Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research

Course Features

  • Designed for science graduates seeking employment in the fast growing clinical research industry
  • Course content designed in collaboration with industry
  • Delivers course content in an intensive 12-week period
  • Equips graduates with recognised employment advantage
  • Based at the UCD Clinical Research Centre

Course Overview

This intensive 12-week programme - delivered in partnership with ICON plc, a global leader in clinical research - is designed for recent science graduates who wish to pursue a career in industry-led research e.g. pharmacuetical, biotechnology or clinical research organisations.

The programme features expert-led modules in clinical trials management, data management and project management as well as an immersive, internship-style research project.

Who Should Take this Course?

If you are interested in being part of teams that focus on innovative patient focused research, this programme is for you. Led by Dr Peter Doran, Director of the UCD Clinical Research Centre, this programme is designed for recent science graduates, who wish to gain a competitive employment advantage in order to pursue a career in bio/pharmaceutical research, biotechnology or within the medical device sector

Delivered in partnership with ICON, a leading clinical research organisation - an Irish company founded in 1990; now a leading clinical research organisation with more than 1000 employees - the programme provides essential business, programme management and technology skills as well as practical experience of clinical trials and data management.

How Will I Learn?

To complete the UCD Grad Cert in Clinical Research you will

  • Participate in 12 weeks of Study
  • Earn 30 ECTS credits
  • Complete 3 different modules
  • Successfully pass all assessments and examinations

You will need to successfully complete the following 3 modules, to generate 30 ECTS credits

  • Clinical trials
  • Data Management & Biostatistics
  • Clinical Trial Management

Entry Criteria

Essential Criteria

Applicants must possess a Level 8 degree or equivalent in any science subject.

Assessment for Entry

Applicants will be assessed for entry to the programme based on the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate performance and final degree award


  • Subject to a large volume of applicants meeting the essential and preferred criteria, random selection may apply
  • Applicants may be asked to participate in an interview

More Information

  • Subject to availability, consideration will be given to graduates of non-science degrees who have subsequent postgraduate experience.
  •  As the clinical research industry is global, demonstrated proficiency in another language may be considered positively.

International Applicants

International applicants should contact with any questions.

Application Details

Important Dates & Information

  • The intake for the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research is September annually. 

Apply Online

  • Click on the link and follow the steps outlined.
  • The “Application Type” is Graduate Taught Courses
  • Fill in your personal details, and when asked about the “Programme Choice”, select Clinic & Trans Research Grad Cert (1) FT X635. The corresponding fee will be applied.
  • Next, enter details of any third level institutions you have attended and professional qualifications you have attained in the “Academic Background” section.
  • Having paid the application fee and received an e-mail receipt, you must continue to complete the application process by pressing “submit”. An e-mail confirming successful application will be sent to you within 24 hours. A detailed, step-by step guide to the online application process is available here.
  • You can track the status of your documentation online. Log in to your account & click on your submitted application. This will bring up an application summary. The application requirements are listed at the end of the summary.
  • If you have any problems or queries with the online application process, email: or telephone: + 353 1 716 1476.

Industry Testimonial

Employer Perspective

Nuala MurphyAs one of the world’s leading contract research organisations, ICON is always looking to recruit high calibre science graduates who are interested in helping pharma companies improve the quality & longevity of patients’ lives by bringing medicines to market faster. The new graduate certificate in clinical research at University College Dublin is the first of its kind in the industry – it provides graduates with a unique blend of industry-specific training and hands-on experience of the clinical trial process through a clinical internship in a hospital setting. Science graduates who complete the programme will have an added advantage over their peers, which will greatly improve their chances of employment within the clinical research industry.

Nuala Murphy, ICON’s Executive Vice President, Global Clinical & Data Operations

Career Opportunities

This course is specifically designed for individuals wishing to pursue subsequent employment within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology or medical device sector or within contract clinical research organisations (CRO's).


Course Fees

For more information on course fees please visit the Fees & Grants Office website. 

Contact Us

For further course information:

Academic Programme Director

Programme Administrator

Prof Peter Doran

Director, UCD Clinical Research Centre
UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science
Catherine McAuley Education & Research Centre
Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
Nelson Street
Dublin 7  


Ms Denise Gosling

Senior Executive Assistant,
UCD Clinical Research Centre
Catherine McAuley Education & Research Centre
Mater Misericordiae Hospital
Nelson Street,
Dublin 7
Tel: +353 1 716 4504

Ms Helen Campion

Senior Executive Assistant,
UCD Clinical Research Centre
Catherine McAuley Education & Research Centre
Mater Misericordiae Hospital
Nelson Street
Dublin 7
Tel: +353 1 716 4587