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Clinical Trials - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

Clinical trials are essential in discovering whether new healthcare interventions improve outcomes for patients. This is an expanding field which offers many exciting career opportunities. This new programme will provide an excellent grounding in clinical trials and enhance the knowledge and understanding of those already working in the field.

Degree information

Students learn about the scientific, methodological and practical issues involved in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials. Teaching is delivered by researchers with expertise in many different healthcare fields. All types of trials, from early to late phase trials, and from simple to complex interventions are covered.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits), and a dissertation/report (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma, consisting of eight core modules (120 credits) and available for full-time, part-time or flexible study is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate consisting of four modules (60 credits) and available for full-time, part-time and flexible study is offered.

Core modules
-Trial Design and Determining the Intervention
-Statistical Principles and Critical Appraisal
-Protecting Patients and Introduction to Patient Engagement
-Trial Set-up and Conduct - from an Idea to Reality
-Alternative Trial Designs and Outcomes
-Applying Clinical Trial Design Principles in Practice
-Managing Open Trials, Preparing for Analysis and Disseminating Trial Results
-Patient and Data Pathways through Clinical Trials

Dissertation/research project
All students undertake a project which consists of a project proposal of 2,000 words, a 20-minute oral presentation, and a journal paper of 6,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, online resources and practical work. Assessment is through written examinations, oral and poster presentations, written assignments (for example, essays, abstracts, background section of a protocol, critical analysis of published work, patient information and communication plans) and the dissertation/report.


Potential career opportunities include trial and data management, statistics, regulation of clinical trials, and medical writing. Career destinations include academic trials units, the pharmaceutical industry or hospitals. Students may also use this qualification as a springboard for further study at doctoral level.

Future career prospects will be enhanced on completion of this programme. Students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to become key team members in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of high-quality clinical trials.

Clinical trials is an expanding and highly competitive field of research yet employers find it challenging to recruit people with the appropriate skills and knowledge. This programme has been designed in consultation with employers from academia, the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS. It will give graduates the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that employers seek in this multidisciplinary, collaborative field.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology (ICTM) at UCL is a global leader in the field with over 450 researchers (including clinicians, statisticians, trials managers) working within it. Students will meet and be taught by many of these researchers.

Using a diverse range of clinical trials designs and methodology the ICTM provides evidence that impacts on a wide variety of diseases and has a particularly strong track record in cancer, HIV, tuberculosis, primary care, and mental and women's health.

There is expertise from early to late phase clinical trials, stratified medicine and novel interventions such as targeted therapies.

Visit the Clinical Trials - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a healthcare or life science related subject (including pharmacy) or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Clinicians are required to have a degree (for example, an MBBS).

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Recipient: University College London
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