The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Economics considers how best to use our limited resources to satisfy our unlimited wants and needs. Economic evaluation explores the methods used to compare the costs and consequences (or benefits) of two or more health care technologies, such as pharmaceuticals. Using a practical approach, the course covers:

- the different types of economic evaluation and when each is appropriate;

- which costs are appropriate to include in an economic evaluation, and how to measure and value them;

- how to identify, measure and value the health benefits associated with an intervention (including valuing quality of life, or utility);

- how economic evaluation can, and is used to, inform decisions, such as whether to subsidise a new pharmaceutical or other health care intervention;

- how to critically appraise a published economic evaluation;

- an introduction to modelling in economic evaluation, including decision analysis and Markov modelling; and

- how uncertainty in economic evaluation is handled and how to undertake a sensitivity analysis.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2017.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. describe economic concepts and understand their relevance to health care;

2. explain the different methods used to derive health-related quality of life (or utilities), having calculated utilities using time-trade-off, standard gamble and EuroQol instruments;

3. report the different ways in which a monetary value may be placed on a health gain and be able to assess the advantages and disadvantages of cost benefit analysis;

4. perform a straightforward economic evaluation by: Identifying the appropriate type of economic evaluation; identifying, measuring and valuing costs and consequences and applying discounting if needed; calculating an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (if appropriate); appropriately interpreting the results of the economic evaluation;

5. explain the different ways in which uncertainty may be handled in economic evaluation and be able to perform a simple sensitivity analysis;

6. understand the need for modelling in economic evaluation and the different modelling approaches, having completed exercises on decision analysis and Markov modelling;

7. critically appraise, published economic evaluations; and

8. justify how economic evaluation can, and is used to, inform decision making.


Topics are covered in six modules:

  • Module 1 Introduction: Economic Theory and Economic Thinking
  • Module 2 Economic Evaluation: An Overview
  • Module 3 Summary Measures of Efficiency: Calculation and Use
  • Module 4 Costs
  • Module 5 Consequences
  • Module 6 Modelling, Uncertainty and Critical Appraisal

Assumed knowledge

No prior training in economics is required.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

Project: Final Project *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Project: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must pass the Final Project to pass the course.