDP. On a global scale, many countries are investing heavily in health and social protection, and international governmental and non-governmental organizations are pushing the agenda. This specialization offers you a comprehensive presentation of the socioeconomics of health and social policies, of challenges, current policies and options for future directions.
Which interests should students have?
This is a specialisation for students with a genuine interest in health and social policies. The specialisation follows interdisciplinary approaches, it links theory with real world problems, and it ties rigorous analysis and creativity. Highly interactive courses require students to contribute to class discussions and to work effectively in international teams.
Which career prospects can graduates of the specialization expect?
The main objective is to train students who want to pursue a wide range of careers that relate to health and social policies. It can perfectly complement existing business specializations, programs in business law or in business and economics. Work opportunities exist in the public sector and in the private sector, in nonprofit organizations as well as in international and supranational organizations. Students will acquire a solid understanding of the scope, organization, and objectives of health and social policies and will learn skills that are directly transferable professionally.
Which courses are offered in the specialization?
Course I: Introduction to Health and Social Policy
The course will present an introduction to the socioeconomics of health and social policy and into important social policies including pensions, health and long-term care, unemployment insurance, poverty reduction, education, and family policies. Each social policy will be illustrated by concrete examples in Austria and internationally, and analyzed from economic and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Course II: Economics and Policy of the Public Healthcare Industry
This course explains key economic concepts that are relevant to the public healthcare industry and related policies. The presentation takes the real world perspective from the government and other public institutions. The course covers healthcare demand and disparities, social health insurance, public hospitals and physician practices, cost-effectiveness analysis, and public health.
Course III: Economics and Policy of the Private Healthcare Industry
This course explains key economic concepts that are relevant to the private healthcare industry and related policies and regulations. The presentation takes the real world perspective from private agents making economic decisions. The course covers patients as consumers of care, private health insurance companies, private hospitals and physicians, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Course IV: International and Transnational Social Policy
The course will start by presenting a European and global comparative perspective on social policies and the role of supranational organizations such as the World Bank, World Health Organization, and the European Union. Examples of supranational social policies and their interactions with national policies will analyzed from interdisciplinary perspectives. The second part of the course will introduce transnational social policies, in particular in the context of the European Union, in areas with large cross-border spillover effects.
Course V: Social Policy Evaluation
The course will present a comprehensive framework to evaluate health and social policies. Special emphasis will be given to the assessment of policy effectiveness with the presentation of methods such as cost-effectiveness analysis. The comprehensive framework will cover the evaluation of the policies’ efficiency, impact, equity, acceptability, relevance, and sustainability, and will be applied to the analysis of concrete health and social policies in Austria and internationally.
Access to the specialization?
The specialization starts each semester with up to 30 students.
The formal requirements for admission to a specialization at WU must be met.
Admission to the specialization Health and Social Policy in the summer term 2023 requires the following steps:
Please register for the course ET 1607 “Access to Specialization: Health and Social Policy”. Registration is possible between August 23rd, 2023 and August 27th, 2023 using LPIS.
You will get a message in LEARN telling you to upload a motivational letter (400-500 words) to LEARN between August 23rd and August 27th, 2023. For further information on the motivational letter see below.
We will inform accepted students no later than September 11th, 2023.
Registration for course I of the specialization starts on September 14th, 2023 and ends on September 17th, 2023. It is mandatory to take this course in the first semester. Courses II to V can be taken in the semester of your choice and you can register for them between September 15th, 2023 and September 22nd, 2023.
Students applying for the specialization Health and Social Policy are asked to submit a motivational letter. In this letter, we would like you to explain why you are applying to our specialization. In addition, we would like you to discuss a current issue in health and social policy or future challenges that we might have to face. You can address an issue on local, national or international level. You can focus on pressing issues high on the political agenda, but you can also address issues that are often widely neglected. Tell us about how you perceive the chosen issue or challenge and what interests you about it. Make an interdisciplinary case by giving arguments relating to at least two of the following disciplines: Economics, Social Sciences, Business Administration, and Law.
This is a motivational letter, so references to the literature are not needed. Nevertheless, please note the following formalities:
Heading: This should include your name, student ID number, Specialization Health and Social Policy: Motivational Letter
Length: 400-500 words (without heading)
Submission: Please upload a pdf-file titled lastname_firstname_studentIDnumber to LEARN (between August 23rd and August 27th, 2023).
Are all courses offered each semester?
From winter term 2021/22 on, all courses (I to V) will be taught each semester. Please register for Course I in the first semester of the specialization, after you have been accepted. All other courses can be taken in the semester of your choice. Course II to IV can be taken in the order of your choice.
When is the next specialization fair, also called SBWL Messe?
The next SBWL Messe is going to take place on May 23rd 2023.
What do I have to do in order to apply for the Specialization?
If you fit the criteria explained here, and you have registered for 1607 "Access to Specialization: Health Economics and Policy" from August 23rd, 2023 to August 27th, 2023 in LPIS, you will get a notification in LEARN that you have to write and upload a motivational letter (400-500 words) until August 27th, 2023 in LEARN.
When can I apply for the the winter term 2023?
The application period starts on August 23rd, 2023.
Where can I apply for the winter term 2023?
After your registration for AG Access to Specialization: Health Economics and Policy from August 23rd, 2023 to August 27th, 2023 in LPIS, you will get a notification in LEARN that you have to write and upload a motivational letter (400-500 words) until August 27th, 2023 in LEARN.
When will I find out if I am accepted for the Specialization?
For the winter term 2023 you will be informed by September 11th, 2023 at the lastest.
When will the Kick-off Event for the winter term 2023 take place?
The Kick Off meeting will be part of the first class of Course I, that takes place on the October 2nd, 2023.
When is the deadline for the summer term 2023 "Entry Exam" Registration?
You have to register for AG Access to Specialization: Health and Social Policy in LPIS from August 23rd, 2023 to August 27th, 2023. Please make sure to register on time as you will have to upload a motivational letter by August 27th, 2023 (explained above).
What happens if I decline the offer to take the Specialization?
If we accept you for the Specialization and you decide not to take it in the upcoming semester, but you would like to take it in the following year, please note that you have to go through the entire application process again - including sending a motivational letter.
What do I have to purchase for the Specialization lectures?
Everything will be provided by WU.
How long does it take to finish the Specialization?
It is possible to finish the specialization in 2 semesters.
Completion in 1 semester is also often possible, but not guaranteed as you need to secure yourself a spot in all courses when registration opens.