These programmes provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of the issues involved in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of randomised controlled trials of health interventions. They are suitable for students working in high-, middle- and low-income countries.
The need for rigorous evaluation of components of health care is increasingly recognised worldwide. An important type of evaluation is the randomised controlled clinical trial. These courses will give students an understanding of trials which will equip them to work in this increasingly important field.
They are suitable both for those wishing to gain an overall understanding of trials before moving into the field, and those who have general or specialist experience in clinical trials and aim to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis and reporting of clinical trials in high, middle and low income countries.
These programmes are suitable both for those wishing to gain an overall understanding of trials before moving into this field, and those who have general or specialist experience in clinical trials and aim to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis and reporting of clinical trials.
CourseYou studyStudy period
Master's: 11 modules: 2-5 years
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules: 2-5 years
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 modules: 1-5 years
Individual modules: Studying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme.:
Application deadline for CTM individual modules): 31 October
Registration deadline for PG Cert, PG Dip and MSc: 30 November
Registration deadline for individual modules: 30 November
Start of the course: October
Examinations (take place the following year after registration): June
Clinical Trials by Distance Learning
School alumna Mariana Grings talks about her experience studying for the MSc Clinical Trials by distance learning, and how her studies have helped her job at a clinical research organisation.
Youtube link Watch the video on Youtube Image Citation Julien Nyombayire, Rwanda Quote
"I have no doubt the knowledge acquired during my studies will build the foundation for my future career in research and will open doors for even more learning opportunities."
- Postgraduate Certificate: 4 core modules
- Postgraduate Diploma: 8 (4 core + 4 elective modules)
- MSc: 11 modules (4 compulsory core, 5 elective plus two compulsory modules)
Note: for MSc and Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Trials, for the elective modules, at least three modules must be taken from selection group CTM2. The remaining module(s) can be chosen from other CTM2 modules, or selection groups EPM3, IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or PHM2 selection groups.
Our Clinical Trials diagrams show suggested schedules for completing the programmes within different time frames.
The Certificate comprises the 4 core modules which are also common to the Diploma and MSc courses:
- Fundamentals of Clinical Trials - CTM101
- Basic Statistics for Clinical Trials - CTM102
- Clinical Trials in Practice - CTM103
- Reporting and Reviewing Clinical Trials - CTM104
After successfully completing the core modules, those registered for the Postgraduate Diploma and MSc must successfully pass a required number of elective modules to complete the award.
To complete the Postgraduate Diploma, 4 elective modules (in addition to the four core modules) must be studied. At least 3 of these must be chosen from the Clinical Trials (CTM2) module list below. The remaining module(s) can be chosen from other CTM2 modules, or selection groups EPM3, IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or PHM2. In addition, a final compulsory module (CTM201) and the integrating module (CTM210) must also be completed.
Master's Degree (MSc)
To complete the MSc, 5 elective modules from the lists below must be selected (in addition to the four core modules). At least 3 of these must be chosen from the Clinical Trials (CTM2) module list below. The remaining module(s) can be chosen from other CTM2 modules, or selection groups EPM3/PHM2. In addition, a final compulsory module and the integrating module must also be completed.
Clinical Trials elective modules (CTM2):
- Protocol Development - CTM201 (compulsory for the MSc)
- Trial Designs - CTM202
- Project Management and Research Co-ordination - CTM203
- Regulatory affairs, Good Clinical Practice and Ethics - CTM204
- Data Management - CTM205
- Data Monitoring and Interim Analyses - CTM206
- Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies - CTM207
- Further Statistics for Clinical Trials- CTM208
- Cluster Randomised Trials- CTM209
- Integrating Module - CTM210 (compulsory for the MSc - see below)
Modules selection groups:
- Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases - EPM301
- Modelling and the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases - EPM302
- Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology - EPM304
- Human Genetic Epidemiology - EPM306 (only available to those re-registering to complete or resit the module in 2016/17)
- Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases - EPM307
- Bacterial Infections - IDM201
- Nutrition and Infection - IDM202
- Parasitology - IDM203
- Viral Infections - IDM204
- Healthcare-Associated Infection - IDM205
- Immunology of Infection and Vaccines - IDM213
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene - IDM215
- Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries - IDM301
- HIV/AIDS - IDM501
- Tuberculosis - IDM502
- Malaria - IDM503
- Analytical Models for Decision Making - PHM201
- Communicable Disease Control - PHM202
- Economic Analysis for Management Policy - PHM203
- Economic Evaluation - PHM204
- Environmental Epidemiology - PHM205
- Environmental Health Policy - PHM206
- Health Care Evaluation - PHM207
- Globalisation and Health - PHM209
- Managing Health Services - PHM210*
- Medical Anthropology - PHM211
- Organisational Management - PHM212*
- Principles & Practice of Health Promotion - PHM213
- Conflict and Health - PHM214
- History and Health - PHM215
- Sexual Health - PHM216
*Modules PHM210 and PHM212 can only be taken by continuing students, pending module updates
(Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules above. Not all advanced modules will be available every year.)
Integrating Module (compulsory)
All students on the MSc course will be required to complete an integrating module comprising a written report, usually in their final year of study. Please click here for the module specification.
How you study
The majority of the Clinical Trials module study materials are delivered online after course/module registration. You will receive details of how to use the online learning environment effectively. Study materials provided for non-Clinical Trials modules may include study guides, textbooks, CD-ROMs/additional computer software (e.g. Stata). You will have access to past examination papers and Examiners' reports, Student Handbooks, and to the School's online library resources.
We know that if you have a full-time job, family or other commitments, and wish to study at a distance, you will have many calls on your time. The course allows you to study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines) using the comprehensive study materials provided, with support available from academic staff. You have between 1-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Certificate, and between 2-5 years in which to complete the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc.
Once registered, you will be sent the learning materials for the module(s) you have chosen to study. Clinical Trials module materials are mostly delivered online. These materials will take you through a programme of directed self-study, and indicate how and where you can obtain supplementary study materials and access tutorial support to enhance your studies.
The study year runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, during which time tutorial support is available. Those writing the Clinical Trials integrating report will also continue to have tutorial support over the summer. Deadlines for submission of coursework vary per course but are usually in March, May, August and September.
- a web-based learning environment (including web conferencing, allowing you to engage in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students)
- personalised feedback from teaching staff and advice on assignments
- tutors are allocated to each module and are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year, through the online Virtual Learning Environment
- communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or through learning support groups
Blended learning: taking modules in London
After successful completion of a minimum number of core modules, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students may also be eligible for the blended learning option, which allows for the study of up to two modules only (from a restricted list) at the School in London during the Spring or Summer terms in place of distance learning modules. Please note that these options, and the dates when the modules are held at the School, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all distance learning students in July each year.
How to apply
Application for study by Distance Learning
The School's distance learning programmes are run in collaboration with the University of London and applications must be made online to the University of London International Programmes directly.
Need help with completing your application online? Please check the "How to Apply" section of the University of London website.
If you have any enquiries, please submit your questions online to the University of London International Programmes. Alternatively, please contact:
Student Advice Centre, University of London, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London,
WC1B 5DN, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8360/8361/8362
Method of assessment
Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. Details are given in the module specifications.
Examinations take place once a year in June (please note: it is not possible to hold examinations at other times of year). These are normally held in a student's country of residence. We have examination centres in over 180 countries worldwide (for details please visit the assessment and examinations section).
Examinations are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt.
Credits will be awarded to all modules (15 credits each) and (MSc only) the integrating module (30 credits) successfully completed. To successfully pass an award, the following credits must be gained:
- Postgraduate Certificate - 60 credits
- Postgraduate Diploma - 120 credits
- MSc - 180 credits