Taught course

Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research

FutureLearn · FutureLearn
Professional Development

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Entry requirements

This course is designed for anyone who wants to know more about modern healthcare, and the role of clinical research and discovery within it. It will be of special interest to undergraduates or postgraduates who are contemplating a career in healthcare or the life sciences, as well as health and social care professionals and practitioners who want to find out more about the role of clinical research in improving healthcare. No previous knowledge is needed to take this course.

Months of entry


Course content

Everything we do in healthcare - every tablet that’s prescribed, every treatment that’s given and every test that’s performed - has to be first discovered and then thoroughly evaluated before it can be put into practice.

This discovery and evaluation is done in a variety of ways, which collectively we call “research.” And research that involves people, we call “clinical research.”

What will I learn?

This free online course is all about this process of discovery and how it is used to improve healthcare. Together, we will look in detail at why we do research and how we do it. We will bring this to life through cases studies covering topics such as how research is helping to find new ways of treating and providing care for some of the major diseases including cancer and dementia. Through the course we will focus on the important ethical questions raised by clinical research and take a look into the future.

Over four weeks, we will speak to different members of a research team, including academics and clinicians from the National Institute of Health Research and the University of Leeds. We will also hear from the ordinary people who have participated in clinical research studies.

We’ll learn how they all make invaluable contributions to the process of discovery. By the end, you will have a much better understanding of not only the challenges of conducting clinical research, but also the enormous benefits that it can offer to modern healthcare.

What do previous learners say?

In this video you can hear from people who participated in the course the last time it was run. Here are a few comments from past learners:

  • “It made me look at research in a different light…it gave me confidence.”
  • “Anything that helps us to improve patient care, has got to be a good thing.”
  • “Helps you understand that people don’t do research to you….they can not do research without you.”
  • “Everyone has different questions and views on research, this brings it all together.”


This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. By completing the course you will have achieved 16 hours of CPD time.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Professional Development
    part time
    1 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details