HAR6167: Cost-effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment


This module provides an introduction to mathematical modelling and its role in informing clinical policy and resource allocation decisions in international healthcare systems. The core of the module is cost-effectiveness modelling, interpretation and appraisal. Specific methods include problem definition and structuring, decision trees, and Markov/state transition modelling. The methods outlined in this module will be transferable to decision problems in other settings outside of healthcare. Lectures will be augmented by practical modelling sessions.


This module aims to:

  • Introduce students to a range of common techniques used in health economic analysis and understand how to interpret and analyse the results of a cost-effectiveness model
  • Develop students skills in critical appraisal and problem structuring
  • Equip students with proficiency in the development and validation of cost-effectiveness models using Microsoft Excel

Learning outcomes

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

  • describe the differences between deterministic and stochastic decision-analytic model and the results generated by them
  • describe the differences between a range of cost-effectiveness model evaluation tools and explain how to use them to critically evaluate cost-effectiveness model reports
  • analyse a decision problem using problem structuring methods to determine an appropriate modelling approach
  • construct simple health economic models using standard software including sensitivity analysis and validate results using established principle

Teaching Methods

The module will be delivered predominantly through a series of taught lectures, which will include some practical exercises. The core theoretical foundations of the module will be introduced through lectures (10 x 2 hours, 1 x 1 hour). Application of the theory will be introduced through class exercises in these lectures and a further set of tutorials (1 x 2 hours, 4 x 1 hour). Students will further develop their skills in applying the techniques through exercises undertaken as self-study. The exercises will include interpreting the results of cost-effectiveness models, critical appraisal of published models, problem structuring and the development of cost-effectiveness models in Excel. The Practical exercises will improve technical skills. A formative assessment on critical appraisal will be undertaken mid-course, with feedback given before the summative assessment is submitted.


As this is a 15-credit module, the expectation is that you will spend at least 150 working hours on it (including teaching hours) in line with international convention. Students will be expected to supplement their learning through independent study (approx. 123 hours). Reading will be suggested to reinforce the material presented in lectures both on the theory and to illustrate modelling applications.


Component Weighting
Students will build and report a cost-effectiveness model (2000 words). The assessment will test: the ability to identify and implement an appropriate model, understanding of modelling techniques and technical modelling skills, ability to interpret model results and ability to report clearly what has been done. 100%
In addition a formative assessment will take place where students undertake a critical appraisal of a published cost-effectiveness model report. 0%