Advanced Simulation Methods

New dates TBC

There are currently no dates for this course.  Register your interest here and we will be in touch when we have new dates.

About the course

Within healthcare decision-making, cohort Markov models and decision trees are frequently used. However, in some situations, these are not the most appropriate modelling methods. This course provides an in-depth review of individual-level simulation rationale, techniques and methodologies with a particular focus on discrete event simulation and its practical application to inform healthcare decision-making. From the fundamentals of a basic model, the course will progress to modelling complex systems, verification and interpreting output, as well as exploring alternative software options. 

Feedback from previous attendees:

"All presenters were really knowledgeable and took time to answer questions fully."

"Content was good."

"I liked the mix of practical and lecture time and having the videos to go through things at my own pace."

What does the course deliver?

This course aims to provide participants with the skills required to be able to undertake simulation projects to a professional level. It will be both theoretically-based and practically-based, with the use of the Simul8 software package. It will cover the use of discrete-event simulation to assess the impact of alternative options within a local system with resource constraints and the use of patient-level simulation for health economic modelling.

Learning objectives

1. To understand when discrete event simulation is useful 

2. To be able to develop resource-constrained models within Simul8

3. To be able to develop individual level simulations for health economic evaluation

4. To understand how to validate and verify a Simul8 model 

5. To interpret outputs from a simulation model

6. To be aware of alternative software packages that could be used for discrete event simulation

Who will benefit from this course?

This course is primarily for health economic modellers who want to broaden their skill base, as well as healthcare decision-makers who would like to understand more about patient-level simulation and when it might be useful.

Participants must have a basic level of knowledge of health economic modelling in order to follow the course.

Course content

Session 1 - Introduction to discrete Event Simulation

Session 2 & 3 - Building a DES using Simul8: a constrained-resource case study

Session 3 - Verification and validation of DES models

Session 4 - Cost-effectiveness of interventions: individual level modelling

Session 5 - Interpretation of simulation output

Session 6 - Individual level modelling - alternatives to Simul8

The course will be taught using a mixture of live sessions, pre-recorded materials plus exercises to be completed between sessions.


Dates and times

This course will take place over 6 half days with some exercises to be completed between sessions.

New dates TBC

You must be able to attend all sessions, and complete the exercises between sessions to fully complete the course.


The fee for this course is £599 per person.

Current UOS Staff/Students

Current University of Sheffield staff and students are eligible to book at a reduced rate of £539. An active email address is required to book at this reduced rate.

Please see Booking and payment section for further details.

 All fees are VAT exempt.

Booking and payment

Payment can be made via credit / debit card or PayPal.  Please visit the Online Store to make your booking.

Non-University of Sheffield applicants - If your employer is paying your fees and they require an invoice, please ensure you have your purchase order details before making your booking. 

Current University of Sheffield staff and students – If you would prefer to be invoiced or to pay via an internal transfer, a purchase order will be required before you make your booking.  Please contact your department administrator or finance team for help with this.

Difficulties making your booking?

If you are having difficulties making your booking, please contact the Online Store directly at

Course delivery & requirements

This course will be delivered using the University's 'Blackboard' platform over 6 x half day sessions plus some self-directed learning between sessions. Participants must have a basic level of knowledge of health economic modelling in order to follow the course.

NHS staff - important note: We are aware of issues caused by NHS firewalls.  We recommend registering with an alternative/non-NHS email and using a non-NHS device when attending the course if possible. Thank you *


  • Reliable and stable internet connection.
  • A PC or laptop Webcam and microphone (preferably a USB headset)
  • Mouse 
  • A quiet room where there will be no/minimal disruption.
  • Ability to access Google applications (e.g. Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Sheets).
  • Ability to download Simul8 software (details will be provided)

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us:

Email at

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is 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. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: