HP4F1E      Half Unit
Introduction to Evaluation in Healthcare

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Elisabetta De Cao OLD.1.11


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Evaluation of Health Care Interventions and Outcomes, in collaboration with NICE. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The objective of this course is to introduce students to key concepts in evaluation in healthcare. The course will provide an overview of the principles and models of evaluation, and the role of theories, concepts, and hypotheses. In terms of research design, it will cover study design choices in light of bias, validity and other design tradeoffs. It will introduce students to experimental, quasi-experimental, non-experimental, and qualitative designs for evaluating healthcare interventions, programmes and policies aimed at achieving high quality care, reducing costs, and improving health outcomes. Data and measurement considerations for both quantitative and qualitative studies will be discussed alongside the importance of using mixed-methods and triangulation for interpreting findings and taking a critical approach to the results of evaluation. The course will conclude with practical and ethical issues when undertaking evaluation studies. 


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Given the executive nature of this course, it will be offered as an intensive, accelerated, and compressed module within a 1-week duration. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Following the group presentations delivered on the last day of the course, students will continue developing their projects individually. The formative assessment will be a more detailed written outline of their projects written individually. Students will receive detailed feedback (individually and not as a group) on their formative assessments and continue developing their project reports individually. The formative feedback is intended to help the students while developing their final project reports. 

Indicative reading

Angrist JD and Pischke J-S (2014). Mastering Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect. Princeton University Press.

Cartwright N and Hardie J (2012). Evidence-Based Policy: A practical guide to doing it better. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 

Patton, MQ (2005). Qualitative research. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 

Ovretveit, John. Evaluating health interventions: an introduction to evaluation of health treatments, services, policies and organizational interventions. McGraw-Hill International, 1998.


Project (100%, 3000 words) post-summer term.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills