HECON4000 – Basic Mathematics for Health Economists

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This intensive course cannot be included in the Degree, but will prepare you for the specializations in Health Economics, and Economics Evaluation, and is therefore
highly recommended. The course covers basic topics in mathematics that are essential in economic analysis on health topics such as supply and demand for health care and
health insurance.

The course focuses on the skills such as calculus and algebra which are necessary to understand and analyze the economic models that are part of the syllabus in the courses HECON4210 – Demand for health and health insurance and HECON4220 – Paying Providers of Health Care .

The course closely follows the course textbook, and solving textbook problems in class constitute a large part of the course. The course is therefore based on seminars and homework assignments, and it is recommended that students form small groups to collaborate on homework

Learning outcome

The course will provide you with knowledge of:

  • mathematics applicable to economic analysis on health topics
  • definitions of concave and convex functions


You will learn how to:

  • use mathematics as a tool to perform simple economic analysis
  • solve equations and systems of equations
  • differentiate functions and compute elasticities
  • to analyze functions and solve optimization problems
  • solve optimization problems when constraints apply


You will be able to:

  • to reflect on how simplifying assumptions and mathematics can be used as tools to derive, analyze and characterize societal issues.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is not available for single course students.


Seminars and homework assignments. It is recommended that students form small groups to collaborate on homework.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Spring 2021: Due to the extensive measures that have been implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the study program, has decided that the form of examination in the course is changed from written school examination to home examination. The measure is taken to ensure the completion of examinations Spring 2021.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

For students at Eu-HEM: English

For students at HEPAM: The problem set will be given in English. Answers can be given in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

For HEPMA students:

For Eu-HEM students:

An EU-hem student cannot present her or himself for the examination in a course more than two times. There will be held re-sits for EU-hem students who have failed an exam or who have legitimate absence (usually illness) in January and August. If you are entitled to a re-sit you must contact the student advisor via email no longer than one week after the result of the exam has been published.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language