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    Edinburgh Medical School Logo
  • Study Type

    Distance learning & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Medicine

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    MSc: 3 years; PgDip: 2 years; PgCert: 1 year

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    29 October 2018

Programme description

The online programme will provide a knowledge and understanding of the key elements and principles of clinical trial design, delivery and analysis. In addition to a knowledge and understanding of the principles of GCP and their practical implementation in clinical trials.

This programme is suitable for graduates in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, life sciences and other allied disciplines involved in Clinical Trials.

This programme will support the demand for appropriately qualified investigators to lead clinical trials of all phases. Each course is divided into a set of themed sections in which material is presented in a blend of short online lectures, practical case studies, directed readings, podcasts and archived webinars. Discussion board tasks and live expert guest lectures offer opportunity for collaborative critical discourse and debate of current issues under the guidance of expert teaching staff.

The programme covers Trial and Project Management, Statistics and Data Management, Health Economics, Translational Pharmacology, Regulations and Ethics, Imaging, Medical Devices and Complex Interventions.

Online learning

The programme is delivered completely online, allowing for a curriculum design approach that caters to different ways of learning. Embracing the role that technology can play to enhance teaching, learning and assessment, the programme has been designed with the learner in mind.

Each student will be supported as an active member of a vibrant online community where clearly-defined learning outcomes are facilitated by tasks and materials that foster active, relevant and collaborative learning, supported by the purposeful use of digital media and online technology.

We are now offering the option for students to take individual courses under the Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) scheme. Tuition fees are paid on a course-by-course basis. Find your options here:

Programme structure

Years 1 and 2:

  • Introduction to Clinical Trials
  • Good Clinical Practice, Ethics and Regulatory Issues
  • Clinical Trial Management (20 credits)
  • Clinical Trials in Special Populations (20 credits)
  • Patient and Public Involvement (20 credits)
  • Study Design (20 credits)
  • Monitoring and Audit (20 credits)
  • Translational Pharmacology (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Health Economics and Applied Health Economics (20 credits)
  • Translational Imaging and Clinical Trials (10 credits)

Year 3

  • MSc Dissertation (60 credits)

Career opportunities

The programme will offer candidates an alternative to traditional classroom based research training if they do not wish to or cannot take time away from their professional commitments.

It aims to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be a leader of clinical trials, supplementing and extending any undergraduate training and work experience. The programme will also provide an important step towards gaining employment in either the commercial or non-commercial/industrial sectors.

The MSc programme is designed to highlight the candidate’s commitment to continual professional development and will ensure a competitive edge when applying for future employment positions.


Visit the Clinical Trials (Online Learning) (MSc/PgCert/PgDip) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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