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Unit of study_

HPOL5014: Foundations Health Technology Assessment

Semester 2, 2021 [Block mode] - Remote

There is a need to improve the efficient and cost-effective use of health care technologies and services at all levels of the health system. This unit covers all aspects of the policy, assessment, monitoring and re-assessment of technologies and services, and techniques to support investment and disinvestment decision-making by public payers and funders. Students will work through key concepts in health technology assessment as well as the key institutions and processes for regulating and managing the use of health technologies. Students will work through real world scenarios as case examples.

Unit details and rules

Unit code HPOL5014
Academic unit Public Health
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Sarah Norris,
Lecturer(s) Kirsten Howard,
Sarah Norris,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Online task Key concepts in health technology assessment quiz
Online quiz
25% Week 05
Due date: 10 Sep 2021 at 23:00
25 questions, 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Presentation Oral presentation of a health technology case study
Oral presentation
25% Week 09
Due date: 14 Oct 2021 at 23:00
10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO2 LO1 LO5
Assignment An application for public funding of a new health technology
Written assessment
50% Week 13
Due date: 15 Nov 2021 at 23:00
3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO7

Assessment summary

  • Key concepts in health technology assessment quiz: You will be required to complete this assessment at a time of your choice in week 4 or week 5. Once you commence the quiz you will have 1 hour to complete it. The quiz will cover key concepts from weeks 1 to 4 of the unit of study.
  • Oral presentation of a health technology case study: Each student will prepare a short presentation on a new health technology of their choice. Oral presentations will be delivered during Workshop 2, which will be held on the Friday of week 9. Each presentation is to describe 1) the technology, 2) its value proposition and proposed place in clinical practice, 3) the likely evidence requirments for an HTA, and 4) any key ethical, consumer, equity, or implementation issues surrounding the technology.
  • An application for public funding of a new health technology: Write an application for public funding for your chosen health technology, using the template provided.  Provide details of the technology, the proposed place of the technology in clinical practice, the clinical evidence to support the application, the most appropriate approach to the economic evaluation and why, and most appropriate approach to determining the likely budget impact of approving the technology for use in the proposed population.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria


The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined in marking rubrics for individual assessments.


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined in marking rubrics for individual assessments.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined in marking rubrics for individual assessments.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined in marking rubrics for individual assessments.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see


For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Aim of this week: To understand the main domains of health technology assessment, why we do it, and how it can be used to inform policy decisions. Online class (8 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 Aim of this week: To understand how HTA is conducted in Australia, with a focus on the PBAC, MSAC and PLAC Online class (8 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Aim of this week: To learn how to frame and approach questions for HTA, and to work through case studies that illustrate how questions differ according to the type of technology under consideration (Workshop 1). Online class (8 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 04 Aim of this week: To understand how different types of clinical evidence are used in health technology assessment. Online class (8 hr) LO3
Week 05 Aim of this week: Review material covered in Weeks 1 to 4 in preparation for Quiz (Assessment 1) Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 Aim of this week: To understand the different types of health economic evaluation as they are applied in health technology assessment. Online class (8 hr) LO3
Week 07 Aim of this week: To understand the general approaches to preparing a budget impact analysis for HTA Online class (8 hr) LO4
Week 08 Aim of this week: To identify the ethical, legal, social and implementation aspects that may be considered in HTA Online class (8 hr) LO5
Week 09 Aim of this week: To prepare individual oral presentation (Assessment 2) for delivery at Workshop 2 Independent study (8 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Aim of this week: To understand approaches to technology re-assessment, and revision of previous investment decisions, and how these are applied in Australia Online class (8 hr) LO6
Week 11 Aim of the week: To work on a full application for public funding for a new health technology (Assessment 3) Independent study (15 hr) LO7
Week 12 Aim of this week: To continue working on an application for a new health technology (Assessment 3) Independent study (15 hr) LO7
Week 13 Aim of this week: To complete and submit an application for funding for a new health technology (Assessment 3) Independent study (8 hr) LO7

Attendance and class requirements

There are no other requirements for this unit.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Week by week readings are available through the Online Learning Platform

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. explain how decisions regarding the use and funding of health technology is organised in the health system, including sources of funding, process and governance arrangements, key stakeholders, and relevant policy levers
  • LO2. identify and describe the types of technologies and services that can be the subject of health technology assessment, and their place in health care prevention, investigation, and treatment
  • LO3. understand the role of health economic evaluations in investment decisions around health technology, including developing PICO questions, interpreting systematic reviews, and applying evidence from clinical and health economic studies
  • LO4. understand the role of budget impact analysis for the implementation health technologies in the health system
  • LO5. identify ethical, equity, and implementation considerations relevant to health technology assessment in Australia
  • LO6. understand the nature and rationale for disinvestment decisions around health technology, and the role of clinical, economic, and real-world evidence in such considerations
  • LO7. write an application for public funding for a new health technology assessment, identifying relevant contextual, clinical, economic, and financial information.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This is the first time this unit has been offered.

More information can be found on Canvas.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this unit.

Site visit guidelines

There are no site visit guidelines for this unit.

Work, health and safety

There are no specific WHS requirements for this unit.


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