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    Skills in economic evaluation including types of economic evaluation, cost-effectiveness analysis, measuring and valuing costs and benefits, prioritisation and decision-making in health and evaluation of new health technologies.

    Students are introduced to the concepts and principles that underpin economic evaluation and to the techniques of cost-benefit analysis (CBA), cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and cost-utility analysis (CUA).

    Methods for analysing costs of healthcare interventions will be presented. Students will learn options for valuing health outcomes, in particular quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). The techniques, for example discounting and calculation of incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), that statutory agencies such as PHARMAC (in NZ) and NICE (in the UK) use to make decisions on purchasing new health technologies will be discussed. Different options for prioritisation (including multi-criteria decision analysis), the Global Burden of Disease, and cost-of-illness studies will also be covered.

    If you are considering future MPH study, this paper may - in specific cases - be considered a relevant research methods paper. Please contact your local convenor for advice.

    About this paper

    Paper title Economic Evaluation
    Subject Public Health
    EFTS 0.125
    Points 15 points
    Teaching period 1st Non standard period (2 September 2024 - 9 November 2024) (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,551.63
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to
    MA, MHealSc, MPH, MSc, DPH, PGDipArts, PGDipHealMgt, PGDipHealSc, PGDipPHC, PGCertPH, PGCertPHC

    Students who have completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline or recognised equivalent. Please contact your local paper convenor if you are considering taking this paper in 2022. 


    Wellington Campus:
    Christchurch Campus:
    Dunedin Campus:

    Teaching staff

    Wellington Campus: William Leung (Overall Convenor)
    Dunedin Campus: Dr Trudy Sullivan

    Paper Structure


    1. Introduction to economic evaluation.
    2. Valuing health outcomes.
    3. Introduction of new technologies and methods of assessment.
    4. Cost-benefit analysis and equity issues.
    5. Prioritisation and decision making in cost-effectiveness analyses.
    6. Modelling, uncertainty and validity.


    • Assignment: 40%
    • Exam: 60%
    Teaching Arrangements

    Friday mornings, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Text to be confirmed. Please contact the Department.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

    • Identify the various types of economic evaluation together with their data requirements and informational content.
    • Understand the alternative measures of outcome used in economic evaluation, including the concept of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).
    • Demonstrate and apply understanding of methods used in the economic evaluation of healthcare interventions.
    • Understand and be able to review and use published economic evaluation studies.
    • Use cost-effectiveness data for decision making and prioritisation of health investments.


    1st Non standard period (2 September 2024 - 9 November 2024)

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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