POPLHLTH 720 : Cost Effectiveness Evaluation

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester Two (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The application of economic methods to the evaluation of health services and programmes. The principles and techniques of economic evaluation, the process of measuring costs and benefits of health services, quality of life measurement.

Course Overview

This course provides students with an understanding of economic evaluation generally and of cost-effectiveness in particular.  It focuses on the use of decision analytic modelling to provide a broad picture of likely costs and outcomes for use in decision making.  No prior knowledge of economics is necessary (although it may be helpful).  It is relevant for students interested in public health and decision making.  

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Dr Richard Edlin, School of Population Health
(09) 923 9029

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Graduate Profile: Master of Public Health

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand and apply cost effectiveness analysis. (Capability 1.3, 2.1 and 3.1)
  2. Justify selection of health outcomes for economic evaluation (Capability 1.3 and 3.1)
  3. Communicate the results of a cost-effectiveness analysis in a standard reporting form (Capability 1.3, 2.1 and 4.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essays 40% Individual Coursework
Worked examples 60% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3
Worked examples

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, if the content is able to be delivered within the planned teaching days, you can expect 24 hours of lectures  and discussion sessions (including some pre-recorded online material to prepare for discussions), 16 hours of exercise sessions, 20 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 90 hours of work on assignments.  In the event that some or all content is delivered online, this balance is likely to change, with greater use of online material used to inform a smaller number of 'flipped' classrooms.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including exercise sessions to complete components of the course.

Lectures and discussion sessions will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including exercise sessions will not be available as recordings.

The course will include live online events including group discussions and exercise sessions.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery over six weeks, with the mixture of lectures, discussion sessions and exercise sessions varying across weeks.

Learning Resources

The course textbook (available online from the library) is:
Edlin R., McCabe, C., Hulme, C., Hall, P., Wright, J. (2015) Cost Effectiveness Modelling for Health Technology Assessment. ADIS.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

In the first session of every course, the changes made to the course from feedback in previous iterations will be discussed.  From previous years, feedback has changed the balance between lecture and exercise sessions and the availability of some additional material online.  Following the 2020 running of the course, the number of teaching days have been increased and these days made shorter as it was clear from student feedback that online sessions were too long.

Other Information

As the course aims to provide much of the instruction using practical exercises in Microsoft Excel, it is difficult to obtain full value out of this course if you are unable to attend in person or if you cannot use Excel. Postgraduate students who have not used Microsoft Excel before are recommended to take some online training before the course to gain familiarity with this software before this course begins.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The course makes extensive use of exercises available alongside the course textbook and these form the basis of the exercise sessions.  These materials have been modified slightly from the formats available elsewhere for use in this course.  The assignments within the course will be related to the exercises that you will do in class but will generally extend what has been done in class.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Where computerised detection is not feasible (e.g. for Excel workbooks), manual and coding checks may be used.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.