Postgraduate study

Clinical Trials (Online Learning) MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Awards: MSc, PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time, Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

Funding opportunities

You can work full-time in clinical trials or a clinical background and study for this degree. I personally feel that studying with the University of Edinburgh has been the best experience for me.

Asha Mathews MSc Clinical Trials graduate 2018
Asha Mathews               MSc Clinical Trials graduate 2018

The online programme will provide a knowledge and understanding of the key elements and principles of clinical trial design, delivery and analysis. In addition to a knowledge and understanding of the principles of GCP and their practical implementation in clinical trials.

This programme is suitable for graduates in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, life sciences and other allied disciplines involved in Clinical Trials.

This programme will support the demand for appropriately qualified investigators to lead clinical trials of all phases. Each course is divided into a set of themed sections in which material is presented in a blend of short online lectures, practical case studies, directed readings, podcasts and archived webinars. Discussion board tasks and live expert guest lectures offer opportunity for collaborative critical discourse and debate of current issues under the guidance of expert teaching staff.

The programme covers Trial and Project Management, Statistics and Data Management, Health Economics, Translational Pharmacology, Regulations and Ethics, Imaging, Medical Devices and Complex Interventions.

The programme is delivered completely online, allowing for a curriculum design approach that caters to different ways of learning. Embracing the role that technology can play to enhance teaching, learning and assessment, the programme has been designed with the learner in mind.

Each student will be supported as an active member of a vibrant online community where clearly-defined learning outcomes are facilitated by tasks and materials that foster active, relevant and collaborative learning, supported by the purposeful use of digital media and online technology.

We are now offering the option for students to take individual courses under the Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) scheme. Tuition fees are paid on a course-by-course basis. Find your options here:

Years 1 and 2:

  • Introduction to Clinical Trials
  • Good Clinical Practice, Ethics and Regulatory Issues
  • Clinical Trial Management (20 credits)
  • Clinical Trials in Special Populations (20 credits)
  • Patient and Public Involvement (20 credits)
  • Study Design (20 credits)
  • Monitoring and Audit (20 credits)
  • Translational Pharmacology (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Health Economics and Applied Health Economics (20 credits)
  • Translational Imaging and Clinical Trials (10 credits)

Year 3

  • MSc Dissertation (60 credits)

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScClinical Trials3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDipClinical Trials2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

The programme will offer candidates an alternative to traditional classroom based research training if they do not wish to or cannot take time away from their professional commitments.

It aims to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be a leader of clinical trials, supplementing and extending any undergraduate training and work experience. The programme will also provide an important step towards gaining employment in either the commercial or non-commercial/industrial sectors.

The MSc programme is designed to highlight the candidate’s commitment to continual professional development and will ensure a competitive edge when applying for future employment positions.

Watch some of our student testimonials from our past Clinical Trials graduates.

A medical degree (MBChB or equivalent), or a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

We may also consider your application if you have 3-5 years' relevant work experience; please contact us to check before you apply. You may be admitted to certificate level only in the first instance.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScClinical Trials3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgCertClinical Trials1 YearPart-timeTuition fees
PgDipClinical Trials2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgProfDevClinical TrialsUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Administrator, David Stevens
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 9242
  • Contact:
  • Programme Director, Stuart Ralston
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 9242
  • Contact:
  • Usher Institute of Population Health and Informatics
  • Old Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 28 August 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Administrator, David Stevens
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 9242
  • Contact:
  • Programme Director, Stuart Ralston
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 9242
  • Contact:
  • Usher Institute of Population Health and Informatics
  • Old Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG