Postgraduate taught 

Global Mental Health (online) MSc/PgDip/PgCert: Online distance learning

HTA: policy and principles MED5275

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course incorporates traditional lectures, seminar and tutorial sessions in order to provide students with both a theoretical and practical understanding of the policy and principles behind, and the techniques involved with, the process of health technology assessment.


10 week online course comprising 10 lectures and 10 accompanying practical exercises. The lectures will be 45 mins/1 hr in duration and the exercise associated with each lecture will take a notional 2 hours for the student to complete. Each week the academic lead will contribute to and answer questions on a discussion board.

Excluded Courses





The assessment will present the students with a practical task to critique a published health technology assessment report. This will include a group-work based oral presentation (25%) and an individual written critique (1500 words - 75%).

Course 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.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


i) Critically analyse the policy, principles, methods and analytical techniques appropriate for health technology assessment.

ii) Critically discuss the role of health technology assessment in policy development.

iii) Evaluate how the policy context varies between international regions and countries.

iv) Critically discuss the multidisciplinary nature of health technology assessment and the diverse range of skills and knowledge required to conduct the different elements of the process (statistical methods and analysis, outcome measurement, evidence synthesis, health economics, economic evaluation, decision analytic modelling).

v) Critically assess the research methodologies used for informing priorities and decision making in health care systems. 

vi) Develop original and creative approaches to translate policy issues into research proposals to assess health technologies.

vii) Critically appraise the reporting of and the use of different methodology within the process of health technology assessment.

viii) Critically analyse the ethical issues associated with the process and practice of health technology assessment.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.