Economic Evaluation Modelling Using R

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

The Short Course Programme in Population Health Sciences has been temporarily suspended.


Bookings for 2020-21 courses will open later in the autumn.

Information on this page relates to the last run of the course and is for reference only. 

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Sign up to our mailing list to be notified when bookings reopen. 

We may need to make responsive changes to our future programme to follow the latest Public Health, Government and University guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please be aware that all information about short courses planned for 2021 is provisional and subject to change.

Course dates

9 - 10 July 2020

Course duration

2 days (approximately 5.5 hours of lectures and 5.5 hours of practicals).
Registration will begin at 9am on the first day, the course will finish by 5pm on the final day.

Course tutors

Dr Howard Thom and Dr Padraig Dixon (course organisers) with Professor Nicky Welton, Edna Keeney and Caitlin Daly

Course aims

This course aims to teach the use of R for building decision tree and Markov models for economic evaluation and value of information analysis. 

Course objectives

  1. Build a decision tree model
  2. Build a Markov model
  3. Incorporate uncertainty in model inputs in an economic model 
  4. Conduct a value of information analysis

The format of teaching will be hands-on with roughly 50% lectures that will explain theory and demonstrate coding, and 50% practicals that give the participants exercises to implement what they have been shown.

Who the course is intended for

This course is intended for anyone undertaking trial or model based cost-effectiveness analyses. We welcome attendees from academia, government, or industry. Knowledge of cost-effectiveness analysis, specifically on decision trees and Markov models, will be assumed (to the level of the Introduction to Economic Evaluation short course). Experience with R is essential (to the level of the Introduction to R short course) but we will review the necessary aspects of R on the first day.

Course outline


9:30-11:00 Intro to R using health economic examples. This will be delivered as a series of practicals mixed with lecturing.

11:00-11:15. Coffee

11:15-12:15. Decision trees (deterministic and probabilistic).

12:15-13:15. Lunch.

13:15-14:15. Decision trees first practical.

14:15-15:15. Advanced topics in R (program flow, input/output, functions)

15:15-15:30. Coffee.

15:30-16:30 Decision trees second practical, building a decision tree model in R from scratch.

Day 2 

9:30-10:30 Basic Markov models using 2-state smoking cessation as example but without functions/modules.

10:30-11:15 First Markov models practical. Step-by-step instructions on running the model, getting and analysing outputs, and making minor modifications.

11:15-11:30. Coffee.

11:30-12:30 Advanced Markov models using a modularised 6-state model

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:15 Markov models second practical. Step-by-step practical on the modularised 6-state model.

14:15-15:15 Value of information lecture.

15:15-15:30. Coffee

15:30-16:30. Value of information practical.


I think this was the best short course I've been on - really excellent explanations of how health economics analysis works in practice, with excellent worked examples.

Course feedback, March 2019

Course fee


More information on course fees, fee waivers and reduced prices.

Course venue

Bristol Medical School
Canynge Hall
39 Whatley Road
United Kingdom

Map and directions

Course refreshments

We provide morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, including tea and coffee, biscuits and fresh fruit.

If you have specific dietary needs we ask that you let us know in advance.

Lunch is not included. There are a range of local cafes and supermarkets nearby for students to purchase lunch. 


Information about accommodation in the area.


For further information please email

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