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Distributional Cost Effectiveness Analysis: Online Course

An online course focusing on methods for analysing equity in the distribution of health programme costs and effects and trade-offs between equity and cost-effectiveness. The course is aimed at health economists and health professionals with experience of health economic evaluation, who wish to learn how to use more specialised methods for analysing distributional equity impacts and trade-offs.  It is designed for participants who are familiar with standard methods of cost-effectiveness analysis, for example those who have already attended our short courses in Decision Modelling for Health Economic Evaluation. It is envisaged that participants will currently be undertaking cost-effectiveness analysis, or planning to do so in the near future. The course consists of five modules over five weeks, with each module requiring about four or five hours of time commitment for self-paced study and online interaction – about one and a half hours for pre-recorded video material, one hour for a computer exercise, one hour for attending a ‘live’ Q&A session, and one or two hours for reading and discussion board interaction - totalling 20 to 25 hours altogether. 

Purchase the course handbook


By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and explain the basic concepts of distributional cost-effectiveness analysis (DCEA)
  • Design a full or simplified DCEA study that provides useful information about the direction and magnitude of health equity impact in a specific decision-making context
  • Estimate distributions of health effects and health opportunity costs by adapting a standard cost-effectiveness model – either themselves or in collaboration with others
  • Calculate suitable summary measures of health inequality impact
  • Analyse trade-offs between reducing health inequality and cost-effectiveness
  • Communicate DCEA findings clearly, by producing suitably designed figures and tables and explaining to decision makers what they mean


Course lead

Richard Cookson, Professor, Centre for Health Economics, University of York

Course co-leads

Susan Griffin, Professor, Centre for Health Economics, University of York  

James Love-Koh, Scientific Adviser at NICE and Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Economics, University of York

Ole Norheim, Professor, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, and Director of the Bergen Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting (BCEPS)

Guest lecturer

Mike Paulden, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta

Tutor lead

Naomi Gibbs, Research Fellow, Centre for Health Economics, University of York



Module 1
Introduction and principles

3-4 hours

Module 2
Distributions of costs and effects

4-5 hours

Module 3
Distributions of net health benefit

4-5 hours

Module 4
Analysing equity-efficiency trade-offs

4-5 hours

Module 5
Summary and next steps

4-5 hours

Teaching Methods

  • Five modules including introductory and closing sections
  • ‘Bite-size’ video presentations from leading experts in equity methods
  • Computer-based exercises using MS Excel
  • Video ‘walkthrough’ of each exercise
  • Online discussion forums monitored by tutors and the course leader
  • One ‘live’ question and answer session for each module
  • Informal networking with Faculty and fellow participants in zoom breakout rooms


This is a technical course for analysts, focusing specifically on the design, conduct and reporting of distributional cost-effectiveness analysis studies capable of providing decision makers with useful quantitative information about health equity impacts and trade-offs.  Participants would be expected to have attended a general advanced course in health economic evaluation, and to be familiar with foundations level decision analysis (see Foundations course). Modules 2, 3 and 4 will involve computer work on exercises which will be built up over the course. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel is essential, and familiarity with algebra is desirable.


VAT is not payable. Transferring between courses is not possible. Registration fees are payable in advance of the Course dates and are fully inclusive of:

  • All course materials
  • Access to online teaching platform
  • Support forums
  • Live Q&A sessions 




 DCEA           Course



This course is being managed by The Conference Consultancy. 
For all enquiries, full details, and how to book, please visit the course website or email.


This course is being managed by The Conference Consultancy. For all enquiries, full details & how to book, please visit the course website or email.

Course dates

  • The course consists of 5 sessions between Monday 23 October and Friday 24 November 2023