UCC Postgraduate courses

Clinical Trials (Online)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Clinical Trials (Online)

  • Code


  • College

    Medicine and Health

  • Duration

    9 Months Part-time

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees


  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Open for EU applications, check rounds closing under How to Apply

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    30 June 2023

  • Course Delivery Method


  • Start Date

    18 September 2023

Course Outline

Our Masters in Clinical Trials 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 third and final 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

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. 

This is a fully online, part-time, course designed for the working professional. You must complete the Clinical Trials Certificate and Diploma prior to an application to this MSc programme.

MSc Modules (30 credits)

  • EH6131 Dissertation in Clinical Trials (15 credits)
  • EH6134 Research Methods for Clinical Trials (10 credits)
  • EH6135 Embedding Research in Clinical Trials (5 credits)

Programme Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the Clinical Trials MSc programme, you will be able to:

  • Design methodologically sound clinical trials;
  • Employ the appropriate analysis methods with confidence and expertise;
  • Write a clinical trial protocol and/or ethics application;
  • Lead a clinical trial that complies with the highest ethical, legal, regulatory, and scientific standards;
  • Critically evaluate a published clinical trial;
  • Embed primary methodological research in clinical trials;
  • Scrutinise new information in critical, evaluative, and analytical ways.

Please see the Postgraduate Academic Calendar (MSc Clinical Trials) for more information.


Further details on modules can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

The MSc in Clinical Trials is a part-time programme, delivered online, and runs for three 10-week blocks beginning in late September.

Students will access the programme via Canvas, the virtual learning environment, on a daily basis and can expect to dedicate a minimum of 20 hours per week to this programme. As a guide you can expect to devote 300 hours of time per 15-credit module and 150-200 hours of time per 10-credit module.

The MSc year is the research/independent inquiry component of the Masters degree. While there will be some course work and online discussion, the major focus will be research methods and preparing for the dissertation.

Why Choose This Course

Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility 

Our Clinical Trials programmes are run in collaboration with the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility in Cork. 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.

This online Masters in Clinical Trials is designed to give a competitive advantage for those wishing to pursue a career in clinical trials in the pharmaceutical, medical device or academic sectors. It is the first such course in Ireland and is taught by experienced clinical trialists, statisticians and trial regulation experts with experience in designing, analysing and conducting multicentre, multinational trials. It is the only course designed and paced for the working professional.

With three 10-week semesters, a week in the middle and end with no new taught material, this learning experience is for busy professionals. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, managers, scientists, health scientists, food scientists, and workers in the allied health professions are encouraged to apply.

Join us on our exciting journey promoting clinical trials and patient-focused research to improve the health of our citizens.

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 course you can pursue a career in the academic, pharmaceutical, or medical device sectors, in a number of roles such as:

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


  • Applicants accepted on the MSc in Clinical Trials are expected to hold an honours Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Trials (minimum Second Class Honours Grade I from UCC).
  • Applicants applying for the MSc in Clinical Trials and who have obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Trials from an institution other than UCC (minimum Second Class Honours Grade I) will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Clinical Trials Programme Team. Such applicants must: produce the relevant module syllabi from the awarding institution, and proof of their grades for comparison purposes. Such applicants may also be asked to participate in an interview. Decisions on selection to the programme will be made based on academic qualifications and possibly interview.

Technical Requirements

This programme will be delivered wholly online. To access and interact with the course content, assignments and assessments etc., students will require: 

  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 http://www.speedtest.net
  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 that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €10,930.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €11,300.


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

EU student fee payment 

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment 

International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

You can pay by Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please contact the Fees Office.

How Do I 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.

  • For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
  • Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

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.

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 30 June 2023

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact