Using Discrete Choice Experiments in Health Economics Course

The Health Economics Research Unit (HERU) has been teaching short courses on Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs) since 2003. This course covers the theoretical and practical issues of DCEs in health economics. The course usually takes place annually over three days in Aberdeen.

We plan to run the course when face-to-face teaching is safe and permitted. Please contact Lesley Innes if you would like to be put on a waiting list.


What does this course provide?

An introduction to the theoretical basis for, and development and application of, DCEs.

Thorough and step by step guide to all stages in the design of DCE surveys, including attribute and level selection, experimental design, survey design and implementation, data management, and data analysis and interpretation.

Provides a hands-on experience of each stage supported by group work sessions using state of the practice computer software.

participants at the 2019 DCE course


What are the benefits of this course?

This course goes through the whole process of DCE design: from conception to analysis. It covers the theory underpinning DCEs using practical examples, drawing from a wide range of HERU studies in real life patient experience to healthcare professional decision studies.

The course provides an overview of issues raised and best practice for each stage of DCE design based on the extensive experience of HERU researchers.

There is an opportunity for one-to-one sessions with HERU researchers to discuss your own projects.


Who is this course aimed at?

This course provides an opportunity for researchers interested in the application of DCEs to learn more about the method, and discuss both practical and theoretical issues raised when applying the method. While no knowledge of DCE is assumed, participants will benefit more if they are familiar with statistical analysis, including regression methods.


Group photo from the 2019 DCE course

Some comments from participants on previous courses:

“Thank you so much. The course was fantastic. The presenters’ enthusiasm for the topic and willingness to discuss each attendee’s study/data made attending even more valuable.”

“Thank you to all of the instructors and organizers for an incredibly well-run and very useful course! I will definitely be recommending this course to any colleagues interested in using DCEs in the future.”

We also published a HERU Blog post on the 2019 DCE courses that we ran in Aberdeen and in Canada - Reflections on HERU's 'Applying Discrete Choice Experiments in Health Economics' course


The course presenters are:


Professor Mandy Ryan

Mandy Ryan developed and presented the course since 2003 in Aberdeen, and ran similar courses in Calgary, Cape Town and Rotterdam. Mandy is the Director of the Health Economics Research Unit. Her research has focused on developing methods of valuation in health economics, with a focus on discrete choice experiments and contingent valuation. She has worked with academics, government and the pharmaceutical industry and has published widely in the field of health economics generally, and monetary valuation more specifically. In 2012 Mandy was ranked amongst the top health economists in the world, placed 21st on the list of the top 100 health economists, based on a measure of health economics publications and the number of times they have been cited, making her the top-ranked health economist in the UK.

Dr Verity Watson

Verity Watson is a Senior Research Fellow at the Health Economics Research Unit (HERU) and theme leader for the Methods of Benefit Valuations (MBV) research theme. Verity's expertise is non-market valuation using contingent valuation and discrete choice experiments. Her research focusses on testing the validity of non-market valuation methods and how study context can influence responses. Verity has applied these methods to inform a range of policy issues. In doing so she has worked with academics from a number of different fields, the government and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Luis Loría

Luis Loría joined HERU in 2016. His research focuses on the valuation of air quality, specifically for reductions in pollutants with adverse health outcomes, using stated and revealed preference methods. Luis has an interest in the use of reference-dependent choice models and has taken part in the design of DCEs that apply these in the environmental economics field. Luis has a PhD in Economics from the University of Aberdeen. His thesis investigated preferences for emissions reduction in buses using the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project as a case study.