What is the time commitment involved for the online DCEA course?

The DCEA Course is based on five modules which take place over five weeks. You should plan on making about 4 or 5 hours available per week – about 1.5 hours of video material, 1 hour to do the exercise, 1 hour ‘live’ Q&A session and 1 or 2 hours for reading and discussion board interaction, totalling 20 to 25 hours altogether. But this will vary from person to person as self-paced study will take more or less time depending on prior experience and how far you wish to engage in optional extra exercises and reading. Please note that students are encouraged to ensure that they have sufficient time set aside to keep up with the content and get the most out of the course and live support.


When is payment for the course fee due?

The course fee is payable in advance. You can pay immediately by card by selecting the relevant course on this website and completing the payment process online. If you require to pay via invoice, please send an email to Nicola Bogle at [email protected], stating your name, the course(s) that you wish to sign up for and the invoice address. You will be enrolled on the course once the invoice has been issued; however, please note that in order to be able to access the content, payment of the invoice must be received no later than by 8am UK time on the course start date.


Does the course fee include VAT?

No, the course fee is VAT-exempt.


Is the course ECTS-credit eligible?

No, the course is not credit eligible.


The course description states that familiarity with Microsoft Excel is essential: exactly what constitutes familiarity?

The course involves exercises structured within the Microsoft Excel(TM) spreadsheet package. It is therefore essential that participants are familiar with the basic concepts of manipulating spreadsheets: copy and pasting, using formulae and functions to link cells together, dragging cells to create a series etc. However, the exercises do not involve specialised functions such as Visual Basic Macros or the vlookup(.) command, and all the graphs and tables have been designed and formatted in advance so you can concentrate on interpreting the results rather than fiddling with layouts, font sizes and so on. The only specialised function used is a data table, used for sensitivity analysis around equity-efficiency trade-offs, and this operates in the background so you do not have to learn how to create this yourself. All of the exercises we will cover in the course are included in the book “Distributional Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: Quantifying Health Equity Impacts and Trade-Offs” and are available online. If you are concerned about your familiarity with Excel, then have a look at the core Exercises 8 (short version), 9 (short version) and 13 ahead of time. You will enjoy the course more, and get more out of the exercises, if you have a reasonable level of Excel proficiency such that you can concentrate on the concepts underlying the exercise rather than learning Excel as you go along.


Are there any reading recommendations to make sure my knowledge is sufficient for the DCEA course?

The course is based around the book “Distributional Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: Quantifying Health Equity Impacts and Trade-Offs” edited by Richard Cookson, Ole Norheim, Susan Griffin and Anthony Culyer, Oxford University Press, 2021. Most of the course exercises are included in this book, but there is no need to attempt the exercises ahead of time. Course participants should be familiar with the basic principles of health economic evaluation, as set out for example in “Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes” by Drummond MF, Sculpher M, Claxton K, Stoddart GL, Torrance GW. (4th ed), Oxford University Press, 2015, which is informally known as the Drummond “blue book”.


What time are the "live" Q&A sessions, and can you run additional sessions for my time zone?

The main "live" Q&A sessions are from 1pm to 2pm UK time on Fridays, which allows participation from Europe, Africa, South America and at least some of North America and Asia. Due to popular demand, we will now also run a further set of "live" Q&A sessions from 7.30am to 8.30am for people in time zones substantially ahead of the UK (e.g. East Asia, Australia and New Zealand).


Are there versions of the exercises in R as well as Excel?

No, though the R code underpinning our health inequality impact tool for doing simple "aggregate" DCEA is publicly available on GitHub at https://github.com/bitowaqr/dcea. If there is sufficient demand we may consider running a parallel version of the exercises in R in future years, as has been done in some of the other short courses. However, people familiar with coding in R or Python or other programming languages will find it straightforward to learn the basic analytical concepts of DCEA in Excel and then code things up in their preferred programming language.