Join a health economic evaluation course you can study around work.
In this Masters-level online short course, you’ll learn to use a range of economic evaluation methods, including cost-effectiveness analysis.
You’ll also examine the practicalities of choosing the appropriate types of economic evaluation.
With expert guidance from health economists, you’ll gain skills in:
- key economic evaluation concepts
- interpreting cost-effectiveness evidence, and
- identifying high-quality economic evaluation studies.
Who can join this online economic evaluation course?
This distance learning course is ideal for health researchers and professionals working in health, government, academia, and the pharmaceutical industry.
You do not need to have a background in economics to join this course.
Build credits towards a Masters degree
This online course is part of online:
You can use the credits you earn on this short course towards this MSc qualification.
The importance of economic evaluation in health care
Health technology assessment (HTA) agencies such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) and other international bodies require economic evaluation evidence to inform their decision making.
Pharmaceutical companies must provide economic evaluation information (cost-effectiveness analysis) in their submissions to demonstrate value for money.
This course is designed to help you build your skills and experience in this important area of health economics.
What you’ll study
In this course, you’ll work through four units:
- Identifying, measuring, and valuing resource use and costs
- Identifying, measuring, and valuing benefits
- Combining costs and outcomes for economic evaluation in healthcare, including practicalities of choosing the appropriate form of economic evaluation
- Critical appraisal in economic evaluation
This course focuses on methods for the identification, measurement and valuation of the costs and benefits of health technologies.
You’ll consider the importance of health outcomes, non-health outcomes and process attributes when valuing the benefits of health care interventions.
You’ll be introduced to Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs), examining:
- the use of standard gamble and time trade-off (TTO) to estimate quality weights within the QALY framework
- the creation and use of generic QALY measures such as EuroQol, as well as specific QALY measures.
You’ll also gain critical appraisal skills to help you judge the quality of published economic evaluation evidence.
Economic evaluation concepts
You’ll develop your understanding of core economic evaluation concepts, including:
- opportunity cost
- costing perspectives
- QALYs, and
- valuation methods including time trade-off, standard gamble, and discrete choice experiments.
Economic evaluation methods
You’ll learn about different frameworks of economic evaluation, and when and how they can be applied to improve practical resource-allocation decisions in health.
You’ll cover economic evaluation methods including:
- cost-effectiveness analysis
- cost-utility analysis
- cost-benefit analysis.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to...
Describe the practical issues when identifying, measuring and valuing costs and benefits in an economic evaluation.
Explain the importance of defining the economic evaluation question, whether technical or allocative efficiency.
Distinguish between the different techniques of cost-minimisation analysis (CMA), cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), cost-utility analysis (CUA) and cost-benefit analysis (CBA).
Know how and when to use CMA, CEA, CUA and CBA economic evaluation methods.
Discuss the relevance and importance of opportunity costs, marginal analysis, sensitivity analysis and discounting when valuing costs and benefits within the framework of an economic evaluation.
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of different economic evaluation techniques, and understand when, and how, to use these different approaches.
Critically appraise published economic evaluations with the help of checklists for assessing the quality of studies.
Why study health economic evaluation with the University of Aberdeen?
You’re in expert hands
We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.
We’re proud winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour for a UK university, for sustained excellence in health research over the last 40 years.
NHS and alumni discounts
NHS staff get 10% off this online course. University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off.
How you’ll study
Economic Evaluation: Principles and Frameworks is delivered flexibly, 100% online.
You can learn anywhere in the world, with no need for a study visa, and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level.
Teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.
You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:
- video lectures
- slide shows
- online tutorials
- reading materials
- discussion boards with your colleagues and tutors
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
The course provides a structured but flexible learning approach through the periodic release of materials. The course materials draw on a wide range of applied examples from the UK and internationally to illustrate core concepts.
Live online tutorials
Live tutorial sessions are held in the virtual meeting room throughout the course, covering key topics. These sessions will be recorded, so you can access them after they’ve taken place.
You’ll study with a team of practising health economists from our Health Economics Research Unit (HERU).
Your tutors are actively involved in policy-shaping research, and HERU is one of the leading centres for health economics research in Europe. We’re a Queen’s Anniversary Prize winner for our sustained excellence in health economics research over the last 40 years.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
You can largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors via MyAberdeen and email. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers and Employability Service – including one-to-one advice sessions
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your teaching team
Dr Dwayne Boyers - Course Coordinator
Dwayne is a Senior Research Fellow at the Health Economics Research Unit. He has over 14 years’ experience in the development, analysis, and reporting of economic evaluation evidence. Dwayne is particularly interested in the use of economic evaluation evidence to inform national level decision making.View Dwayne’s profile
Mary is a Research Fellow at the Health Economics Research Unit. Her main research interests include developing and applying economic evaluation methodology in trials and systematic reviews, and the use of discrete choice experiments in health benefit measurement.View Mary’s profile
Where this will take you
Towards a Masters
You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this distance-learning course. You can use these credits towards our:
Masters in Health Economics for Health Professionals
Advance your career in health. Develop sought-after research skills and build your knowledge of health economics tools and principles. 10% discount for NHS staff.View MSc Health Economics for Health Professionals
There is a shortage of health economists in Scotland, the UK and internationally, and a lack of health economics knowledge and skills.
It’s increasingly important for non-economists in the health sector to have a clearer understanding of how they can effectively apply and interpret economic concepts.
This course aims to address this known skills gap.
In-demand skills for the health sector
As a health researcher or professional working in health, government, academia, or the pharmaceutical industry, you’ll gain:
- in-demand economic evaluation skills
- the knowledge and confidence to interpret and apply economic concepts
- the ability to use economic evaluation tools in your organisation.
Continuing professional development (CPD)
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
We welcome students from all over the world.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.
If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
Recommended level of English
This course uses our Postgraduate Higher level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements, and these are minimum scores.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening and speaking
- 6.0 for reading and writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 21 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening and speaking
- 169 for reading and writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about studying online, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.
Access to all the books and resources you need are included in your tuition fee. They’ll be made available to you online and you do not have to buy your own copies.
You may wish to set aside a small budget for printing, depending on how you like to work.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.
The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:1 (upper-second-class) degree, or
- alternative qualifications and an appropriate level of relevant experience.