Design & Analysis of Cluster Randomised and Stepped Wedge Trials

Online short course

Overview - Design & Analysis of Cluster Randomised and Stepped Wedge Trials

This course will provide attendees with a clear understanding of how to design and analyse cluster randomised trials and stepped wedge trials. Cluster randomised trials and stepped wedge trials are increasingly used to evaluate health and social interventions. This course will cover all aspects of designing and analysing these trials. This includes the rationale for using these designs, specific design issues, the randomisation process, sample size calculations, analytical methods, ethical considerations, trial reporting, and interpretation. We will include case studies from low, middle and high-income settings. Participants will gain practical experience of data analysis using the computer package Stata.

Who is this course for?

The course is taught in Stata. We require students to have experience of the use of Stata for standard epidemiological analyses (e.g. linear, Poisson and logistic regression).

Applicants should have a good command of English and a working knowledge of clinical trials and statistics.


This short course is studied online on a full-time basis for one week. Most participants should expect to spend approximately 7 hours a day on the course. Further details are given on the course objectives tab.


There will be no formal assessment, but participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance.

Course fee

This fee will cover participation in the course and access to the course materials, including videos, course notes, and interactive practical sessions. Comprehensive course notes will be given to participants at the beginning of the course.

Course objectives
Course Content - Design & Analysis of Cluster Randomised and Stepped Wedge Trials

Course content

By the end of this course, attendees will be able to critique and apply a range of appropriate design approaches and analytical methods for cluster randomised and stepped wedge trials.

The course will cover:

  • Key concepts of cluster randomised trials, including measures of between-cluster variation and the rationale for cluster randomisation
  • Design of cluster-randomised trials, including cluster selection and randomisation procedures
  • Calculation of sample size
  • Analysis of cluster randomised trials using both cluster-level summaries and individual-level data (random effects models and generalised estimating equations)
  • Design and analysis of stepped wedge trials
  • Ethical considerations, data monitoring and reporting of CRTs

Teaching format

Teaching will take place through a blend of pre-recorded video lectures and hands-on, live, practical sessions. Participants will be expected to have watched the video lecture before the related practical. There will be a strong emphasis on the practical exercises where participants will have hands-on experience using Stata to analyse illustrative datasets from a variety of trials. 

Live practical sessions will run each day of the course. These live sessions will take place from approximately 10.00am to 4.00pm British Summer Time (BST). The live sessions will take place online using Zoom and therefore participants will need to have a reliable internet service and a PC or laptop with microphone and speakers.

Testimonials - Design & Analysis of Cluster Randomised and Stepped Wedge Trials

"It felt like a package of "what you need to know in order to conduct and analyse a CRT"

"The professors were wonderfully kind and super helpful when questions were asked."

"The combination of theory and lab sessions was very helpful."

"The lectures where well prepared with many examples and the opportunity to practice what we learnt."

"All sessions were amazing, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity of attending the course and learning something from the experts!"

"Very knowledgeable teachers and student-centred approach."

"Good combination of theory and practice."

"The course was absolutely great. All teachers were amazing. One can feel that they are very experts and passionate on what they are doing."

How to apply
How to apply

Applying for this course

Applications for 2021 are now closed. Register your interest to be notified when applications reopen. 

Please read LSHTM's Admissions policies prior to submitting your application.