Methods for understanding how choices are applied in health care to assess preferences, analyse policies, conduct non-market valuation, and forecast behaviour. This course teaches introductory methods for devising experiments and modelling choice data in health care.


Increasingly, health economists need to understand decision-making in health settings. For example, what drives smokers to choose cigarettes or e-cigarettes? Or what drives individuals to take, or refuse, vaccines? Regulators are using evidence from these studies for policymaking. Whether data are generated in experiments, such as discrete choice experiments, or are taken from recording individuals’ real-world behaviour, choice models are needed to understand these behaviours. The course provides the tools for understanding health-based choice behaviour, an introduction to choice experiments, and an introduction to choice modelling. Lectures and worked examples that form part of the course enable participants to learn and apply these techniques.


The course is designed for those who need to perform discrete choice analysis in healthcare and those who need to understand the issues that health economists face when performing these analyses. This could include researchers and decision makers from public, commercial organisations, and academic organisations concerned with understanding health preferences.  We welcome participants from a wide variety of organisations and from all over the world. If you are unsure as to whether the course is suitable for you, please email john.buckell@ndph.ox.ac.uk who will be happy to advise.


There are no formal prerequisites for attendance, but participants should have some understanding of basic statistics and regression techniques, including multinomial logistic regression. Choice modelling will be conducted using R (using the Apollo package for choice models), and some familiarity with R software is advised. Ngene software will be used for experimental design, though no prior experience is required. 

We also strongly recommend that you have access to two screens for the duration of the course: one to watch the presentations and the other to view the materials.


•    To provide detailed study of the methods of discrete choice analysis for health care

•    To provide introduction to the theory and application of discrete choice experiments in health care

•    To provide introduction to the theory and application of discrete choice models in health care

•    To give participants experience of computer-based application with worked-through exercises and feedback sessions


The course consists of five LIVE tutorial sessions and will not be recorded. Therefore, to gain the maximum benefit, please ensure you are able to attend the live sessions.  Live sessions will last for 3 hours each. Live sessions include lectures for course materials, and live coding of models and experimental designs.

The five taught sessions cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to choice models, data types, and analysing preferences in health
  • Model specification, estimation, an interpretation
  • Experimental design and case studies in health
  • Heterogeneity part (i): deterministic and random tastes
  • Heterogeneity part (ii): attitudes

Each tutorial session is followed by a question and answer session. 

This course is taught in English and a certificate of participation will be issued post course.

Note:  Some of the exercises require the use of Ngene software. 

Note:  Places on the course are limited. Book early to avoid disappointment.

For booking enquiries, please contact the HERC Administration team at herc@ndph.ox.ac.uk


This course will consist of five half-day sessions on the 8 to 10 February 2022 and the 15th and 16 February 2022.

Note:  we will be hosting live sessions between 1pm-4pm GMT to allow participants from North America.




Prof Stephane HessProfessor Stephane Hess is the director of CMC and Professor of Choice Modelling at the University of Leeds. He is an expert in developing advanced choice models and analysing choice behaviour, with theoretical and empirical contributions across different fields. He is the author of Apollo (with David Palma) and is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Choice Modelling.






Dr John Buckell

Dr John Buckell is a senior researcher in health economics at the Health Economics Research Centre at the University of Oxford. He has worked on choice models in health markets including tobacco, obesity, and genomics. He has made methodological and policy making contributions in health.