PGCert in Cost Effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment

For general enquiries about this course contact us at, or call (+44) 0114 222 5454.

You can contact the course director, Claire Beecroft, for course-specific enquiries at or call (+44) 0114 222 0701

Key Information

Programme Starts
  • September 2017
  • Intro Week: 18-23 September
  • Teaching starts: 25 September
Modes and duration
  • 2 years
  • £3,500 for the Certificate (60 credits, 4 modules)
Entry requirements
English language requirements
  • IELTS minimum of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

Contact Us

Your information will be collected and stored according the University privacy and data collection policy:

About the course

View the above video directly on Youtube

The development and application of new health technologies (pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products and devices used to diagnose, monitor or treat diseases or enhance health and well-being) is crucial to the future prosperity of both developed and developing nations. Health technology assessment (HTA), and the associated strategies for pricing technologies and obtaining reimbursement from purchasers, is a relatively new area of expertise.

From an industry perspective, the effective assessment, pricing and reimbursement techniques for health technologies are critical to bringing a technology to market and thus to corporate success. From the perspective of those charged with governing health technologies and reimbursing providers, evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of health technologies is critical to equity and good governance of public monies.

The specific skills to undertake cost-effectiveness modelling, a key methodology within HTA, are highly technical and in high-demand within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. This PG Cert in Cost-Effectiveness Modelling for health Technology Assessment provided these skills, and its online learning, part-time mode of delivery has been developed in response to a clear demand from the health technology industries including pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostic technologies.

ScHARR is a world leader in HTA, with internationally renowned expertise in cost-effectiveness modelling. The School’s reputation is reflected in its large on-going contract to provide assessment of technologies for the UK HTA body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Please get in touch if you require any further information about the course, or see our new online learning brochure here.

Course philosophy

The programme is informed by three key elements:

  • Authentic learning
  • Social learning
  • Flexibility

Authentic learning

This is a key element that drives the content of all modules. It means that we use real-world, real-life, up-to-date case studies, examples and scenarios, so that students can immediately see how their learning is "authentic", that is, applicable to their own working life, now and in the future. The focus is to impart both the  fundamental concepts of cost-effectiveness modelling within HTA, and to contextualise this with real-world examples, so students can see exactly how what they are learning can be applied in their own work.

Image via assetbankSocial learning

Learning is social: we learn from each other as much as from purely independent study. The sharing of ideas and the opportunity to debate and discuss has been demonstrated to enhance the learning process, and is a key means of developing, refining and challenging our own evolving ideas. The course uses multiple tools to deliver content and facilitate interaction with and between tutors and students, including discussion and chat tools, webinar software and screencasts. The online tools used in the programme enable and support such reciprocal learning.

Variety and flexibility

The majority of the materials are provided in the form of text, but this is heavily supplemented, where appropriate, with videos, screencasts, internet-based materials, and the use of interactive online tools.

Materials are provided in blocks or "sessions" of 2-3 weeks duration. We have found that this approach, rather than one requiring work every week, week-by-week, better permits the thorough and comprehensive study of materials, and completion of formative exercises by students working remotely, online, and part-time, and with other calls on their time.

The idea for delivering materials in this flexible manner, employing such diverse methods, is based on large part on published research conducted by core staff, which is described here. We wanted to ensure the development and delivery of the programme was evidence based.

Aims and Objectives

Journals held in the ScHARR libraryThe aims of the course are to:

  1. Provide participants from health technology providers and assessors  with a critical understanding of cost-effectiveness modelling and economic evaluation for health technology assessment.
  2. Equip graduates with basic competency in the design of cost-effectiveness models in multiple jurisdictions.
How this course is taught

This course is taught by senior staff, all of whom are actively engaged in cost-effectiveness modelling for health technology assessment programmes and methodological research in economic modelling.

PG Certificate or Single Modules

You can choose to study for a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) over two years.

Alternatively it is also possible to study individual modules to meet your specific learning needs. Please note: you can only study modules in the semester in which they are being delivered.

Please get in touch if you are seeking specific training in any aspect of cost-effectiveness modelling.

Course team

The core staff for this course are listed below:

In addition to these core staff members, the course draws on the expertise of 40 internal and external staff, as well as external experts from industry, international bodies and academia. This reflects the commitment of the School to ensuring the excellence of the programme and enhances the depth and breadth of the available learning for students by exposing them to a full range of experience, expertise and specialist knowledge, as well as different voices and perspectives.

Online open days

The online open days are an opportunity for you to learn more about the course and how it will be taught.

Course structure

All modules account for 15 credits unless stated otherwise. You require 60 credits (4 x 15 credit modules chosen from any listed below) for the PG Cert.

Year 1 modules (all core modules - they must be studied)

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR6115 Economic Evaluation in International HTA Prof. Simon Dixon and Dr. Phil Shackley Autumn
HAR6113 Cost-effectiveness Modelling in International HTA Prof. Alan Brennan Spring

Year 2 modules 

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR691 * Using Evidence in the Design and Development of Models Dr. Suzy Paisley  Autumn
HAR6119 Building Cost-effectiveness Models for HTA Sue Ward Spring

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

Our students

Michelle Maden (2014 graduate) "I would totally recommend the online HTA course, as a result of which I'm pursuing my dream of a PhD in evidence synthesis! Thankyou."

(Michelle Maden, 2014 graduate)

photograph of student"The iHTA program at SCHARR provides a holistic, global view of all key aspects of health technology assessment (HTA). The program has given me insights into many facets of HTA, all of which provide a strong foundation for my career as a professional with responsibility for health economics and reimbursement."

(Jason Lerner, 2014 graduate)

Sirinthip Petcharapiruch (2014 graduate)"This iHTA course at SCHARR is very impressive and I strongly recommend it for any students who are interested in the HTA area from whatever perspective. The program covers from the fundamental to advanced knowledge and still fits well with the needs of students who have different backgrounds. In addition, the program is well structured and very comprehensive and also allows interaction with other students. The Instructors and the team are also very supportive and knowledgeable too"

(Sirinthip Petcharapiruch, 2014 graduate)

Zeynep Colpan"I really felt that HAR6119 was an amazing course for a good foundation to HE modelling"
(Zeynep Colpan, 2016 student)

*All students consented to the use of their comments in this publicity material.

Programme evaluations are run frequently to assess and improve the programme. We work constantly to develop and enhance the learning experience of our students.

Career opportunities

International Health management and LeadershipOur students typically already work for the following:

  • Large and small, national and international pharmaceutical and devices companies;
  • Health economics consultancies (including being self-employed in this capacity);
  • Health care providers and hospital organisations;
  • Government departments, ministries and agencies;
  • HTA agencies;
  • Universities

Our students are an international body who live and work all over the world, from Japan to North America, Chile to Malaysia, Hungary to France. They are seeking to develop key skills to enhance their careers within HTA, market access, trial design and other aspects of health technology assessment, in the private or public sector.

Who will benefit from studying this course?

This PG Cert is suited to all those working, or aspiring to work, in the field of cost-effectiveness modelling for health technology assessment nationally or internationally, whether for a company developing health technologies, or in a health service or regulatory body evaluating or commissioning health technologies.

The course will help you progress in your chosen career in the private or public sector.

For those aspiring to work in the field, the course will provide the comprehensive training needed to develop a career path in cost-effectiveness modelling anywhere in the world.

(3 years, all ScHARR courses, response rate 58.5%) data available in full at

How many hours work is it?

Each module requires between 5 and 10 hours of work each week. So, you will be expected to be doing up to 10 hours of work each week. This is just a guide, however, as modules are different and workload can vary, with some weeks light and some heavy.

Do I get academic credit for taking a single module?

Yes. Each module is accredited by the University of Sheffield. You will receive credits from the University, which you can potentially use towards gaining a full Certificate, Diploma or MSc later, if you wish. Single modules can only be taken in the Semester in which they are to be delivered. Please see the "Course Structure" page for this. They must be applied for via the CPD pages.

What is the experience of the faculty?

We have been teaching much of the material face to face on Masters programmes for more than 15 years. This online learning version is new. Other modules are entirely new, with no equivalents elsewhere at all.  All staff involved in developing and delivering this course have been involved in producing work for and collaborating with NICE in the UK, and pharma and HTA agencies worldwide, for many years. Members of staff from NICE and other organisations also contribute to modules.

Do I have to come to Sheffield?

No. The course is delivered entirely online, and all materials are made available via the internet. So, for international students there are no visa, travel or residential requirements.

We use video, podcasts (audio), web lectures and screencasts, and online interactive, collaborative tools. Materials are also made available in formats for offline learning and will be available via mobile learning systems (iPads, tablets, smartphones etc.). This makes the programme more sustainable, flexible and reduces costs for the student. However, members of the Faculty would always be happy to see students if they happen to visit Sheffield.

How do I apply?

Read through the information on the ScHARR "How to Apply" pages first. You will then need to apply using the university's online application system.

To apply for single modules, please go to the University's CPD homepage.

When can I apply?

The main intake is in September. It is best to have your application submitted by the  end of August,  at the latest. This allows time before your induction for uploading and authorisation of supporting documents, such as references and confirmation of fees, and facilitates your progress through the application, admissions and registration processes. The same applies to those taking single modules, depending on the semester in which they are to be delivered.

When would I register and begin my studies?

You would start in the first Semester of the academic year (September). If you were taking single modules you could begin your studies at the beginning of either Semester (September or February) depending on which semester your chosen module/s run. 

Can I talk to someone about my options or the pathways I might follow through the programme?

Yes. Please email the course administrator, Matt Scarbrough at or, alternatively, Claire Beecroft (the course director) who would be happy to email or speak to you about your needs, what you want to do and the pathway through the programme that suits you best.