Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters by Distance Learning.
Who should apply
These courses are suitable for both those wishing to gain an overall understanding of trials before moving into the field, and those who have general or specialist experience in clinical trials and aim to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis and reporting of clinical trials.
The courses will be suitable for students working in high, middle and low income countries.
The need for rigorous evaluation of components of health care is increasingly recognised worldwide as a global health issue. An important type of evaluation is the randomised controlled clinical trial.
Aims and objectives
The course aims to develop:
- skills to scrutinize information, to critically analyse and carry out research, and to communicate effectively.
- a theoretical and practical understanding of the issues involved in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of randomised controlled trials of health interventions.
You are supported by an Online Learning Environment which includes 'try it yourself' questions with hints and feedback; animations; interactive diagrams and tables; vibrant graphics; and asynchronous discussion boards. The support you will receive will include:
- a web-based virtual learning environment (including web conferencing, allowing you to pose questions and engage in academic discussions with tutors and fellow students)
- teaching staff provide written, personalised feedback and advice on assignments
- you can communicate with other distance learning students, either individually or by setting up your own learning support groups.
There are four core modules common to the Certificate, Diploma and MSc courses. Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students additionally choose from a number of elective modules which will allow them to expand and deepen their conceptual and practical skills. The main disciplinary perspectives will come from clinical trials, statistics and epidemiology, but others will contribute in both the core and optional modules.
|Number of modules||Course Duration||Cost (2015/16)|
|MSc||11 modules||2-5 years||£11,770|
|Postgraduate Diploma||8 modules||2-5 years||£9,300|
|Postgraduate Certificate||4 modules||1-5 years||£6,850|
|Individual modules||Studying individual modules is an ideal option if you wish to update your professional knowledge or sample the programme. The fee is £1,710 per module.|
Please note that the School also offers a 5-day short course in Clinical Trials, based in London.
- Postgraduate Certificate: 4 compulsory core modules
- Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (4 compulsory modules + 4 elective modules)
- MSc: 11 modules (4 compulsory modules + 5 elective modules + 1 compulsory elective module + 1 integrating module)
Note: for MSc and Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Trials, for the elective modules, at least three modules must be taken from selection group CTM2. The remaining module(s) can be chosen from other CTM2 modules, or from selection groups EPM3, IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or PHM2.
The Postgraduate Certificate:
The Certificate comprises the 4 core modules which are also common to the Diploma and MSc courses:
- CTM101 Fundamentals of Clinical Trials
- CTM102 Basic Statistics for Clinical Trials
- CTM103 Clinical Trials in Practice
- CTM104 Reporting and Reviewing Clinical Trials
After successfully completing the core modules, those registered for the Postgraduate Diploma and MSc must successfully pass a required number of elective modules to complete the award.
The Postgraduate Diploma:
To complete the Postgraduate Diploma, 4 elective modules (in addition to the four core modules) must be studied. At least 3 of these must be chosen from the Clinical Trials (CTM2) module list below. The remaining module(s) can be chosen from other CTM2 modules, or selection groups EPM3, IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 or PHM2. In addition, a final compulsory module (CTM201) and the integrating module (CTM210) must also be completed.
The Masters Degree (MSc):
To complete the MSc, 5 elective modules from the lists below must be selected (in addition to the four core modules). At least 3 of these must be chosen from the Clinical Trials (CTM2) module list below. The remaining module(s) can be chosen from other CTM2 modules, or selection groups EPM3/PHM2. In addition, a final compulsory module and the integrating module must also be completed.
Clinical Trials elective modules (CTM2):
- CTM201 Protocol Development (compulsory for the MSc)
- CTM202 Trial Designs
- CTM203 Project Management and Research Co-ordination
- CTM204 Regulatory affairs, Good Clinical Practice and Ethics
- CTM205 Data Management
- CTM206 Data Monitoring and Interim Analyses
- CTM207 Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies
- CTM208 Further Statistics for Clinical Trials
- CTM209 Cluster Randomised Trials
- CTM210 Integrating Module (compulsory for the MSc - see below)
Modules selection groups:
- EPM301 Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases
- EPM302 Modelling and the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
- EPM304 Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
- EPM306 Human Genetic Epidemiology
- EPM307 Global Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases
- IDM201 Bacterial Infections
- IDM202 Nutrition and Infection
- IDM203 Parasitology
- IDM204 Viral Infections
- IDM205 Healthcare-Associated Infection
- IDM213 Immunology of Infection and Vaccines
- IDM301 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries
- IDM501 HIV/AIDS
- IDM502 Tuberculosis
- IDM503 Malaria
- PHM201 Analytical Models for Decision Making
- PHM203 Economic Analysis for Management Policy
- PHM204 Economic Evaluation
- PHM205 Environmental Epidemiology
- PHM206 Environmental Health Policy
- PHM207 Health Care Evaluation
- PHM209 Globalisation and Health
- PHM210 Managing Health Services*
- PHM211 Medical Anthropology
- PHM212 Organisational Management*
- PHM213 Principles & Practice of Health Promotion
- PHM214 Conflict and Health
- PHM215 History and Health
- PHM216 Sexual Health
*Modules PHM210 and PHM212 can only be taken by continuing students, pending module updates
(Note that restrictions and pre-requisites may apply to some of the modules above. Not all advanced modules will be available every year.)
Integrating Module (compulsory)
All students on the MSc course will be required to complete an integrating module comprising a written report, usually in their final year of study. Please click here for the module specification.
Combining DL studies with study at the School - "blended learning"
After successful completion of a minimum number of core modules, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc students may also be eligible for the 'blended learning option', which allows for the study of up to two modules only (from a restricted list) at LSHTM in London during the Spring or Summer terms in place of distance learning modules. Please note that these options, and the dates when the modules are held at the School, are subject to change - full details will be sent to all DL students in July each year. The fee for attending LSHTM in-house modules is payable directly to LSHTM, not to the University of London International Programmes, and is in addition to the distance learning course fees.
Method of assessment
All distance learning modules are assessed by means of a two-hour unseen written examination (with 15 minutes planning/reading time at the start of the examination).
Compulsory module CTM201 is assessed partly by an assessed assignment (80%) and partly by unseen written examination (20%). All other CTM2 modules are assessed by unseen written examination (80%) and an assessed assignment (20%). The compulsory integrating module CTM210, taken by those completing the MSc, is assessed wholly by a final integrating report.
Modules from the other DL courses (EPM3, IDM2, IDM3, IDM5 and PHM2 groups) are assessed partly by the unseen written examination (70%) and partly by assessed assignment (30%). All assignments must be submitted electronically to the School by a set deadline.
Examinations take place once a year in June (please note: it is not possible to hold examinations at other times of year). These are normally held in a student’s country of residence: please click here to view details of the examination centres available. They are arranged mainly through Ministries of Education or the British Council. Students taking distance learning examinations will need to pay a fee to their local examination centre. Please note that if you fail an examination at the first entry you will be allowed one further attempt, if you have failed the module overall.
Credits will be awarded to all modules (15 credits each) and (MSc only) the integrating module (30 credits) successfully completed. To successfully pass an award the following credits must be gained:
Postgraduate Certificate – 60 credits
Postgraduate Diploma – 120 credits
MSc – 180 credits
How you study
You study independently, at a time and pace that suits you (subject to some course-specific deadlines), using the comprehensive study materials provided, with learning support from our academic staff. The academic year runs from the beginning of October through to the June exams, during which time tutorial support is available. MSc students writing the integrating report (CTM210) will continue to have tutorial support over the summer. Deadlines for submission of coursework vary per course but are usually in March, May, August and September.
The Clinical Trials modules are delivered solely online through the School's Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). Students are able to access Moodle after registration and receive details of how to use the environment effectively, together with supplementary online readings and access to e-books. Statistical software (Stata) is sent to students. Students registered for non-Clinical Trials nodules receive copies of study materials after registration. These study materials include: for the EPM modules: CD-ROMs, practical workbooks and textbooks; for he IDM modules: subject guides, CD-ROMS (IDM5 modules only), readers and textbooks; for the PHM modules: textbooks and supplementary readings. Registered students have access to the School's online library resources, and to past examination papers, examiner's reports and relevant course handbooks.
One of the following:
- A first or second-class honours degree, or the equivalent, from a university of other institution acceptable to the University of London, in a subject appropriate to the course.
- An appropriate professional or technical qualification, together with at least three years' relevant experience, which satisfies the University as a qualification equivalent to a second class honours degree. All applications in this category will be considered on an individual basis.
Students who do not satisfy the above requirements may still be admitted at the discretion of the School on the basis of their academic qualifications, work experience and references.
For awards at FHEQ level 7, students must provide satisfactory evidence showing that they have passed within the previous three years a test of proficiency in English at the following minimum level:
- TOEFL score of 600 (or 250 in the computerised test) and a minimum of 5 in the TWE, or
- A British Council (IELTS) overall score of 7 or over with a minimum of 7 in the written sub-test, or
- TOEFL iBT with a minimum overall score of 100 including a minimum score of 24 in the test of written English taken within the last 3 years.
Where an applicant does not meet the prescribed English language proficiency requirements but believes they can demonstrate the requisite proficiency for admission the University may, at its discretion, consider the application.
Online access and general computer requirements:
Supported Browsers include:
- Internet Explorer 7+
- Firefox 5+
- Chrome 13+ (recommended)
Screen resolution (recommended)
1024 x 768 or greater
Application for Study by Distance Learning
The School's distance learning courses are run in collaboration with the University of London International Programmes.
For the distance learning courses applications must be made online to the University of London International Programmes.
Need help with completing your application online? Please check the "How to Apply" section of the University of London website.
If you have any enquiries, please submit your questions online to the University of London International Programmes. Alternatively, please contact:
The Information Centre, University of London, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DN, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8360/8361/8362
Fax: +44 (0)20 7862 8358
Summary of key dates for the MSc Clinical Trials by Distance Learning
|Application deadline||10 September|
|Registration deadline||30 September|
|Start of the course||October|
|Examinations (take place the following year after registration)||June|