Clinical Trials (MSc, PGDip and PGCert)

Overview

A prestigious Master's in Clinical Trials by distance learning

This degree is for experienced professionals who wish to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis and reporting of clinical trials. It will also benefit anyone wishing to understand more about trials before moving into this field.

The programme aims to:

  • develop your knowledge and understanding of the key decisions surrounding the design, delivery and assessment of clinical trials;
  • encourage critical and evaluative skills that will help you reach independent scientific judgement;
  • teach you how to apply the conceptual and practical tools needed to initiate clinical trials;
  • promote self-development by providing an environment for you to practise skills of selection, assimilation and communication.

Programme details

The course is developed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Europe's leading postgraduate medical institution in the subjects of public health and tropical medicine.

Programme 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 These are ideal if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme. The fee is £1,800 per module.

How you study

The course allows you to study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines).

As a distance-learning student, you'll receive:

Comprehensive learning materials

Your materials are provided via a dedicated Virtual Learning Environment. These include:

  • Study guides, textbooks, and student handbooks.
  • Additional computer software, where required (e.g. Stata).
  • Vibrant graphics, plus interactive diagrams and tables.
  • Access to past examination papers and Examiners' reports.
  • Access to the School's online library resources.

Outstanding tutorial support

You can take part in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students via the online portal. Tutors are allocated to each module and are available for queries and discussion during the academic year.

Blended learning options

If you successfully complete a number of core modules, you may become eligible to study up to two modules in London. Full details are sent to all distance learning students in July of each year.

Summary of key dates

MSc, Postgraduate Awards, Individual Modules
Application deadline 31 October
Registration deadline 30 November*
Programme starts October
Examinations take place June
*Students who register after 31 October should be aware that no extension to submission deadlines or exam extenuating circumstances will be granted as a result of registering in November.

Scholarships

The London School has a partnership with the Said Foundation, which offers funding opportunities to Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian or Palestinian nationals. Apply now for the 2017/2018 academic year.

The School

The school was crowned 'University of the Year' at the Times Higher Education Awards 2016 for its 'extraordinary' response to the Ebola crisis. It offers free online taster courses on such issues and holds regular open days in London, where you can speak to staff and students about the opportunities available.

Visit our College page for details.

What our students say

Dr Jane Walker, MSc Clinical Trials (UK)

Dr Jane Walker, London School Alumna"The most exciting thing was that many of the tutors were world experts in clinical trials and epidemiology, so it was fantastic to be able to discuss things either online or in live chats. I would absolutely recommend this course. I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Jane is a a Senior Clinical Researcher and Consultant Psychiatrist for the University of Oxford's Psychological Medicine Research Group. Read an interview on London Connection.

Structure

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)

Integrating module
Protocol development

Elective modules from group IDM5

HIV/AIDS
Tuberculosis
Malaria

Notes 

  • Restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules.
  • If you are choosing to study elective modules from the Epidemiology programme i.e. EPM3 modules, some software provided for use with those modules may not be compatible with Apple Mac computers.
  • 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.
Study materials

How you study

You study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some programme-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 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. Therefore, the Postgraduate Certificate can be completed in 1-5 years and the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc in 2-5 years, providing some flexibility to plan 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.

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 programme/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). Details of the study materials provided for each module can be found in the module specification documents located on the Structure tab on the Clinical Trials programme page. 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.

Fees

Fees

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

2016-2017
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.

Note

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

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, found under the Structure tab on the Clinical Trials programme page.

Examinations take place once a year in June. 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.

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.

Credit awarded

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 

  • Master's – 180 credits.

Requirements

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

It is essential that you have an adequate command of the English Language to carry out your studies. 

The following may be considered as acceptable evidence of English language proficiency:

  • substantial education (minimum of eighteen months) conducted and assessed in English or
  • substantial work experience (minimum of eighteen months) conducted in English.

If you do not meet one of the above requirements then you will be required to have passed one of the following 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
  • (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.

Where an applicant does not meet the required English language level but believes they can demonstrate the required level for admission the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.

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
  • a CD-ROM drive for EPM module materials (all materials are also downloadable)
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2-5 MB, and the following applications installed:
  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word and Excel software
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader
  • Parallel software, with Windows installed, if using a non-Windows based PC such as a Mac (for EPM103 and EPM302 only).

* Certain essential functionality may not be supported on all mobile devices.

Additional requirements:

  • Students will need to use a calculator.
  • A headset/microphone will be required to participate in ‘real-time’ online discussions.
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.

Susana Scott

Susana Scott is a lecturer in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Co-Course Director of the distance learning Clinical Trial Masters course.

Susana completed her MSc in Communicable Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM in 1997 and since then has been working at the London School as an epidemiologist on several international projects primarily aimed at improving maternal and child health in low income countries. She has lived and worked in sub-Saharan Africa; Her PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology investigated the immunogenicity and safety of measles vaccine in HIV-1 infected children in Lusaka, Zambia. She has recently returned from The Gambia, where she was seconded to the MRC-Gambia Unit as an epidemiologist in the Disease Control and Elimination Theme. Her current research role is the trial coordinator and local PI in The Gambia to a large 3 country research project, entitled “Community-based scheduled screening and treatment of malaria in pregnancy for improved maternal and infant health: a cluster-randomized trial in The Gambia, Burkina Faso and Benin (COSMIC).”

Apply online

Postgraduate Health Online Q&A

See what was discussed when prospective students were invited to an Online Q&A with academics from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

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: crash2.lshtm.ac.uk