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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Molecular and Clinical Medicine

Postgraduate Course: Trial Designs (MCLM11080)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryRandomised controlled trials (RCTs) can provide valuable information on whether a cause and effect relationship exists between an intervention(s) and outcome. An appropriate trial design must be selected to ensure the RCT addresses the clinical research question.

This course will provide students with the skillset to demonstrate an understanding of a variety of advanced trial designs, and to critically evaluate the design and reporting of them.
Course description This course will focus on the different types of trial designs that may be used in a RCT. In particular, students will develop their knowledge on a range of trial designs used in phase III RCTs, including cross-over, factorial and adaptive trial designs. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to critically evaluate the benefits, challenges and appropriateness of a chosen trial design to answer a specific clinical research question.

The course will consist of a programme of lectures, peer discussion groups, and independent learning with a required reading list. Students must participate online throughout the course and will have access to supportive tutorials. Students will apply their learning through discussion with peers, online questions, and critically appraising trial reports.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 05/08/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2, Online Activities 70, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 10, Formative Assessment Hours 10, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 92 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed 100% by course work, consisting of:
- Critical appraisal of a clinical trial(s) 60% (learning outcomes 1 and 2)
- Online questions 20% (learning outcome 1)
- Discussion boards 20% (learning outcomes 1 and 2)
Feedback Feedback by course tutors will be provided on all of the summative assessments. Feedback on the critical appraisal assessment will be subject specific and consider generic skills such as academic writing.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the rationale underpinning advanced trial designs
  2. Critically evaluate the benefits, challenges and appropriateness of a trial design to answer a specific clinical research question
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Research and enquiry (problem-solving, analytical thinking, critical thinking, knowledge integration and application, handling complexity and ambiguity, digital literacy, numeracy)
- Enquiry and lifelong learning
- Communication
Keywordstrial design,randomised clinical trials,clinical trials
Course organiserDr Hannah Ensor
Tel: (0131 6)51 9951
Course secretaryMs Rebecca Sewell
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
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