HAR674: Randomised Controlled Trials

The Randomised Controlled Trials module is led by Cindy Cooper. It runs in the Spring semester and is worth 15 credits.



The Randomised Controlled Trials module is led by Cindy Cooper. It runs in the Spring semester and is worth 15 credits.

It is one of the modules on:

MSc Clinical Research (NIHR for Academic Clinical Fellows) (core)

This module is available as a CPD option

This module is available faculty-wide in years 1 and 2 as a DDP module


Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are used to test the effectiveness of interventions.

This module covers the appropriate use of trials, the range of trial designs, strategies to optimise recruitment, sample size, outcome measures, the use of economic and qualitative methods alongside trials, the role of clinical trials units, ethical issues and governance procedures.


This unit aims to give students a detailed knowledge of key aspects of randomised controlled trials.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Differentiate across the range of trial designs, evaluating their appropriate use
  • Critically evaluate the key elements of trial design and analysis
  • Design and plan a clinical trial within procedures and guidelines

Teaching methods

Teaching is lecture based. Group exercises based around examples from real trials will develop students’ critical understanding of trial design. 

Independent study will deepen the understanding of design and analysis of trials.


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