HAR694: Valuing the Benefits of Health Care

The Valuing the Benefits of Health Care module is led by Aki Tsuchiya and Tessa Peasgood. It runs in the Spring semester and is worth 15 credits.


The Valuing the Benefits of Health Care module is co-led by Aki Tsuchiya and Tessa Peasgood. It runs in the Spring semester and is worth 15 credits.

It is one of the modules on:

This module is available as a CPD option

This module is available Faculty-wide in years 1 and 2 as a DDP module


This module explores in detail specialist topics related to the valuation of healthcare benefits.

The course content is based around three topics: the assessment of outcomes in economic evaluation, the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) model and its weaknesses, and the use of alternative methods like willingness to pay.

All topics will start with the basic critical appraisal of these methods developed in the Economic Evaluation module (HAR6260) and explore in greater depths the weaknesses of conventional methods and the alternative formulations that are available.


This module aims to explore in detail specialist topics related to the valuation of the benefits of health care interventions.

It will enable students to identify alternative methods for valuing health outcomes and calculating QALYs, and alternative approaches that take a broader perspective than QALYs.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. identify a range of approaches and instruments to valuing health outcomes and formulate suitable alternative approaches
  2. evaluate critically strengths and weaknesses in the QALY model
  3. evaluate the role of alternative approaches to the QALY

Further details

This module teaches a selection of the internationally regarded research conducted by ScHARR in health outcomes and utilities, including condition-specific and generic preference-based measures, mapping, and reviewing and using utilities in health-economic models.

As well as teaching the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) measure, the module is internationally relevant through its coverage of healthy year equivalents (HYEs), disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and wellbeing.

The module also includes consideration of wider societal benefits, willingness to pay and discrete choice experiments, that all go beyond QALYs to measure benefit.

Teaching methods

The aims and learning outcomes are achieved through a variety of teaching methods. Informal lectures (11 x 2 hours) and tutorials will provide the majority of the contact hours between students and lecturers.

The seminars (three one-hour sessions and one three-hour session) will be based around homework given to the students in preceding weeks and around assessments.


Students will also be expected to undertake approximately 120 hours of independent study which will be self-directed through small pieces of homework that will be set throughout the unit.

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.

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