HP422      Half Unit
Health Care Economic Evaluation

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Ranjeeta Thomas COW 2.07 and Mr Ilias Ioannis Kyriopoulos COW.3.03


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 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 Autumn Term. The lectures provide conceptual foundations, theory and statistical methods 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 WT.

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.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16
Merit 70.8
Pass 11.2
Fail 2

Key facts

Department: Health Policy

Total students 2022/23: 77

Average class size 2022/23: 16

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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