International Health Technology Assessment, Pricing and Reimbursement (IHTA) (online) (MSc/Diploma/Certificate/Continuing Professional Development)

For general enquiries about this course contact us at, call (+44) 0114 222 5454.

You can contact the course director, Claire Beecroft, for course-specific enquiries at or call (+44) 0114 222 0701

*** Please note that ScHARR is changing the way we talk about distance learning. It will now be referred to as "online learning". During this transition, you may see both terms used while central systems update. Please note that the courses and their content remain unaffected by the change in terminology. ***

About the course

View the above video directly on Youtube

This is the only online, international graduate programme offering the entire range of knowledge and skills needed by those developing health technologies for market, or involved in commissioning or evaluating health technologies.

Using innovative, online learning materials, the programme is suited to those with busy work commitments in these fields.

For those working in the pharmaceutical, medical devices or diagnostics industries worldwide, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the processes and contexts of markets, pricing and customers needed for new product development in multiple jurisdictions.

The course also meets the needs of those involved in health technology policy formulation, management and evidence-based commissioning and purchasing of health technologies for governments or health services throughout the world.

ScHARR was confirmed as the most powerful UK university department for health services research and health technology assessment in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The School has the largest concentration of world-class and international researchers, above other leading universities such as the London School of Hygiene, York and Manchester.

Please get in touch if you require any further information about the course, or see our new online learning brochure here.

Course philosophy

The programme is informed by three key elements:

  • Authentic learning
  • Social learning
  • Flexibility

Authentic learning

This is a key element that drives the content of all modules. It means that we use real-world, real-life, up-to-date case studies, examples and scenarios, so that students can immediately see how their learning is "authentic", that is, applicable to their own working life, now and in the future. The focus is therefore not only to impart or communicate to students fundamental concepts, ideas and critical understandings of all of the processes and stages involved in every element of HTA, but to contextualise this with real HTA examples, so students can see exactly how what they are learning can be applied in their own work.

Image via assetbankSocial learning

Learning is social: we learn from each other as much as from purely independent study. The sharing of ideas and the opportunity to debate and discuss has been demonstrated to enhance the learning process, and is a key means of developing, refining and challenging our own evolving ideas. The course uses multiple tools to deliver content and facilitate interaction with and between tutors and students, including discussion and chat tools, webinar software for real-time discussion and collaboration, wikis and screencasts. The online tools used in the programme enable and support such reciprocal learning.

Variety and flexibility

The majority of the materials are provided in the form of text, but this is heavily supplemented, where appropriate, with videos, screencasts, internet-based materials, and the use of interactive online tools.

Materials are provided in blocks or "sessions" of 2-3 weeks duration. We have found that this approach, rather than one requiring work every week, week-by-week, better permits the thorough and comprehensive study of materials, and completion of formative exercises by students working remotely, online, and part-time, and with other calls of their time.

The idea for delivering materials in this flexible manner, employing such diverse methods, is based on large part on published research conducted by core staff, which is described here. We wanted to ensure the development and delivery of the programme was evidence based.

Aims and Objectives

Journals held in the ScHARR libraryThe aims of the course are to:

  1. Provide participants from health technology providers and assessors with a critical understanding of the entire process of health technology assessment, pricing and reimbursement worldwide.
  2. Provide real knowledge and skills in the principles, techniques and real-world application of developing value propositions, trial design and analysis, systematic review and synthesis of evidence, economic evaluation including patient reported outcomes, and cost-effectiveness modelling in health technology assessment.
  3. Equip graduates with professional-level competency in the design, commissioning, and review of health technology assessments in multiple jurisdictions (globally), and enable them to contribute a health technology assessment perspective in multi-disciplinary contexts such as product development planning, prioritisation of research and government or international health policy planning.
How this course is taught

This course is taught by senior staff, all of whom are actively engaged in health technology assessment programmes and research.

A video below demonstrates how the course is structured. It outlines the role and place of each module in the HTA process. And how the programme encompasses this process as a whole, both generally and in depth.

View the above video directly on Youtube

Diploma, Certificate and Single Modules

You can choose to study for a postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) over one year, or a Diploma (120 credits) over two years.

It is also possible to study individual modules to meet your specific learning needs. Please note: You can only study modules in the Semester in which they are being delivered (see the "Modules" section)

Please get in touch if you are seeking specific training in any aspect of IHTAP&R.

Course team

The core staff for this course are listed below:

In addition to these core staff members, the course draws on the expertise of 40 internal and external staff, as well as external experts from industry, international bodies and academia. This reflects the commitment of the School to ensuring the excellence of the programme and enhances the depth and breadth of the available learning for students by exposing them to a full range of experience, expertise and specialist knowledge, as well as different voices and perspectives.

The module leaders can be found on the course structure section.

Online open days

The online open days are an opportunity for you to learn more about the course and how it will be taught.

Course structure

All modules account for 15 credits unless stated otherwise. You require 60 credits (4 x 15 credit modules chosen from any listed below) for the PG Cert, 120 Credits (8 x 15 credit modules including all 6 core modules below) for the PG Dip or 180 credits ( 8 or 10 15-credit modules including all 6 core modules listed below, plus a 30 or 60 credit project module) for the MSc.

Please note that availability of optional modules is dependent on sufficient student numbers. Therefore, some optional modules (marked below with *) may not be available in some academic years.

Year 1 modules (all core modules - they must be studied)

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR6111 Methods and Processes in International Health Technology Assessment Katy Cooper/ Alice Bessey/ Ben van Hout Autumn
HAR6114 Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis: Principles Chris Carroll Autumn
HAR6112 International Healthcare Systems and Reimbursement Chris Carroll Spring
HAR6113 Cost-effectiveness Modelling in International HTA Alan Brennan Spring

Year 2 modules (HAR6115 and HAR692 are core, all other modules are optional)

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR6115 Economic Evaluation in International HTA Simon Dixon and Phil Shackley Autumn
HAR6116 Randomised Controlled Trials to Support Reimbursement Decision Making Katie Biggs and Chin Maguire Autumn
HAR691 * Using Evidence in the Design and Development of Models Suzy Paisley  Autumn
HAR6119 Building Cost-effectiveness Models for HTA Sue Ward Spring
HAR6118 Utility and Patient-reported Outcomes Data in HTA Matthew Franklin Spring
HAR692 Pharmaceutical Pricing Ben van Hout Spring

Projects (required for MSc accreditation are taken at the end of Year 2 or beyond)

Code Title Led by Semester
HAR689* Long Project (60 credits) Edith Poku Spring Semester 
HAR690* Short Project (30 credits) Edith Poku Spring Semester

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

Our students

Michelle Maden (2014 graduate) "I would totally recommend the online HTA course, as a result of which I'm pursuing my dream of a PhD in evidence synthesis! Thankyou."

(Michelle Maden, 2014 graduate)

photograph of student"The iHTA program at SCHARR provides a holistic, global view of all key aspects of health technology assessment (HTA). The program has given me insights into many facets of HTA, all of which provide a strong foundation for my career as a professional with responsibility for health economics and reimbursement."

(Jason Lerner, 2014 graduate)

Sirinthip Petcharapiruch (2014 graduate)"This iHTA course at SCHARR is very impressive and I strongly recommend it for any students who are interested in the HTA area from whatever perspective. The program covers from the fundamental to advanced knowledge and still fits well with the needs of students who have different backgrounds. In addition, the program is well structured and very comprehensive and also allows interaction with other students. The Instructors and the team are also very supportive and knowledgeable too"

(Sirinthip Petcharapiruch, 2014 graduate)

Zeynep Colpan"I really felt that HAR6119 was an amazing course for a good foundation to HE modelling"
(Zeynep Colpan, 2016 student)

*All students consented to the use of their comments in this publicity material.

Programme evaluations are run frequently to assess and improve the programme. We work constantly to develop and enhance the learning experience of our students.

Career opportunities

International Health management and LeadershipOur students typically already work for the following:

  • Large and small, national and international pharmaceutical and devices companies;
  • Health economics consultancies (including being self-employed in this capacity);
  • Health care providers and hospital organisations;
  • Government departments, ministries and agencies;
  • HTA agencies;
  • Universities

Our students are an international body who live and work all over the world, from Japan to North America, Chile to Malaysia, Hungary to France. They are seeking to develop key skills to enhance their careers within HTA, market access, trial design and other aspects of health technology assessment, in the private or public sector.

Who will benefit from studying this course?

This MSc is suited to all those working, or aspiring to work, in the field of health technology assessment nationally or internationally, whether for a company developing health technologies, or in a health service or regulatory body evaluating or commissioning health technologies.

The course will help you progress in your chosen career in market access, trial design and other aspects of health technology assessment, in the private or public sector.

For those aspiring to work in the field, the course will provide the comprehensive training needed to gain a post in industry or working as a health technology evaluator or commissioner anywhere in the world.

How many modules can I take?

You can take as many as you like, from the full Masters through to single module options, providing complete flexibility for any number between 1 and 10. Single modules can only be taken in the Semester in which they are to be delivered. Please see the "Modules & Course Structure" page for this. Also, they must be applied for via the CPD pages. Please see the "How to Apply" page for this.

Can I take any combination of modules?

Yes. The MSc and Diploma each has 5 "core" compulsory modules, but the remaining 3-5 modules are optional. The combination and choice of modules for all other accredited qualifications from the programme (Certificate and single modules) is completely up to you, unless a restriction applies (e.g. bursary students)

How many hours work is it?

Each module requires between 5 and 10 of work each week. So, if you are completing the usual 2 modules in any semester, you will be expected to be doing up to 20 hours of work each week. This is just a guide, however, as modules are different and workload can vary, with some weeks light and some heavy.

Do I get academic credit for taking a single module?

Yes. Each module is accredited by the University of Sheffield. You will receive credits from the University, which you can use towards gaining the full Certificate, Diploma or MSc later, if you wish. Single modules can only be taken in the Semester in which they are to be delivered. Please see the "Course Structure" page for this. They must be applied for via the CPD pages.

What is the experience of the faculty?

We have been teaching much of the material face to face on Masters programmes for more than 15 years. This online learning version is new. Other modules are entirely new, with no equivalents elsewhere at all.  All staff involved in developing and delivering this course have been involved in producing work for and collaborating with NICE in the UK, and pharma and HTA agencies worldwide, for many years. Members of staff from NICE and other organisations also contribute to modules.

Do I have to come to Sheffield?

No. The course is delivered entirely online, and all materials are made available via the internet. So, for international students there are no visa, travel or residential requirements.

We use video, podcasts (audio), web lectures and screencasts, and online interactive, collaborative tools. Materials are also made available in formats for offline learning and will be available via mobile learning systems (iPads, tablets, smartphones etc.). This makes the programme more sustainable, flexible and reduces costs for the student. However, members of the Faculty would always be happy to see students if they happen to visit Sheffield.

Can I specialise?

You may already be a specialist in some areas of HTA, such as trial management, health economics, cost-effectiveness modelling or evidence synthesis, and may be looking to develop generalist skills by gaining a thorough, critical understanding of other aspects of the process. Alternatively, you may have a specialist background in other areas, e.g. epidemiology, pharmacology, clinical medicine, marketing or other disciplines, but are seeking to develop a more in-depth understanding of specific fields and processes. The breadth and depth of the programme, and the various accredited options, from a full Masters to single modules, satisfies both sets of needs and everything in between.

How do I apply?

Read through the information on the ScHARR "How to Apply" pages first. You will then need to apply using the university's online application system.

To apply for single modules, please go to the University's CPD homepage.

When can I apply?

The main intake is in September. It is best to have your application submitted by theOnline end of August,  at the latest. This allows time before your induction for uploading and authorisation of supporting documents, such as references and confirmation of fees, and facilitates your progress through the application, admissions and registration processes. The same applies to those taking single modules, depending on the semester in which they are to be delivered.

When would I register and begin my studies?

If you are pursuing the MSc or Diploma programmes, then you would start in the first Semester of the academic year (September). If you were taking single modules or the certificate, then you could begin your studies at the beginning of either Semester (September or February). We have students doing all options.

Can I talk to someone about my options or the pathways I might follow through the programme?

Yes. Please email the course administrator, Matt Scarbrough at or, alternatively, Claire Beecroft (the course director) who would be happy to email or speak to you about your needs, what you want to do and the pathway through the programme that suits you best.