UCL Graduate degrees


Clinical Trials MSc

Clinical trials are essential in discovering whether new healthcare interventions improve outcomes for patients. This face-to-face programme will provide an excellent grounding in clinical trials and enhance the knowledge and understanding of those already working in the field. This is an expanding area which offers many exciting career opportunities.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Full-time students will usually attend two days per week. Part-time students will usually attend one day per week.

Application dates

Visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£12,500 (FT)
£6,250 (PT)
£28,500 (FT)
£14,250 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a healthcare or life science related subject (including pharmacy) or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Clinicians are required to have a degree (for example, an MBBS).

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

Students learn about the scientific, methodological and practical issues involved in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials. Teaching is delivered by researchers with expertise in many different healthcare fields. All types of trials, from early to late phase trials, and from simple to complex interventions are covered.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of seven core modules (120 credits), and a dissertation/report (60 credits)

A Postgraduate Diploma, consisting of seven core modules (120 credits) and available for full-time, part-time or flexible study is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate consisting of three or four modules (60 credits) and available for full-time, part-time and flexible study is offered.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Clinical Trials. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Clinical Trials. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Clinical Trials.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

All modules, except where indicated, are worth 15 credits.

  • Introduction to Clinical Trial Design and Statistical Analysis (30 credits)
  • Protecting participants and Introduction to Patient and Public Involvement
  • Trial Set-up and Conduct - from an Idea to Reality
  • Further Trial Designs and Outcomes
  • Applying Clinical Trial Design Principles in Practice
  • Managing Open Trials, Preparing for Analysis and Disseminating Trial Results
  • Patient and Data Pathways through Clinical Trials

Optional modules

No options are currently available for this programme.

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake a project which consists of a project proposal of 2,000 words, a 20-minute oral presentation, and a journal paper of 6,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, online resources and practical work. Assessment is through written examinations, oral presentations, written assignments (for example, essays, abstracts, background section of a protocol, critical analysis of published work, patient information and communication plans) and the dissertation/report.

Full Time students are expected to attend full day classes both on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Part Time students have the flexibility to decide which modules they wish to undertake in that particular term/academic year, with classes either being on Tuesdays or Thursdays depending on your module selection. 

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to become key team members in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of high-quality clinical trials.  Potential career opportunities include trial and data management, statistics, regulation of clinical trials, and medical writing. Career destinations include academic trials units, the pharmaceutical industry, contract research organisations, or hospitals. Students may also use this qualification as a springboard for further study at doctoral level. 


Clinical trials is an expanding and highly competitive field of research yet employers find it challenging to recruit people with the appropriate skills and knowledge. This programme has been designed in consultation with employers from academia, the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS. It will give graduates the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that employers seek in this multidisciplinary, collaborative field.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology (ICTM) at UCL is a global leader in the field with over 450 researchers (including clinicians, statisticians, trials managers) working within it. Students will meet and be taught by many of these researchers.

Using a diverse range of clinical trials designs and methodology the ICTM provides evidence that impacts on a wide variety of diseases and has a particularly strong track record in cancer, HIV, tuberculosis, primary care, and mental and women's health.

There is expertise from early to late phase clinical trials, stratified medicine and novel interventions such as targeted therapies.

Department: Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology

What our students and staff say

Student view

"I studied at UCL for my undergraduate degree, so already knew that the course would be of a very high quality and that the teaching style suited me.The course covers such a broad range of topics within trials and research,and having speakers come in from commercial and regulatory organisations gives an added extra perspective. You get to meet such a wide range of people, especially those who have moved from abroad just to study here. So many companies have their headquarters here too it means there are so many more opportunities for jobs or internships to undertake alongside studying."

Emily McGinn-Summers

Clinical Trials MSc

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at graduates from healthcare, life sciences or other related disciplines and health professionals who are interested in a career in clinical trials. It is also aimed at professionals working in the field who wish to develop their knowledge and skills.

Application deadlines

Visa nationals
31 May 2021
Non-visa nationals
30 July 2021

Applications will be considered in gathered fields. For more information, please contact the ICTM administrator.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we access your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Clinical Trials at graduate level
  • why you want to study Clinical Trials at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021