spring 2022
HEL-3055 Health Technology Assessment and Medical Decision-making - 10 ECTS

Last changed 17.06.2022

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1. December.

Applicants from outside the Nordic countries: 1. October 

Type of course

This course is mandatory for students at the Master's degree programme in Public Health. Course students may be admitted if total number of students do not exceed the regulated 30 number of students at the course.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS credits) in Health Sciences, Social Sciences or Natural Sciences, or equivalent qualification. For students who hold a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences or Natural Sciences, the degree must contain a minimum 80 ECTS (or equivalent) within the fields specific to the Master's degree programme in Public Health; epidemiology, health economics, biostatistics, health sociology, global- and environmental health.

Recommended prerequisite: Basic epidemiology

Application Code: 9371 (Nordic applicants).

Course overlap

Du vil få en reduksjon i antall studiepoeng (som oppgitt under), dersom du avlegger eksamen i dette emnet og har bestått følgende emne(r) fra før av:

HEL-3055 Health technology assessment 10 stp

Course content

The course covers the key principles of health technology assessment (HTA) and systematic review as tools to evaluate both positive and negative impacts of technologies, techniques, devices, programs and interventions used in public health. A national and international focus is taken of systematic reviews for healthcare policy and decision making.

The course begins with an overview of the history and development of evidence-based practice and systematic reviews, and provides an introduction to concepts of evidence and research. Much of the course concerns the steps of conducting systematic reviews, including forming research questions, literature searching, selecting a range of study designs, performing risk of bias assessments, conducting meta-analyses, and judging certainty in the estimate of effect.

The course continues with a short overview of ethical, financial, organizational and related issues for decision-making and priority setting in healthcare, as well as different decision making processes on the introduction of healthcare technologies.

Objectives of the course

The student should be familiar with the principles of HTA and systematic reviews, and the role of HTA and systematic reviews in healthcare decision-making.

The student should be able to:

  • Describe the concept of evidence-based practice
  • Formulate research questions in a PICO format
  • Apply the principles of systematic literature searching
  • Determine different study designs
  • Assess the risk of bias in different study designs
  • Explain the core principles of meta-analyses
  • Perform an evaluation of the certainty of the estimate of effect
  • Identify ethical, organizational and similar issues to be analyzed in an HTA
  • Explain different decision-making processes in healthcare

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

The course will require students' presence on campus during two teaching periods; one in January and the second in March or April. Attendance during the on-campus teaching is mandatory.

The primary method of course instruction is lectures, but there will also be seminars, class discussions and group work. Teaching is in English, but written assignments and exam may be answered in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is open for inbound exchange students.

Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty: INBOUND STUDENT MOBILITY: COURSE COORDINATORS AT THE FACULTIES | UiT


Mandatory mid-semester assignment:
The assignment is an individual take-home written assignment, which must be completed within 5 days. Students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of the material covered in the first part of the course by providing short answers to several questions. In order to take the assignment, attendance during the on-campus teaching is required. The assignment is marked as approved or not approved.

The exam is an individual take-home written exam, which must be completed within 5 days. Students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of the material covered in the course by providing short answers to several questions. In order to take the exam, the mandatory mid-semester assignment must be approved.

Both the assignment and exam are individual tests; collaboration with other students is not permitted. They may be completed in English, Norwegian, Danish or Swedish.

Grading scale for the exam: A-E (pass) and F (fail).

If a student fails the course, an examination re-sit will be organized. Students with a valid absence from the exam will be offered a re-scheduled examination.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: HEL-3055
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet