This course is discontinued

HME4204 – Health Politics and Welfare State Theories

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

  • Determinants of policy and organizational change;
  • political actors and institutions;
  • the role of the state, interest groups and public opinion;
  • organized action and political interactions;
  • analytical frameworks and practical skills required to steering policy change.

Learning outcome

Health politics constitute the direct cause of health policies and reforms. In spite of this critical role, often more emphasis is put in the content of policies than on their determinants. This course focuses on the political determinants of health policy, including state actors, interest groups, public opinion, political institutions, power resources, organized action and political interactions. The main aim is to analyze the conceptual models developed by political science, economics, and other social sciences to account for policy and organizational change. Another critical goal of the course is to enable students to design and direct process of change both at the organizational and health systems levels.


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge



Lectures and seminars. Lectures will focus on the conceptual models. Seminars are oriented to present and discuss the determinants of specific reform episodes in European countries.


A two hour written examination, including ten multiple-choice questions, as well as two discussion questions. The students should also write a working paper and an essay as necessary requirements to pass the course. The final grade is a sum of the exam (50%), the working paper (30%) and the presentation (20%), for those students who pass the exam. Students who fail the exam will carry over the working paper and essay marks to the next re-exam. For the working paper, the students should work in groups of 2-4 people; the goal is to compare health care/welfare reform in Norway and another OECD country and analyse its causes. The working paper should have a maximum of 3500 words (without including references and figures).

The essay is an individual assignment, and consists of a structured summary of one of the elective readings corresponding to the case studies; it should be presented in one of the five seminars of the course; and delivered by email to at least 48 hours before the seminar.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

All written exams and term papers at the master's programme in Health Economics, Policy and Management have to be conducted in English

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students that fail the written exam or have documented lawful absence on the day of the written exam, may register for re-exam in the course.

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






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Teaching language