University of Edinburgh logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 5k / Year
  • Foreign: $ 5k / Year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • Deadline:
  • 22 August 2016

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    Our programme is unique, flexible and delivered by experts and partners from leading research facilities.

    Impressive reputation

    We run our programme in collaboration with strong industry partners and affiliates, including the Edinburgh Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (WTCRF), the Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit (ECTU) and NHS Lothian.

    In 2011, the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (WTCRF) was the first non-commercial clinical research centre in the UK to be accepted onto the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Phase I Accreditation Scheme.

    Unique programme

    This is the first online programme encompassing the complete methodology of clinical trials. Through our virtual learning environment, you can engage with peers from around the world and gain a broad perspective on the discipline. You will also learn about the latest developments through video lectures, podcasts and readings.


    This programme is ideal for health professionals who wish to gain a postgraduate qualification without taking a break from their work commitments.

    You can study from home, part-time, and select modules suited to your career aspirations. You will have electronic access to the University library and its vast collection of e-journals and online textbooks.

    Improved career prospects

    Our programme is designed to enhance your existing training and equip you with the skills and knowledge required to lead clinical trials. This will be advantageous when applying for jobs in an academic or commercial environment, as you will have demonstrable interest and commitment.

    This is a part-time, online postgraduate programme where you can study for a certificate, diploma or masters qualification.

    The degree normally extends over a period of 36 months. The first two years contain a series of taught 10 and 20 credit modules. A master’s degree is awarded following the completion of a Clinical Trials e-Portfolio in Year Three.

    Year one

    In your first year, you will study three compulsory courses. You can then be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate.


    • Introduction to Clinical Trials
    • Good Clinical Practice, Ethics and Regulatory Issues
    • Principles of Clinical Trial Management


    At the end of your first year, you can apply for a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Trials, and choose whether to continue your studies.

    Year two

    In each semester of your second year, you will choose elective courses totalling 20 credits. You can then be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma.

    Semester one


    • Clinical Trials in Special Populations
    • Commercial Aspects of Drug Development
    • Medical Devices
    • Pharmacogenomics

    Semester two Module

    • Bioinformatics and Data Management
    • Complex Interventions (Non-drug)
    • Monitoring and Audit
    • Translational Pharmacology

    Semester three Modules

    • Health Economics
    • Patient and Public Involvement
    • Pharmacovigilance
    • Translational Imaging and Clinical Trials


    At the end of your first year, you can apply for a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Trials, and choose whether to continue your studies.

    Year three

    To be awarded the full master’s degree, you must complete an e-Portfolio.

    In your final year you will complete a Clinical Trials e-Portfolio in place of an MSc dissertation.

    This is to be submitted on an assigned date in August.

    The Clinical Trials e-Portfolio includes three components of written work:

    • critique and design of an e-Protocol
    • an e-Poster, a conference poster which presents and translates the findings of a clinical trial
    • a reflective account of what you have learned and experienced on the programme.


    Once you have successfully completed your e-Portfolio, you will be awarded the full master’s degree.


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

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    You will need a strong background, at least a 2:1 or its equivalent at undergraduate level, in one of the following areas:medicinenursingpharmacylife sciencesbiological sciencesIf you fall below these requirements but have three to five years of relevant work experience we will consider your eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us with details of your experience before applying so can assess your suitability.English language requirementsIf English is not your first language, you will need to meet the minimum standards set out by the College and recommended by the University.You will also need to be able to provide documentation of your proficiency, either through Certificate or Letter of English Language Competence. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 CAE score: (read more) Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever. 80 (Grade A) TOEFL iBT® test: 92 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more. Work Experience No work experience is required. This programme is most suited to health professionals already working in, or looking to specialise in, clinical trials. It will supplement and extend previous undergraduate training and work experience, giving you the skills and knowledge to lead clinical trials.
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