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Clinical Trials: Evidence and Design

Different clinical study designs provide varying levels of evidence. Learn how to evaluate the strength of evidence from clinical trials and how this evidence is used to underpin evidence-based medicine, regulation of therapeutic goods and health policy.

About this course

Clinical trials are an essential tool for establishing the safety and efficacy of medical treatments and are integral to evidence-based medicine and the regulation of therapeutic goods. Understanding how to interpret clinical evidence is important for a range of professions in pharmaceutical, clinical practice and health research and policy fields. 

In this course, participants will learn to identify different trial designs along with their advantages and limitations and develop skills in the interpretation of evidence from clinical trials. They will also learn how this evidence is used for drug development, clinical care and the approval of therapeutic goods.

Course outline

The following content will be covered during the course:

  • Module 1:  Introduction and clinical trials basics
  • Module 2:  Clinical trial designs
  • Module 3: Interpreting evidence from clinical trials
  • Module 4: Application of evidence from clinical trials


Key benefits of this microcredential

This microcredential aligns with the 2-credit point subject, Clinical Trials: Evidence and Design (60002) in one of the following postgraduate offerings: Master of Science (C04241) or Master of Medical Biotechnology (C04390). This microcredential may qualify for recognition of prior learning at this and other institutions.

Who is this course for?

Anyone with an interest in the clinical trials sector would benefit from this course, and in particular,  science and medical graduates, medical researchers and allied health professionals who wish to learn more about the clinical trials process and how the evidence from clinical trials is implemented.

Course information

Course learning objectives

The learning objectives for this course are:

  • Understand the context of clinical trials and why they are used
  • Identify different types of trial design and list the advantages and limitations of each
  • Evaluate evidence from clinical trials with reference to the study design, reported statistics and study objectives
  • Describe how evidence from clinical trials can be translated into treatments, policy and clinical guidelines.


  • Four quizzes (15% each) - multiple-choice questions delivered at the end of each module.
  • Written case study (40%)

Teaching and learning strategies

This course incorporates a range of teaching and learning strategies, including live presentations, discussions, case studies and group activities. Online workshops are scheduled throughout the four-week teaching period for participants to interact with instructors and peers.

Enrolment requirements

Participants must achieve 50% or more of total marks overall.

Mandatory requirements


Recommended background in Health or Science.

Required texts

All materials will be provided online.

Participant requirements and equipment

Access to a computer and reliable internet.



22 February




5 wks

Meet the Expert

Dr Catherine Burke

Dr Catherine Burke
Senior Lecturer

Dr Catherine Burke is a microbiologist with 10 years of research experience since the award of her PhD in 2010.  Her research is focused on the human microbiome and she collaborates widely with clinical and disease experts to study associations of the microbiome with various states of health and disease, including interventional and observational clinical studies.

Catherine also works with model systems in the laboratory to study the mechanisms by which our resident bacteria influence our health.

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Book a session

Mon 22 Feb 2021 -
Fri 26 Mar 2021
Expert: Dr Catherine Burke
  • Online
  • Online
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