Clinical Trials

University College Cork

Clinical Trials

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 Qualification Credits
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.

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.

Subjects taught

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)

Entry requirements

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).

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:

produce the relevant module syllabi from the awarding institution, and proof of their grades for comparison purposes and

write a 500-word personal statement on why they wish to pursue a career in clinical trials.

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)

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.

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

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.

You must have Java and Flash Runtimes installed. Download and installation instructions will be provided.

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.

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.

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.

Application dates

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023

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.

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.

Assessment Info

Assessments can be expected to comprise of discussion fora (20%), individual project (40%) and other online assessments (40%). Each 10-credit module comprises 200 Marks (pro-rata for larger or smaller modules) divided as follows: Continuous Assessment 200 marks (Online activities 120 marks; and Written Assignment(s) 80 marks). The compulsory elements are continuous assessment, online participation in discussions and written assignment.


9 Months Part-Time
Course Delivery Method Online

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 21 September 2020

Post Course Info

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

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider