Skip to main content

Clinical Research (MSc)

We're committed to delivering programmes that are innovative and relevant, providing the best learning outcomes and career prospects for our students. In light of this, we're currently reviewing some elements of this programme. As such, the details shown are subject to change and indicative only. You can still apply now. We'll update this page and contact all offer holders when the review is complete to confirm any changes.

This course offers knowledge and expertise relevant to a senior role in clinical research in a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, device, contract research or site management company or the NHS.

MSc Clinical Research

If your line of work involves clinical research, this course is designed to help you advance and enhance your career.

Whether you work in the pharmaceutical industry, health service, for a contract research organisation, regulatory authority, data management organisation or in medical writing, we have tailored this programme to give you an outstanding grounding in clinical research skills and knowledge.

It’s the leading part-time, face-to-face MSc in Clinical Research and, by undertaking this course, you’ll be equipped to meet good clinical practice and regulatory quality standards for developing new healthcare interventions to improve treatments for patients.

The programme presents an overview of clinical trial processes and the regulations for bringing in a new chemical entity, and explores a broad range of therapeutic areas and their treatments in relation to clinical trials, drug registrations and drug safety.

We will support you to move confidently between these therapeutic areas and therefore increase your potential value to employers. In your dissertation year, you’ll be encouraged to carry out projects which have direct value to your employer, making this a highly attractive course for your employer to support.

This part-time MSc programme is recognised by the pharmaceutical industry and the Health Service as being of outstanding quality and practical value in the work place to clinical research professionals.

The programme is run over three calendar years of part-time study and is in a modular format. Teaching happens over four two-day sessions per year which takes place within Cardiff’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  These session are always scheduled at weekends to accommodate students’ existing employment commitments.

Distinctive features

  • You will gain advanced understanding of best practice in clinical research to apply to running clinical trials.

  • You’ll experience in-depth training in drug development, clinical trials, and regulatory GCP requirement for clinical trials

  • Lecturers from Pharmaceutical Industry will provide you with an up-to-date overview on key developments in Clinical Research

  • Clinical Research trainers deliver a variety of teaching methods that enhance the course and will stimulate your learning.

  • The therapeutic modules will widen your skills in an array of medical settings.

  • The diversity of employment backgrounds of participants affords an ideal environment for networking with other clinical research personnel.

  • You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a research project at an internationally recognised research school at Cardiff University.

  • You’ll receive close academic support from an experienced personal tutor with an international background in compliance with clinical trial GCP and regulatory requirements.

  • You’ll develop critical analysis, personal reflection and enhanced clinical trial project communication and problem solving skills for career development in clinical research.

‘Studying at Cardiff University for the MSc in Clinical Research as was both enjoyable and rewarding as it gave me the opportunity to further my career. I was greatly impressed by the excellent teaching and the support I received during my final year dissertation. And I had the chance to work in a Clinical Trial and Research Unit which was invaluable. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the course.’

Manish, MSc Clinical Research

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModePart-time - distance learning

Admissions criteria

Students wishing to enrol on this programme will normally possess an initial degree in the biological or life sciences or a healthcare-related subject awarded by a recognised Institution. 

At the discretion of the University, non-graduates with a sufficient qualification (e.g. a nursing qualification) and with relevant experience may also be admitted on to the programme provided you are deemed to be able to demonstrate equivalent skills that are sufficient to meet the demands of the course.

English Language Requirements: A score of IELTS 6.5 overall with5.5 in all subskills or equivalent qualification.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

Module titleModule codeCredits
Clinical ResearchPHT10130 credits
TherapeuticsPHT10230 credits

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Advanced Clinical ResearchPHT20130 credits
Complementary TherapeuticsPHT20230 credits

Year three

Module titleModule codeCredits
Research MethodsPHT30160 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Clinical research is an expanding and highly competitive area. Undertaking this MSc will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to advance and enhance a career in clinical research. 

This programme is suitable for graduates from healthcare, life sciences or other related disciplines, and healthcare professionals who are interested in a career in clinical trials in the health service, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, device  industries, Contract Research Organisations/ suppliers to the pharmaceutical industry. It is also ideal for professionals working in clinical trials who wish to further develop their knowledge and skills of clinical trials.

Potential career opportunities include clinical trials, clinical research, clinical data management, regulation of clinical trials, medical writing, academic clinical trials, Phase I clinical trials units, the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, archiving in clinical trials, quality assurance in clinical trials, clinical research project management, clinical trial administration, clinical trial co-ordinator, clinical trial administration/support to clinical trials and more.

After successfully completing this course, you will have an advanced standing both clinically and academically, with the potential to be at the forefront of your chosen profession.