Clinical Trials (MSc, PG Dip and PG Cert)


Study for a prestigious Clinical Trials Masters degree by distance learning

"This online Master's degree is suitable for those who have general or specialist experience in clinical trials and aims to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis and reporting of clinical trials as well as for those wishing to gain an understanding of trials before moving into this increasingly important field."

Professor Diana Elbourne, Course Director.

Course summary

  You study Study period Cost (2016-2017)
MSc 11 modules 2-5 years £12,360
Postgraduate Diploma 8 modules 2-5 years £9,750
Postgraduate Certificate 4 modules 1-5 years £7,200
Individual modules Studying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme. The fee is £1,800 per module.

Course aims

The course aims to develop:

  • a theoretical and practical understanding of the issues involved in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of randomised controlled trials of health interventions.
  • skills to scrutinize information, to critically analyse and carry out research, and to communicate effectively.


The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is the leading postgraduate medical institution in Europe in the subjects of public health and tropical medicine. Read about the Clinical Trials Unit at the London School being shortlisted for a prestigious BMJ Group Award for their role in Crash-2 clinical trial. This demonstrated the life-saving potential of a cheap drug and is up for BMJ Research Paper of the Year.

Excellent support

You are supported by an Online Learning Environment which includes 'try it yourself' questions with hints and feedback; animations; interactive diagrams and tables; vibrant graphics; and asynchronous discussion boards.

Summary of key dates

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate
Application deadline 31 October
Registration deadline 30 November*
Course starts October
Examinations take place June
Individual modules
Application deadline 31 October
Registration deadline 30 November*
Examinations take place June
*Students who register after 31 October should be aware that they will not be able to request extensions to submission deadlines or request exam extenuating circumstances as a result of registering in November.


London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has a partnership with the Said Foundation who offers funding opportunities to Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian or Palestinian nationals. Find out more on our Funding your Study page.

Free online taster courses

The School offers a number of free online courses in various subjects from infectious diseases through to global blindess and nutrition. Visit the access page to join one of these taster courses.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine holds regular Open Days and Information Days in London.

During these days, you have the opportunity to talk to staff and students, find out about the latest research and discover how the LSHTM can help you prepare for a career in public health.

There are also information stands and displays and regular tours of the School, allowing you to learn more about the MSc courses and take part in a question and answer session with course directors.

To find out more about these London events, please sign up here.


Structure and syllabus

MSc: 11 modules (4 compulsory core, 5 elective plus two compulsory modules)
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 (4 compulsory core plus four elective modules)
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 compulsory core 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.

Plus two compulsory modules (MSc only)

Protocol development
Integrating module

Elective modules from group IDM5


Please note: if you are choosing to study elective modules from the Epidemiology course i.e. EPM3 modules, some software provided for use with those modules may not be compatible with Apple Mac computers.

•All CT modules successfully completed will be assigned 15 credits each; the integrating report will be assigned 30 credits.

•For Postgraduate Diploma/MSc students, credit for one or two modules studied at LSHTM (blended learning study) may be allowed in place of one or two of the above elective modules, subject to module restrictions. An additional fee will be payable.

•At the discretion of the examiners, students who have been examined in and have passed three CTM1 modules (which must include CTM101) may be permitted to proceed to elective module studies.

•To view the module specifications for this course, please visit our website: Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules.

Study materials

How you study

You 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. 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.

Tutors are allocated to each module and are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year (October to May), through the online Virtual Learning Environment.

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. We therefore allow you 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.

The study year runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, during which time tutorial support is available. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work throughout the summer.

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.

The support you receive

  • a web-based virtual learning environment (including web conferencing, allowing you to pose questions and engage in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students)
  • teaching staff provide written, personalised feedback and advice on assignments
  • you can communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or by setting up your own learning support groups.

Study materials

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 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's online library resources. We also provide all students with a student registration card.



The fees below refer to the 2016-2017 academic year only and are effective from 1 March 2016. Fees are subject to annual review. 

Registration fee£ 1,155
Fee per core module£ 1,515
Fee per elective module£ 650
Fee for integrating module£ 1,300
Total MSc £ 12,360
Total Postgraduate Diploma£ 9,750
Total Postgraduate Certificate£ 7,200
Total per Individual module (taken on a stand-alone basis)£ 1,800
ConvertGBP x 1

Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.

When to pay

Fees may be paid in one of two ways:

Either, pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment. This covers the registration fee and all module fees;

Or, if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the registration fee plus the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.

How to pay

All University fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The University accepts:

  • Western Union - Quick Pay
  • Credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Electron, JCB)
  • Sterling banker's draft/cheque
  • International money/postal order.

Further details are given in payment methods.

Other costs

In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for the fee charged by your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary.


The University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.



Assessment varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written papers 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 see our Assessment and examinations section.

They 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.



Academic Requirements

You will meet the academic entrance requirement if you hold either: 
  • an undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor) which is considered at least comparable to a UK first or second class honours degree, from an institution acceptable to the University, in a subject appropriate to the course; or
  • an appropriate professional or technical qualification which is considered by the University as at least equivalent to a second class honours degree together with at least three years’ relevant work experience All applications in this category are considered on an individual basis.

Please note we accept qualifications from around the world. For further guidance please see our LSHTM Qualifications for Entrance.

If you do not satisfy the above requirements you may still be admitted at our discretion on the basis of your academic qualifications, work experience and references

Language Requirements

You will meet the English language requirement if you have passed, within the past three years:
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English when a minimum overall score of B or 190 is achieved, 
  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System when an overall score of at least 7.0 is achieved with a minimum of 7.0 in the Written sub-test and a minimum of 5.5 in Listening, Reading and Speaking, 
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) overall score of 68 or above, with a minimum of 68 in Writing and a minimum of 59 in Listening, Reading and Speaking, or
  • (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language overall score of 100 or above with at least 24 in Writing, 23 in Speaking, 22 in Reading and 21 in Listening.

Computer Requirements

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities, and other resources.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification: 

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB

and the following applications installed:

  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader.

Some of the CD-ROMs and software provided for use with Epidemiology modules may not be fully compatible with Apple Mac computers.

* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.

Academic leaders

Academic leaders

Professor Diana Elbourne

Diana Elbourne, Professor of Healthcare Evaluation in the Medical Statistics Department at LSHTM graduated in Social Administration from LSE before gaining an MSc (Stats) at Brunel University, where she also worked as a statistics lecturer. Her PhD at LSE was based on a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of women having access to their medical records.

From 1981-1996 Diana was at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford, holding the roles of social statistician, trials statistician, and later Director of the Perinatal Trials Service. During this period she was involved in a large number of RCTs and systematic reviews. She continued this applied research after moving to LSHTM in 1997, broadening from the perinatal field to include trials in liver transplantation, intensive care, children with diabetes, and nutritional interventions for older people.

Her methodological research includes cluster RCTs, data monitoring committees, reporting of trials, and qualitative research on the views of people participating in trials. Between 2000-2005 Diana also worked part time as Professor of Evidence Informed Policy and Practice at the Institute of Education. Her main teaching interests are in clinical trials including the annual short course in clinical trials at LSHTM.

Claire Snowdon

Claire Snowdon is a lecturer in the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at LSHTM and Co-Course Director of the distance learning Clinical Trials Masters course.

After working as a qualitative researcher at the Centre for Family Research (University of Cambridge), and the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (University of Oxford), Claire joined LSHTM in 1997. She has a particular interest in the good conduct of perinatal trials. Her PhD was carried out at LSHTM (2005) and focused on the views of clinicians and parents involved in two neonatal trials. Her most recent work, the BRACELET Study, was carried out with Diana Elbourne. This study focused on issues around bereavement for parents, clinicians and trial teams in the context of neonatal intensive care trials. Claire is a tutor for the Clinical Trials Masters and worked as a seminar leader for the in-house core module, Principles of Social Research, from 2006-2012.

Apply online

Read blog posts from LSHTM distance learning students

Alumni Inspiration: Mariana Grings, MSc Clinical Trials, Brazil

University of London International Programmes alumna Mariana Grings talks about her experience studying for an MSc Clinical Trials by distance learning. She talks about the materials provided by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and how her studies have helped her job at a clinical research organisation.

Academic Inspiration: Clinical Trials - Crash2

Ian Roberts, Professor of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine provides an overview of the Crash2 randomised controlled trial. For more info visit: