Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit
The University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham
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Short course: Online Introduction to Clinical Trials 

Module 1 "Trial Design" 

Module 2 "Trial Conduct" 




The course introduces the key considerations when designing and conducting a randomised clinical trial. The course is split into two Units: Unit 1 is Trial Design and Unit 2 is Trial Conduct.  During Unit 1, delegates will learn why clinical trials are necessary, how different kinds of trials are designed and how bias can be minimised.  Unit 2 includes how trials are managed and then analysed, interpreted and reported.  Delegates can choose to attend just one Unit or both.  Neither Unit will consider non-randomised trials or other observational designs, or trials evaluating diagnostic tests.  We will primarily focus on large multi-centre clinical trials, considering both drug and complex intervention trials.

The course is offered solely online via Microsoft Teams over a 4 week period (2 weeks per Unit).  During this time, delegates will have access to all course materials, including pre-recorded slides and additional activities.  Slides and activities can be accessed at any point enabling delegates to learn at a time that is convenient to them.  Each Unit comprises a variety of sessions and each session has an organised "live" session with a course tutor.  These are organised sessions that all delegates are encouraged to attend, though attendance is not mandatory.  The sessions will offer delegates an opportunity to talk live to the course tutor and other delegates, ask questions they may have about the content they've accessed and explore activity content.

The course will run again later in 2021.


By the end of the course, participants should:

Unit 1 "Trial Design"

  • understand when and why randomised controlled trials are necessary
  • understand and evaluate methods to minimise bias in the design and conduct of randomised controlled trials
  • be aware of different designs for randomised trials and their use
  • be aware what information is required in order to estimate the size of a trial
  • be able to participate in the design of a randomised clinical trial
  • have an understanding of other methodologies including qualitative and health economics
  • understand the importance of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) throughout the lifecycle of a trial

Unit 2 "Trial Conduct"

  • understand when and which approvals and regulations are needed in clinical trials
  • have an understanding of a clinical trial protocol and other trial documentation
  • have an understanding of factors to consider when undertaking a multi-centre clinical trial
  • be aware of trial safety and requirements for clinical trials involving medicinal products
  • have an understanding of risk assessment, data collection and monitoring of trial data
  • know how to report and interpret results from a randomised clinical trial

Is this course for you?

The course is intended for anyone seeking an introductory course on randomised controlled trials, and who is likely to be involved in the design, conduct and management, analysis, reporting or review of clinical trials.


Course tutors

All sessions on the course will be led by experienced trialists and staff from Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit.


Early Bird rate (book before the end of 2020):

One Unit (either Unit 1 or Unit 2) £210

Both Units £350

Standard rate (book after 1 January 2021)

One Unit (either Unit 1 or Unit 2) £245

Both Units £415


What does the course include?

All course materials will be provided by Microsoft Teams.  Delegates will be provided with guidance and full joining instructions on how to access the online material and the live sessions with course tutors.


Terms and conditions

In the event that you need to cancel your booking we ask that you give as much notice as possible.  Participants cancelling more than two weeks before the start of the course will be eligible for a full refund, after that time you will be charged the full course fee.  In the unlikely event that the short course has to be cancelled, our liability is limited to course fees only.  If you need to cancel, please email your request to

For further information please contact or 0115 8231600




Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit

General enquiries
Telephone: +44 (0)115 8231600