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Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Research – PGDipClinRes

  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    2 years

  • Course Type


  • Last Updated

    22 April 2018

Course content

Help improve human health. Study Clinical Research and get the skills you need to carry out evidence-based research that will advance medical knowledge.

You’ll learn to use both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and find out how to critically evaluate current literature. Gain knowledge in good study design and research practice, data analysis and research presentation. You'll find out how to carry out clinical trials and cover ethical and cultural issues in clinical research.

Real-world skills

Toward the end of your studies you'll be guided to write a full research grant application that describes a proposed clinical research project. Past students' projects have included a trial of medical grade honey in childhood impetigo, an investigation of a new type of prosthetic hip, a trial of a new medication in Huntingdon's disease and research into the benefits of steroids in pneumonia treatment.

Taught by the School of Biological Sciences in partnership with Capital and Coast Health, the PGDipClinRes will give you the skills essential to conducting your own clinical research or to work for a research institution.

Learn from the experts

You’ll learn from highly regarded clinicians from Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB), the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ) and Victoria University. Some sessions are delivered by outside tutors from around New Zealand who have specific areas of expertise.

For health professionals

If you’re a medical trainee or graduate, a nurse or other health professional who wants to carry out clinical research, or you just need to up-skill in research methods, then this qualification is well-suited to you. To enrol in the Diploma, you’ll need a relevant degree in health, medicine, neuroscience, psychology, biomedical science or biostatistics with a B+ average in relevant subjects, or have extensive relevant experience in the field.

Part-time online learning

The PGDipClinRes is mostly taught online and through teleconferencing, but includes a practical weekend seminar each semester that you need to attend in person. Teleconferencing forums are normally held on a weeknight.

The programme is best suited to part time study over two years, and is equivalent to about 1,200 student work hours. You’ll complete six compulsory courses totalling 120 points and will be assessed through your presentations, essays and formal reports. There is no formal examination.

You can enrol if you’re an international student, but you should note:

  • this programme is only available part-time
  • you need to attend a weekend seminar in Wellington at least twice a year
  • you need to participate in up to eight telephone conferences each semester
  • all of the above will be at your own expense, and is on top of your international student fees.


Postgraduate study at Victoria will help you build valuable relationships and networks with peers, academics, clinical experts and professional colleagues.

The Postgraduate Students' Association can give you information on study at Victoria and provides a voice for you on campus.


You‘ll be able to expand your current work to include clinical research, or move into a new career as a clinical researcher in a range of areas in the health sector. You might work for a drug company, a hospital clinical trials unit or a research institute.




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Recipient: Victoria University of Wellington

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