Study this programme anywhere in the world and receive a fully accredited University of London degree


Clinical Trials

MSc, PGDip and PGCert

Available to study anywhere in the world

This programme will develop your knowledge and understanding of the decisions affecting the design, delivery and assessment of clinical trials.

The MSc in Clinical Trials is ideal for current in-service health professionals looking to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis and reporting of clinical trials. It is also suited to those wishing to gain an understanding of trials before moving into the field.

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University of London alumna Mariana Grings talks about her experience studying the MSc Clinical Trials by distance learning.

Programme details

Programme structure, modules and specification

For the MSc: You complete 11 modules (6 compulsory modules and 5 elective modules [at least 3 from the Clinical Trials group]).

For the Postgraduate Diploma: You complete 8 modules (4 compulsory modules and 4 elective modules [at least 3 from the Clinical Trials group]).

For the Postgraduate Certificate: You complete 4 compulsory modules.

Individual modules: Study our modules individually to update your knowledge or sample the programme.

View modules

Key dates

This programme has one intake date per year: October.

2022 dates
Application deadline 31 October 2022
Registration deadline 30 November 2022
Application deadline individual modules 31 October 2022
Registration deadline individual modules 30 November 2022

How you study

The programme is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment. You study at a time and pace that suits you (subject to certain deadlines), using the study materials developed and supported by academic staff at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, which take you through a programme of directed self-study.

Study materials

Your study materials are mostly provided online via the Virtual Learning Environment. They may include study guides, textbooks, computer-based sessions and additional computer software (e.g. Stata), past examination papers and examiners’ reports.

All of your study materials are made available in October.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to the University of London Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to module materials, resources, and forums to discuss module material and work collaboratively with others. Tutors are available to answer queries and promote discussion during the study year through the VLE.
  • The LSHTM library resources
  • The Online Library provides access to over 100 million academic electronic items comprising E-books, E-journals, conference proceedings, etc. In addition, students can request items which are not held in the library via the library's Inter-Library loans service with the British Library.
  • Senate House Library provides free reference access for all registered distance and flexible learning students.

Teaching staff facilitate and moderate online discussions, respond to academic enquiries, and provide personalised written feedback and advice on assignments.

Student Support

We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.

You will have access to support through:

  • The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
  • TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.

Time commitment

You should expect to study for 15-25 hours per week throughout the study year if you wish to complete your qualification in the minimum time allowed (one year for the Postgraduate Certificate, two years for the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc). Most students take between three and five years to complete the MSc.


This varies from module to module but will include a combination of unseen written examinations and written assignments. More details can be found on course pages.

Exams are held in June each year. You can sit exams at an approved centre anywhere in the world (mainly Ministries of Education or the British Council). Each centre charges a fee for hosting exams.

More about exams.

What qualifications do you need?

For entry to the programme, you will need either:

  • the equivalent of a UK first or second-class honours degree in a relevant subject from an acceptable institution.
  • or, an appropriate professional or technical qualification, plus three years' relevant experience.

Find equivalent qualifications where you live.

If you do not meet the above standard requirements, we can still consider your application on the basis of your qualifications and experience. In these instances, once you apply online, we will contact you with a request for two references to support your application before referring on for academic consideration.

English Language requirements

You need a high standard of English to study this programme. You will meet our language requirements if you have achieved one of the following within the past three years:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall, with 6.5 in the written test and 5.5 in listening, reading and speaking.
  • TOEFL iBT: 100 overall, with 24+ in writing, 23+ in speaking, 22+ in reading and 21+ in listening.
  • Pearson Test (Academic): 68 overall, with 62+ in writing and 59+ in listening, reading and speaking.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English: 185 overall, with 176+ in writing and 169+ in listening.
  • Duolingo: must achieve an overall score of at least 130.

Alternatively, you may satisfy the language requirements if you have at least 18 months of education or work experience conducted in English.

If you do not meet these requirements but believe you can meet the standard, we may also consider your application.

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly.

View the Programme specification to see the computer requirements for this programme.

The programme fees below refer to the 2022–2023 session only and are effective from 1 December 2021. These may be increased by up to 5% per year.

Application fee
Application fee (non-refundable) £107
The application fee (non-refundable) is payable when you make your application for an MSc, PGDip or PGCert. If your application is successful, you will receive an offer inviting you to register. The application fee is separate to other fees listed. There is no application fee for our Individual modules taken on a standalone basis.
Full programme fee 2022-2023
MSc 16000
Postgraduate Diploma 12670
Postgraduate Certificate 9360
Indicative totals*
MSc 16107
Postgraduate Diploma 12777
Postgraduate Certificate £9467
Pay as you go
Registration fee 1470
Core module 1960
Elective module 810
Individual modules (Standalone)
Total per module 2390

Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.

*The indicative totals include the application fee, all module and continuation fees payable to the University of London for the duration of your study, as well as online tutor support. This fee does not include applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, local exam centre fees and fees payable to University of London Recognised Teaching Centres.

More about programme fees.

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.

How to pay your fees

Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.

Further information on Sales Tax

Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).

Further information about fee payment options can be found in the “How to pay your fees” link above.

Career opportunities

The programme is relevant for roles in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of clinical trials, or for broadening your role in the evaluation of interventions for screening, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease in people. It may also prepare you for further study in clinical trials.

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.

Dr Jane Walker, UK

What do employers think of our graduates?

In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.

Academic leadership

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has an international presence, and is renowned for its research, postgraduate studies and continuing education in public and global health. It was crowned University of the Year in 2016 by Times Higher Education for its extraordinary response to the Ebola crisis.

The Faculty of Epidemiology & Population Health (EPH) houses the largest group of epidemiologists, statisticians and medical demographers in Europe. It also houses nutritionists, social scientists and public health practitioners, all working on the diseases of major health importance in both industrialised and developing nations.

Academic leaders

Professor Diana Elbourne is Professor of Healthcare Evaluation in the Medical Statistics Department at LSHTM. She is formerly Director of the Perinatal Trials Service of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford. Her research includes cluster RCTs, data monitoring committees, reporting of trials, and qualitative research on the views of people participating in trials.

Claire Snowdon is Lecturer in the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at LSHTM and Co-Course Director of the MSc Clinical Trials by distance learning. Her recent work (with Diana Elbourne) focuses on issues around bereavement for parents, clinicians and trial teams in the context of neonatal intensive care trials. Claire is a tutor on the MSc programme and formerly leader of the Principles of Social Research core module.

Susana Scott is Lecturer in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Co-Course Director of the MSc Clinical Trials by distance learning. Susana works 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, and was recently seconded to the MRC-Gambia Unit as an epidemiologist in the Disease Control and Elimination Theme.

Funding your study

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.

Can I get sponsored?

If you are employed, your employer may be willing to cover part/all of the programme fee if you can make a compelling case as to how this programme will boost your contribution to the workplace.

Our courses are ideal for employers because they get to retain you as an employee and benefit from your learning from the moment you begin.

How can I get sponsored by my employer?

Free online courses

Free online courses

The School offers several free online courses on a wide range of health topics. These provide a great insight into the independent learning experience.

See a full list

Open days

The School holds regular open days in London. You can come and meet staff and students and receive a tour of the School.

Find the next open day.

What our students think


were satisfied overall with the quality of the programme.


agreed the flexibility of the programme met their needs.

clinical trials - pills
Develop the knowledge and understanding of the key decisions surrounding the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of clinical trials.

Apply to Clinical Trials