Usher Institute

BLOG: Why I recommend a MSc in Clinical Trials at The University of Edinburgh

Sofia, MSc Clinical Trials students, believes that a Clinical Trials programme with one of the world’s renowned universities is a perfect opportunity to combine her medical and commercial backgrounds.

By Sofia Chowdhury | MSc Clinical Trials Student

I got exposure to clinical trials early in my career while being trained as a cardiologist in the intensive care units in one of the busiest clinics in Moscow, and my research skills have been further developed via a PhD course. Additionally, several years of working in the international business environment helped me to acquire a broad range of transferable competencies including project management, customer service, efficient communication and technology skills.

Becoming a clinical research professional has been my most important career decision. However, looking for employment after a long break represents significant challenges, especially when the job market is significantly affected by COVID-19. I believe that a Clinical Trials programme with one of the world’s renowned universities is a perfect opportunity to combine my medical and commercial backgrounds. 

As a mother of two young children, I highly appreciate the chance to study online at my own pace, and the ability to learn remotely has recently become one of the key qualities valued by employers in today’s pandemic environment.

I think the best part of this programme is its interactive and vibrant atmosphere. In addition to professionalism, enthusiasm, and passion in delivering this programme, the overwhelming level of support from our tutors (experienced clinical research professionals), administrators and peers provided an exceptional learning experience. Even statistics modules - the common area of frustration for many students - were much easier to ‘digest’ due to real-life examples, hands-on experience with statistical programmes and continuous support, especially around assignment submission dates.

Another attractive feature of this programme is that all students have a relevant clinical research background. During online debates, I enjoyed sharing opinions, ideas and experience with my peers, clinical researchers engaged in various research activities around the globe. The valuable opportunity to lead group projects helped me to develop further my remote project administration and management skills alongside other competencies highly sought by employers including working as a team, multitasking, critical thinking and problem-solving.

The programme further enhanced my motivation to learn, and fundamental industry knowledge acquired through this programme helped me to gain professional membership with the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and complete numerous training modules with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), ACRP and other providers.

The practical knowledge gained during this programme can be implemented in many other ways. As an observer, I enjoyed attending one of the Research Ethics Committee meetings and supported my husband throughout his participation in a clinical trial as a family member.

Friendly, devoted, and professional career support is another benefit of this programme. The precious feedback provided by recruitment professionals and relevant LinkedIn Learning sponsored by the University helped me to tailor my CV and cover letters for specific job descriptions, prepare for interviews and improve my job search approach.

I feel I gained so much from this programme. With an unprecedented level of support from our University team and peers, I have no doubts that I will complete the programme successfully and re-enter the industry.

Read more about the MSc Clinical Trials programme