HP4C3E      Half Unit
Economic Evaluation in Health Care

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Alexander Carter COW 2.10


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

In the health sector, decision makers are regularly faced with the challenge of allocating finite resources in an optimal manner. Economic evaluation (or cost-effectiveness analysis) is used to formalise the process of decision-making by estimating the expected costs and benefits from alternative scenarios or interventions. Decision makers use evidence from economic evaluations to make specific recommendations for coverage, reimbursement, and pricing decisions for a variety of health interventions, and to define best practice. The course introduces principles and practices for measuring the costs and effects of interventions, using measures such as Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) and Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). The course will enable candidates to understand and apply economic evaluation methods and it will provide a solid foundation for exploring more advanced approaches. With a focus on clinical decision making, candidates will learn transferable skills about the design and execution of economic evaluations.


This course will be delivered online over a period of five weeks in the Michaelmas Term and also the Summer Term. The course will be delivered as a combination lectures and seminars, totalling a minimum of 20 hours.

Students in MT will have access to lecture material delivered as short online videos. Seminars will take place online and students will work in small groups on structured learning activities set by the course lead.

Students in ST will have teaching delivered over 1 week during the June 2021 teaching block.

Formative coursework

The formative assessment will require students to prepare a group presentation critically appraising a published study based on a few questions provided by the course leader.

Indicative reading

Drummond M et al. Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes. Oxford, OUP, 2005

Drummond M et al. Economic Evaluation in Health Care: Merging Theory with Practice, Oxford, OUP, 2002.

Gray A. Applied Methods of Cost-effectiveness Analysis in Healthcare (Handbooks in Health Economic Evaluation), Oxford, OUP, 2011.

Weinstein MC et al. Foundations of cost-effectiveness analysis for health and medical practices. N Eng J Med. 1977; 296 (13):716–21.

Russell LB et al. The role of cost-effectiveness analysis in health and medicine. JAMA. 1996; 276 (14): 1172–77.


Critical evaluation (80%) and report (20%).

Short report, proposal for an economic evaluation of a cardiovascular intervention (20%, 700 words).

Critical appraisal of a published economic evaluation from the cardiovascular sciences (80%, 2,000 words + completion of the CHEERS checklist).

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills