HAR6119: Building Cost-effectiveness Models for Health Technology Assessment (online)


An advanced course teaching the technical and practical skills required to build cost-effectiveness models for international health technology assessment. It builds on from the introductory unit, HAR6113 Cost-effectiveness modelling in international HTA, which covered the principles behind modelling.

Content includes problem definition and structuring, building decision tree and Markov/state transition models in Excel, identifying appropriate data sources, implementing deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analysis, and Value of Information analysis. It is an advanced course, aimed at students with a strong mathematical background who want to go on to build their own economic models.

Pre-requisites: Requires evidence of quantitative skills acquired at A level or specific undergraduate units. Pre-existing Excel skills are essential.


This module aims to equip students with a basic professional competency in building cost-effectiveness models, to inform healthcare decision problems. It is intended for students who have a mathematical / statistical background and have good pre-existing Excel skills, who wish to develop technical modelling skills.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, a students will be able to:

  1. Analyse a decision problem using problem structuring methods to determine an appropriate modelling approach
  2. Construct health economic models, including programming of sensitivity analysis
  3. Validate, interpret and communicate the results from deterministic and stochastic decision-analytic models using established principles

Teaching Methods

  • On-line materials, based around a series of real-life examples of decision-analytic models, will provide the theoretical understanding of modelling methods and result interpretation (LOs 1 and 3)
  • Online workshops and problem-solving exercises will enable students to test their developing skills in modelling.
  • The exercises will include critical appraisal of published models, problem structuring to determine an appropriate modelling approach and development of cost-effectiveness models using Excel. Exercise solutions will also be discussed. (LOs 2 and 3).
  • Guided independent study will enhance students’ understanding of modelling applications and results interpretation (LO 1 - 3)


Independent Study (including preparation for assessments) 150 hours.


Component Weighting
Model 60%
Report (2,000 words) 40%

Students will build and report a cost-effectiveness model as part of a practical modelling project. The economic model and report will contribute 100% of their grade for this module.

This will test their ability to identify and implement an appropriate model, their technical modelling skills, and ability to interpret model results and clearly report what they have done (LOs 1 - 3).

The pass mark is 50%.