Essentials of Infectious Disease Modelling and Economic Evaluation

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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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

31 March - 1 April 2020

Course duration

2 days (approximately 6.5 hours of lectures and seminars and 4 hours practical sessions).

Registration will start at 9am on the first day. The course will finish by 4pm on the final day and there will be an option to discuss models with tutors for an hour after.

Course tutors

Dr Katy TurnerDr Ellen Brooks-Pollock, Dr Hannah Christensen (course organisers) and others.

Course aims 

This course covers the essentials of infectious disease modelling including economic evaluation.  The course will provide attendees with the ability to start understanding modelling studies and working with modellers. 

Course objectives

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • understand what infectious disease models are and when they can be used;
  • be able to actively collaborate with modellers;
  • run a simple infectious disease model using pre-written code and adapt the model;
  • interpret basic reproduction numbers;
  • understand the principles of vaccination and herd protection;
  • critically appraise published infectious disease models;
  • understand how to incorporate economic evaluation into infectious disease models.

Who the course is intended for

The course is intended for epidemiologists, public health specialists, policy makers and healthcare professionals who work in the area of infectious diseases (human and animal health).

Although the computer practical will be in the programming language R, no knowledge of R is assumed. 

Course outline

Topics to be covered include:

  • what models are used for Mechanistic versus static models;
  • examples of models;
  • components of a simple Susceptible-Infected-Recovered model;
  • the basic reproduction number;
  • model parameters;
  • designing a model;
  • converting a model sketch into equations;
  • simulating a model using the programming language R;
  • criteria for disease control;
  • principles of disease control through vaccination;
  • using models for economic evaluation.  

Please note: The course will be held in a computer lab, so you will not need to bring a laptop.

All who taught on the course were friendly, approachable and passionate about their field, which was inspiring to see. I now have a much better understanding of what modellers do and the work involved in running models

Course feedback, May 2019

Course fee


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

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.


Information about accommodation in the area.


For further information please email

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