The University of Southampton

MATH6013 Healthcare Modelling

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to the concepts of modelling for healthcare and will explore both disease (patient-progress) models and organizational (patient-flow) models. Examples of patient progress models include models for HIV/AIDS, Diabetes and Asthma. Patient-flow models include models for the planning and management of hospital beds, operating theatres and provision of resources in outpatient clinics. A historical outline will be given on the use, practicalities and limitations of both deterministic and stochastic models. Markov, semi-Markov and simulation techniques will be discussed and case studies on various topics presented. Through computer workshop sessions, you will be able to develop and run healthcare models of your own.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To encourage you to consider what makes a robust, sufficiently detailed and practical model for use by healthcare professionals, and how such tools can help influence health policy.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • appreciation of a variety of approaches to modelling for healthcare;
  • By the end of the module you will develop your ability in the following skills: modelling, problem solving, IT
  • evaluate and criticize models and their use in the health sector
  • demonstrate an awareness of the different application in this field
  • appreciate and identify the characteristics of mathematically robust, necessarily detailed and practical models for use by healthcare professionals
  • understanding of the process of mathematical modelling in this context;
  • development and running of healthcare models


Session 1 Introduction to healthcare modelling, The NHS context Modelling for capacity planning and service redesign Computer Workshop: Discrete Event Simulation Models. Session 2 Queueing models in healthcare, System Dynamics in healthcare, Computer Workshop: Stella Models, Hybrid models, and comparison of DES and SD in healthcare. Session 3 Disease progression modelling (Markov & compartmental models) Economic modelling for evaluation of healthcare interventions: quality-adjusted life years, cost-utility and cost-effectiveness analysis, Spreadsheet modelling lab, Case studies: optimization of radiotherapy treatment, nurse rostering, theatre scheduling.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, practical exercises, computer workshops, private study.

Independent Study59
Total study time75

Resources & Reading list

Murray M. and Berwick D. (2003). Advanced Access: reducing waiting and delays in primary care. Journal of the American Medical Association. ,289 , pp. 1035-1040.

Green L. (2006). Queuing Analysis in Healthcare, Patients Flow: Reducing Delay in Healthcare Delivery, edited by Randolph W. Hall. 

Gupta D. and Brian Denton (2008). Appointment scheduling in healthcare: Challenges and opportunities. IIE Transactions. ,40 , pp. 800-819.

Brandeau, M.L., Sainfort, F. and Pierskalla, W.P. (eds.) (2005). Operations Research and Health care: a handbook of methods and applications.. 

Electronic resource. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: MATH6004 OR MANG6122

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