M.Sc. Clinical Trials (Distance Learning) (online)

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
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.



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.

Aims and objectives

The course aims to develop:

  • a theoretical and practical understanding of the issues involved in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of randomised controlled trials of health interventions.
  • skills to scrutinize information, to critically analyse and carry out research, and to communicate effectively.


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.

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. Students carrying out projects are assigned personal supervisors to support their project work throughout the summer. Those writing the Clinical Trials integrating report will also 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.

Study materials

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.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline 30 June
Tuition fee
  • GBP 11650 per year (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

Start date
Credits 180 credits
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode Online
Educational variant Full-time
Structure Self-paced
Teacher support Continuous support with feedback on request

Course Content

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.

Course Structure

  • 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 selection groups EPM3/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
  • EPM303 Epidemiology of Non-communicable Diseases
  • EPM304 Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
  • EPM306 Human Genetic Epidemiology
  • IDM201 Bacterial Infections
  • IDM202 Nutrition and Infection
  • IDM203 Parasitology
  • IDM204 Viral Infections
  • IDM205 Healthcare-Associated Infection
  • IDM210 Water and Sanitation
  • IDM213 Immunology of Infection and Vaccines
  • IDM301 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries
  • 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
  • PHM208 Financial Management
  • 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

(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.

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.

English Language Requirements

TOEFL paper-based test score (read more)
TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more


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.

Computer Requirements

Online access and general computer requirements:

As one of our students, you need to have regular access to a computer and the internet. This may be for accessing the Student Portal, downloading course materials from the Virtual Learning Environment, and accessing resources from the Online Library. You will also need to have access to appropriate software, for example, a PDF reader and suitable hardware capacity on your computer e.g. for document storage. Additional requirements include that you have JavaScript and cookies enabled to access particular online systems such as the Student Portal.

Supported Browsers include:

  • Internet Explorer 7+
  • Firefox 5+
  • Chrome 13+

Screen resolution (recommended)

  • 1024 x 768 or greater

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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