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UCC Postgraduate courses

Clinical Trials (Online)

Course Fact File
Duration9 Months
Teaching ModePart-Time
QualificationsPG Dip
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing DateRolling deadline. Open until all places have been filled. Early application is advised.
Non-EU Closing DateOpen until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.
Course Delivery MethodOnline
Start Date23 September 2024

Course Outline

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Trials is an online course that is suitable for those of you wishing to pursue a career in clinical trials in the pharmaceutical, medical device, or academic sectors.

This is the second year of an online 3-year part-time Clinical Trials suite of programmes:

Year 1 Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Trials 30
Year 2 Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Trials 30
Year 3 MSc Clinical Trials 30

This is a fully online, part-time, programme designed for the working professional. You must complete the Certificate and Diploma in Clinical Trials prior to application to the MSc in Year 3. With three 10-week semesters, a week in the middle and end to catch up and complete work, this learning experience caters to the busy professional life of our students.

Our Clinical Trials programmes are run in collaboration with the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility in Cork. The HRB provides dedicated infrastructure, experienced research and support staff, and the necessary quality and oversight programs that are critical for the successful conduct of world-class patient-focused research. 

Diploma Modules (30 credits)

  • EH6126 Advanced Clinical Trial Design and Analysis (10 credits)
  • EH6127 Regulated Clinical Trials and Pharmacovigilance (10 credits)
  • EH6128 Management of Multicentre Studies (10 credits)

Programme Learning Outcomes 

On successful completion of this Diploma programme, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate application of complex clinical trial design and analysis;
  • Identify and apply the practical and management issues in the design and implementation of clinical trials;
  • Apply clinical trial regulations to the conduct of clinical trials;
  • Apply key ethical principles when conducting clinical trials;
  • Critically evaluate all aspects of how clinical trials are managed, reviewed and reported;
  • Demonstrate effective communication and discussion skills and write effectively through ongoing participation in online discussions.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

The Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Trials is a part-time programme delivered wholly online and runs for three 10-week blocks (comprising 8 teaching weeks and 2 weeks' reflection and absorption) beginning in late September. You can expect to dedicate up to 20 hours per week to this Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Trials course. Each 10-credit module typically involves:

  • 80hr(s) directed study (online self-directed learning)
  • 40hr(s) directed study (online moderated activities)
  • 40hr(s) other (online written assignment reflection and development)
  • 40hr(s) other (reading and reflective practice)

Assessments include online discussions, individual project work, and other online assessments. Students will be expected to log-in to Canvas, the virtual learning environment, on a daily basis.

Why Choose This Course

Our Clinical Trials suite of programmes is designed to give a competitive advantage for those of you wishing to pursue a career in clinical trials in the pharmaceutical, medical device or academic sectors. It is the first such programme in Ireland providing a pathway for progression to an MSc Clinical Trials.

The Clinical Trials programme is delivered in liaison with the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility at UCC, a world-class centre of excellence, with experts in clinical trial design and analysis. This collaboration, between UCC's College of Medicine and Health and the Health Research Board, positions UCC at the forefront of patient-focused research within Ireland, and enhances its international reputation for research excellence.

The PG Diploma provides a pathway for progression to the MSc Clinical Trials and is the only course designed and paced for the working professional. We encourage physicians, nurses, dentists, managers, scientists, health scientists, food scientists, and workers in allied health professions to consider this programme.

Skills and Careers Information

Clinical Trials is a rapidly expanding discipline with exciting new job opportunities in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. On completion of the programme, you can pursue a career in the academic, pharmaceutical, or medical device sectors that include the following roles:

  • Clinical Trialist
  • Quality Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Trial Monitor
  • Data Associate
  • Data Manager
  • Clinical Research Nurse
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Research Coordinator
  • Pharmacovigilance Associate
  • Regulatory Affairs Associate


    1. Applicants accepted on the Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Trials are expected to hold an honours Postgraduate Certificate Clinical Trials (minimum Second Class Honours  Grade II from UCC).
    2. Applicants applying for the Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Trials and who have obtained a Postgraduate Certificate Clinical Trials or Postgraduate Certificate Clinical Research (or equivalent Postgraduate Certificate) from an institution other than UCC (minimum Second Class Honours  Grade II) will be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) on a case-by-case basis by the Clinical Trials Programme team. Such applicants must:
    3. produce the relevant module syllabi from the awarding institution, and proof of their grades for comparison purposes and
    4. write a 500-word personal statement on why they wish to pursue a career in clinical trials.
    5. Such applicants may also be asked to participate in an interview. Decisions on selection to the programme will be made based on academic qualifications, personal statement, and a possible interview.

  Technical Entry Requirements (Online)

    1. You will need access to a laptop or desktop (either Mac OS or Windows) running a relatively recent operating system (Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 or Mac OSX 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, or later). Access to the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment is supported by UCC through IOS and Android apps, which are available from the respective App stores.
    2. You will need access to a reliable broadband connection with at least 2MB download speeds. You can test your broadband or 4G speeds by visiting
    3. You must have a modern web browser installed. The most reliable options for use with UCC online learning are Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Download and installation instructions will be provided. Safari is not suitable.
    4. You must have Java and Flash Runtimes installed. Download and installation instructions will be provided.
    5. You will require an Office suite of software (Microsoft Office 2003 or later or equivalent) and a PDF reader (preferably Adobe Acrobat Reader XI or later). Please note that registered UCC students have access to discounted software from Microsoft and Adobe.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements 

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following: 

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Open until all places have been filled or no later than 30 June. Early application is advised.

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact