Applied Benefit: Cost Analysis – The Essentials

Benefit: Cost Analysis is one of the most important and widely used tools of economics. It supports improved decision making about projects and policies by providing a systematic, logical, transparent, and consultative approach to evaluating and prioritising them.

In this micro-credential, participants will learn the essential background knowledge and know how to apply Benefit: Cost Analysis in weighing explicit and implicit costs and benefits of a project or an investment program. Examples in this unit focus on agriculture and environmental management, but the material presented is applicable in many other contexts.

The micro-credential takes an applied approach, aiming to provide participants with all the foundation knowledge and core starting skills needed to conduct a Benefit: Cost Analysis themselves. As part of this, each participant will construct their own well-designed spreadsheet to do the required calculations, will use it to conduct a basic Benefit: Cost Analysis.

The academic objectives are to understand the concepts and principles that underpin Benefit: Cost Analysis and to learn how to apply it to evaluate real projects and policies.

Upon successful completion of this micro-credential, you'll receive:

  • Two PD Points
  • A Certificate of Achievement
  • A UWA Plus Professional Development Transcript, listing all successfully completed micro-credentials
Delivery mode
Course dates
To be announced
To discuss the option of a self-paced version of the course, contact the course coordinator, [email protected]
Registrations close
To be announced
4 weeks
50 hours
Lectures:  8 x 45-minute online lectures
Workshops:  4 x 1-hour online workshops
Self-directed learning: 40 hours
Academic lead
David Pannell
$440 inc. GST
A 25% discount is available for bulk enrolments (5 or more) Generous bursaries are available for students from developing countries. Contact [email protected] for details.
Critical information summary
SCIEM521 Applied Benefit: Cost Analysis (PDF 243KB)

What you'll learn

Know key steps in conducting the benefit: cost analysis for a project or policy

Apply key theoretical and practical aspects of time and discounting for benefits and costs

Construct a spreadsheet to do the required calculations for a basic Benefit: Cost Analysis

Quantify the economic benefits and costs of a project or policy

Use suitable criteria for selecting projects


Why study this course?

You will learn from Professor David Pannell who has delivered dozens of BCA training courses, developed widely used BCA software and advised many national and international agencies.

On completion of this flexible and global recognised course, you'll walk away with:

  1. a comprehensive understanding of the essentials in conducting a Benefit: Cost Analysis, interpreting and reporting results to stakeholders and experts
  2. An action plan for quantifying the economic benefits and costs of a project or policy
  3. The ability to apply the essential skills and foundation knowledge about Benefit: Cost Analysis within your team and organization
  4. A digital certificate of achievement, a Professional Development Transcript from the University of Western Australia, listing all successfully completed micro-credentials. Your Professional Development Points may be converted to academic credit towards undergraduate or postgraduate courses

Who should study this course

This course is for you if:

  • You are looking to find jobs related to economic evaluation, specifically in conducting a BCA
  • You want to advance your career paths, or boost your personal development, or broaden your skill set within your current role in your team and organization
  • You want to quantify the benefits and costs of a project or policy across various sectors, industries and organisations
  • You want to expand your knowledge of key theoretical and practical aspects of conducting a Benefit: Cost Analysis
  • You want to construct a spreadsheet to do the required calculations for a Benefit: Cost Analysis

Recommended prior knowledge

  • No existing knowledge of economics is required
  • No textbook required - all course materials provided

What's next after this course?

This micro-credential (worth two Professional Development Point) is stackable with the other two micro-credential courses, Applied Benefit: Cost Analysis - Measuring Benefits, SCIEM 522 and Applied Benefit: Cost Analysis - Practical Issues, SCIEM 523 (to total 6 Professional Development Points) for unspecified academic credit towards a relevant course at UWA. If you enrol in all three of these micro-credentials, a 25% discount is available.