Statistics for Clinical Trials MSc

Distance learning programme

Statistics is a fundamental discipline in clinical trials. Statisticians ensure that study designs are statistically robust so that research questions can be answered. They carry out statistical tests, and assess uncertainty in the results, to determine whether the data support the research hypotheses.

The field of clinical trials itself is expanding given the constant progress in biomedical research, including molecularly targeted therapies in cancer, and messenger RNA technologies in vaccines, to cite two exciting examples of recent years.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Fees to be confirmed
Fees to be confirmed
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Fees to be confirmed
Fees to be confirmed
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree or Merit at Master's level from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a related quantitative discipline (e.g. mathematics, statistics, biostatistics, genetics, computational biology) and health professionals (e.g. clinicians). Clinicians and other allied health professionals are required to have a degree (for example, an MBBS) and evidence of having completed quantitative modules, as well as a keen interest in medical statistics.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Statistics is a key tool in clinical trials, which are essential in discovering whether new healthcare interventions improve the lives of patients. Statistics is used at the design stage to compare possible designs, calculate the sample size, and at all stages of the trial until the final analysis and reporting of results. 

This online programme will provide an excellent grounding in statistics for clinical trials. Frequentist as well as Bayesian statistics will be covered. You will learn about all types of trials, from early to late phase trials, and from simple to complex interventions. This will be both from a design and analysis perspective. In addition, you will learn to code in R and STATA. 

Graduates of this programme will be prepared to pursue careers in academic or industry sectors, or further study to PhD level. Clinicians taking this programme will be equipped to be involved in clinical trials and fully engage with statisticians.

Who this course is for

The programme is accessible to graduates with UK degrees, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a related quantitative discipline (e.g. mathematics, statistics, biostatistics, genetics, computational biology) and health professionals (e.g. clinicians). Clinicians and other allied health professionals are required to have a degree (for example, an MBBS) and evidence of having completed quantitative modules. The MSc is also aimed at professionals working in the field of clinical trials who wish to develop their statistical knowledge and skills further.

What this course will give you

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

There is expertise from early to late-phase clinical trials, stratified medicine and novel interventions such as targeted therapies. Statisticians working at the ICTM have a wealth of applied experience and theoretical / methodological knowledge that will be taught to students on the programme.

In general UCL is linked with four NHS hospital trusts and hosts three biomedical research centres, four clinical trial units and an Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology. Established links between UCL Statistical Science, the NIHR UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre and the Clinical Trial Units provide high-quality MSc summer projects for students. 

The foundation of your career

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

Students completing the MSc Statistics for Clinical Trials will be eligible to work as Clinical Trials statisticians. For clinicians the programme will provide the statistical tools to be involved in research and clinical trials.  

The qualification may also be used as springboard for further study at PhD-level in the field of clinical trials.

Employability

Potential career opportunities include clinical trial statistics in academic trials units, the pharmaceutical industry, contract research organisations, hospitals and government organisations. Students may also use this qualification as a springboard for further study at doctoral level. Clinicians will possess the right knowledge and statistical skills to work in clinical research, in particular clinical trials.

Teaching and learning

You will be assessed by a variety of methods including unseen written examinations, oral presentations, written assignments (for example, essays, abstracts, background section of a protocol, critical analysis of published work, practical problem solving, communicating appropriately with different audiences).

Assessments are based on real world examples and activities that you would perform or need to be aware of if you work in clinical trials.

Most of the taught modules are based on one summative assessment, while some have two summative assessments worth 50% each.

There is also a variety of formative assessments across the programme to facilitate learning outcomes within a module, to help prepare for the module’s summative assessment or to help develop key transferable skills.

A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of seven core modules (120 credits) is available for full-time and Part time.

The overall contact and self directed study hours is 150 hours for a typical 15 credit module which includes 2 hours live online seminars per week.

Modules

The MSc in Statistics for Clinical Trials route consists of 120 taught module credits and 60 research project credits.

The taught component for the award of MSc and PGDip is 120 credits.

Full-time students are expected to attend online lectures both on Tuesdays & Thursdays, each lasting approximately 3 hours. In addition, students will learn using a variety of asynchronous teaching methods, including pre-recorded educational videos. 

Part-time students will attend the Tuesday modules in year 1, and the Thursday modules in year 2. The time frame for completing the MSc part-time is 2 years. The research project will be done during year 2.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Statistics for Clinical Trials.

Accessibility

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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Clinical Trials MSc (February)

Join our Virtual Graduate Open Events to find out more about our MSc Clinical Trials. These sessions will be led by Dr. Alex Gentry-Maharaj, MSc Clinical Trials Programme Director and Principal Research Fellow based at the Institute of Clinical Trials & Methodology and Institute for Women's Health. There will be an opportunity to ask your questions in the live Q&A, chat with Dr. Gentry-Maharaj, and find out if this MSc programme is right for you.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Statistics for Clinical Trials MSc (February)

Join our Virtual Graduate Open Events to find out more about our MSc Statistics for Clinical Trials. These sessions will be led by Dr Hakim-Moulay Dehbi, MSc Statistics for Clinical Trials Programme Director and Head of Statistics at the Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit at UCL. There will be an opportunity to ask your questions in the live Q&A, chat with Dr Dehbi, and find out if this MSc programme is right for you.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) Fees to be confirmed Fees to be confirmed
Tuition fees (2023/24) Fees to be confirmed Fees to be confirmed

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

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

Funding your studies

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

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.

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 Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Statistics for Clinical Trials at graduate level
  • why you want to study Statistics for 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

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