Health Technology Assessment MSc/PgCert/PgDip

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) is the assessment of relevant evidence and knowledge on the effects and consequences of healthcare technologies. It contributes to priorities and decisions in relation to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. This Masters in HTA focuses on the production, critical appraisal and use of scientifically rigorous research evidence, applied to a range of health-related areas.

Key facts

  • MSc: delivered online by distance learning: 24/36 months part-time
  • PgDip delivered online by distance learning: 24 months part-time
  • PgCert delivered online by distance learning: 12 months part-time
  • Contact: Margaret.Ashton@glasgow.ac.uk

Why this programme

  • Our postgraduate taught courses provide a solid grounding in all the major disciplines within the field of Health Technology Assessment. This is unique within Scotland, and is one of few such programmes worldwide.
  • Our faculty are world-class experts in their fields, who are active not only in research and teaching, but also involved in HTA decision-making at a national level (e.g. through NICE, SHTAG).
  • Our teaching is research-led. The courses have been developed to reflect the latest academic research and up-to-date challenges in HTA decision-making.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding and hands-on experience of the interconnected disciplines that are core to Health Technology Assessment. These include health economics, statistics, evidence synthesis, modelling and patient-reported outcome measures.
  • During a course, from week to week you will interact with your teachers and fellow students using online discussion boards. Your teachers will direct and observe the discussion, and respond to student questions about the course content.
  • You will have the opportunity to collaborate on a research project under the supervision of a member of academic staff or an external supervisor.
  • Watch an interview with a current MSc Health Technology Assessment student online
  • We have exciting PG Certificate scholarship opportunities (Year 1 funding) find out more, with opportunities for further funding to PG Diploma/MSc Health Technology Assessment level based on academic performance in Year 1.

 

Programme structure

Core courses

  • Statistical methods for HTA and evidence based medicine (20 credits)
  • Health technology assessment: Policy and Principles (20)
  • Health economics for HTA (20)

Optional courses (beginning in academic year 2016/17)

  • Foundations of decision analytic modelling (10)
  • Evidence synthesis (20)
  • Outcome measurement and valuation for HTA (10)
  • Economic evaluation alongside clinical trials (20)
  • Analysis of linked health data (20)
  • HTA in a global context (20)
  • Survival analysis for HTA (10)

Optional course (delivered as face-to-face in Glasgow)

  • Decision analytic modelling methods for economic evaluation (20)

Courses

The MSc HTA requires a total of 180 credits to be completed over the course of the degree.
60 credits from 3 core courses
60 credits from optional courses
60 credits from your research project.

The PgDip HTA requires a total of 120 credits to be completed over the course of the degree.
60 credits from 3 core courses
60 credits from optional courses

The PgCert HTA requires a total of 60 credits to be completed over the course of the degree.
60 credits from 3 core courses.

Each course involves recorded lectures and accompanying practical exercises. Each week the academic lead will contribute to and answer questions on a discussion board (NOTE: apart from 'Decision analytic modelling methods for economic evaluation' which is delivered face-to-face in Glasgow).

Note: Individual courses may also be taken as CPD; the decision analytic modelling methods face-to-face course is available only to students who have completed the PG Cert in HTA.

For more details on each of the courses, see the headings below:

Core Courses

Statistical methods for HTA and evidence based medicine (semester 1; 10 weeks)
Purpose: This course will deliver the fundamentals of statistical methodology that underpin health technology assessment and evidence based medicine.
Aims: This course aims to equip students with the necessary statistical skills so they can analyse and interpret data that commonly arise from health technology assessments and evidence based medicine more generally. Furthermore, to provide students with the necessary background knowledge and experience so they can critically appraise published work from a statistical perspective.
Content: summarising data, Frequentist and Bayesian approaches, proabability and probability distributions, measures of effect size, linear and logistical regression, fundamentals of survival analysis. 
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Jim Lewsey, Reader in Medical Statistics

HTA: Policy and Principles (semester 2; 10 weeks)
Purpose: This course will provide both a theoretical and practical understanding of the policy and principles behind, and the techniques involved with the processs of health technology assessment.
Aims: This course aims to provide students with a critical awareness of the broader policy context into which health technology assessment is located as well as a critical understanding of the theoretical underpinnings, principles and techniques of health technology assessment.
Content: role of HTA in policy development, introduction to different elements of process (statistical methods and analysis, outcome measurement, evidence synthesis, health economics, economic evaluation, decision analytic modelling), ethical issues.
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Jim Lewsey, Reader in Medical Statistics

Health economics for HTA (semester 2; 10 weeks)
Purpose: This course will deliver the fundamentals of health economics and the practical elements of economic evaluation that are integral to health technology assessment.
Aims: This course aims to provide students with a critical understanding of health economics, its value and limitations. It will familarise students with the application of economic theory to health and health care issues, the principles of health economics and the techniques of economic appraisal.
Content: key concepts of economics, economic characteristics of health care, economic evaluation techniques, sensitivity analysis, health economics informing decision making.
Course Co-ordinators: Dr Kathleen Boyd, Lecturer in Health Economics

Optional courses (beginning in academic year 2016/17)

Decision analytic modelling methods for economic evaluation (semester 1;5 day face-to-face course in Glasgow (late September/early October 2016 - dates to be confirmed))
Purpose: This course will teach the methods of decision analytic modelling that provides a coherent framework to inform decision making under certainty.
Aims: This course aims to equip students with the necessary skills so they can design and conduct decision analytic modelling.
Content: role of modelling in health care decision making, designing decision making problems, decision trees, Markov models, probabilistic models, expected value of perfect information.
Seminar: Semester 2
Course Co-ordinator: Professor Andrew Briggs, Chair in Health Economics

Foundations of Decision Analytical Modelling (semester 1; 5 weeks)
Purpose: This course will teach the methods of decision analytic modelling that provides a coherent framework to inform decision making under certainty.
Aims: This course aims to equip students with the necessary skills so they can design and conduct decision analytic modelling.
Content: role of modelling in health care decision making, designing decision making problems, decision trees, Markov models.
Course Co-ordinator: Professor Andrew Briggs, Chair in Health Economics

Evidence synthesis (semester 1; 10 weeks)
Purpose: Evidence synthesis, including systematic review and meta-analysis provide important insight into the comparative effectiveness of health technologies based on a systematic appraisal of evidence.
Aims: This course aims to introduce the key concepts involved in the design and undertaking of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Content: role of evidence synthesis in HTA; systematic review; meta-analysis of pairwise, indirect and networked evidence; bias and heterogeneity, subgroups and meta-regression.
Course Co-ordinator: Professor Olivia Wu, Professor of Health Technology Assessment

Outcome measurement and valuation for HTA (semester 1; 5 weeks)
Purpose: Outcomes measurement and valuation aims to provide students with a basic understanding of outcome measurement and valuation methodologies within HTA. The course presents the theory behind outcome measures and introduces practical techniques valuing health, non-health and process outcomes.
Aims: This course aims to provide students with a basic understanding of outcome measurement and valuation for the purposes of Health Technology Assessment. This course will familarise students with the application of economic theory to the measurement and valuation of outcomes for all types of economic evaluation framework as well as the practical steps involved.
Content: measuring health outcomes for economic evaluation, measuring and valuing health related quality of life, preference-based and non-preference based outcomes measures, valuing monetary outcomes in health context.
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Emma McIntosh, Reader in Health Economics and Public Health

Economic evaluation alongside clinical trials (semester 2; 10 weeks)
Purpose: This course will teach the methods of how to analyse and evaluate economic data from a clincial trial (what data to collect, how to value cost and effect, how to analyse the data and estimate cost-effectiveness).
Aims: This course aims to equip students with the necessary skills so they can carry out a full economic evaluation of an intervention (s) in a clinical trial setting.
Content: within-trial analysis and longer term analyses, analysing costs using GLMs parametric survival follow-up, heterogeneity in cost-effectiveness estimates.
Course Co-ordinator:
Professor Andrew Briggs, Chair in Health Economics

Analysis of linked health data (semester 2; 10 weeks)
Purpose: This course will deliver core components of analysing routine administrative health data or linked data. It will cover information governance and disclosure control, as well as aspects of data managment, mainpulation and advanced methods of data analysis.
Aims: This course aims to equip students with the necessary analytical skills to analyse linked health care data and to be aware of issues around clinical and information governance relating to their use.
Content: information governance related to use of administrative health data, theoretical principles of data linkage methods, sources of measurement error, data management and manipulation of datasets with different structures, regression models for longitudinal health data.
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Claudia Geue, Research Associate

HTA in a global context (semester 2; 10 weeks)
Purpose:
This course will cover HTA in different contexts, exploring geographical variation between high-income countries as well as looking more in-depth about how and why decision-making in healthcare may differ in low- and middle- income countries.
Aims:
The course aims to equip students with the necessary skills to develop an understanding of HTA guidance and processes in different jurisdictions, to critique HTA in different contexts and to gain technical and analytical skills in the application of HTA, with a particular focus on low-and middle- income countries.
Content:
differences in structure of health care and reimbursement systems, HTA in decision making from a global perspective, Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) as health outcome measures, application of different methods in low and middle income countries (LMICs).
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Zahidul Quayyum, Research Associate

Survival analysis for HTA (semester 2; 5 weeks)
Purpose: This course will demonstrate how survival / time to event data is used to inform health economic analyses within health technology assessments.
Aims: This course aims to equip students wil the necessary statistical skills so they can analyse and interpret survival data that are commonly used in health economic analyses within health technology assessments.
Content: Kaplan-Meier method, Cox regression, parametric survival models, extrapolation, partitioning survival curves, survival model outputs used as inputs in decision modelling.
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Jim Lewsey, Reader in Medical Statistics

Academic staff

MSc in HTA Programme Director

Dr Jim Lewsey acts as the programme director for the MSc in HTA. Jim can be contacted by email at jim.lewsey@glasgow.ac.uk.

MSc in HTA Programme Administrator

Miss Margaret Ashton acts as the programme administrator for the MSc in HTA. Please contact Margaret in the first instance if you have any questions about the programme. margaret.ashton@glasgow.ac.uk

 

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

You should normally have a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant quantitative subject. In exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to those with a relevant professional qualification who have experience in the field of health technology assessment. A background in health or medicine is not required and we welcome applications from other academic disciplines.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

 

For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2015-16 (subject to change and for guidance only)

MSc

Distance learning

Home/EU/International: £10000 (total fee, incremental payment schedule available)

PgCert

Distance learning

Home/EU/International: £3333 (total fee, incremental payment schedule available)

PgDip

Distance learning

Home/EU/International: £6666 (total fee, incremental payment schedule available)

Deposits

The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme: please see: Deposits for entry in 2015/16

Funding opportunities

Career prospects

HTA has growing importance internationally for informing health care decision making and there is increasing demand for employees with HTA relevant skills. Outside of the field of HTA, students would be well equipped with qualitative and quantitative research skills for jobs in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and Government Information Services/Statistical agencies.

Potential employers & roles

  • Academic/research centres or universities – undertake HTA research projects funded by HTA agencies, national research bodies or health technology companies to support reimbursement or develop HTA methods.
  • Private industry including pharmaceutical companies, bio-technology companies and health insurance companies – design and undertake evaluations (effectiveness and/or cost-effectiveness) for presentation to reimbursement agencies in support of health technology products.
  • Local or national government agencies, regulators, health service providers, international health organisations  (e.g. WHO) – commission and review assessments submitted to support reimbursement of health technologies;  undertake systematic reviews, evidence synthesis and evaluations to focus and direct health care policy; evaluate policy and programmes previously funded.
  • National or international consultancy companies – undertake HTA projects for governments, HTA agencies or industry clients.

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to pgadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Online Distance Learning

Please note, there are no application deadlines for programmes delivered via Online Distance Learning.

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