HP422      Half Unit
Health Care Economic Evaluation

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ranjeeta Thomas COW 2.07


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics). This course is available on the MSc in Global Health Policy, MSc in Health Data Science, MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing and MSc in International Health Policy. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Resource allocation is at the heart of decision-making in the health care sector. Economic evaluation is an approach used to support decision-makers in allocating resources by providing tools to compare the costs and benefits associated with multiple alternative scenarios or interventions.

This course will enable students to understand and apply the analytic methods used in the economic evaluation of health interventions. By the end of the course, students are expected to:

  • Explain the welfare economic principles underlying health-care economic evaluations
  • Identify the different approaches to economic evaluations (cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit, cost-utility etc)
  • Measure and analyse costs and effects of health care interventions
  • Construct a decision-analytic model to compare the costs and benefits of different interventions
  • Apply statistical methods to deal with uncertainty in economic evaluations
  • Evaluate how to make decisions under-uncertainty in health-care economic evaluations

It is recommended students taking this course have some knowledge of probability and statistics (similar to ST102). As Microsoft Excel will be used for practical sessions, some experience of using Excel would be helpful.


This course will be delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum 26 hours during Michaelmas Term. Students will have access to lecture material delivered as short online videos. Students will attend seminars where they will work together in small groups on structured learning activities set by the course leads.

There will be a departmental reading week in week 6 of term.

Formative coursework

A piece of formative coursework will be set in the middle of the term, and feedback provided to students.

Indicative reading

The following are basic readings for the course: 

  • Drummond MF, Sculpher MJ, Claxton K, Stoddart GL, Torrance GW (2015). Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes. Fourth edition: Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Gray A, Clarke P, Wolstenholme J, Wordsworth S (2011) Applied Methods of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Health Care, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • More technical and advanced textbooks, especially for statistical analysis.
  • Briggs A, Sculpher M, Claxton K (2006). Decision Modelling for Health Economic Evaluation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Supplementary Reading List

This is made available on Moodle along with all other course materials, and includes references to specialised texts and articles on each subject covered within the course.


Project (100%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Assessment is through a project that students will undertake in small groups and write up individually (3,000 word paper), to be submitted at the end of the course.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15.8
Merit 63.5
Pass 19.8
Fail 0.9

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 89

Average class size 2020/21: 5

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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