The overarching goal of a masters in clinical research is to equip students with the appropriate skill set to plan and implement research which is oriented at delivering tangible benefits to patients. In essence, therefore, graduates act as the bridge connecting medical research to clinical practice and as such are integral to driving improved efficiencies in the healthcare sector as a whole.
While typically a masters program will involve 2-years of full-time study, part-time study options offering elongated programs are also available. In terms of admissions, prerequisites vary between institutions, but an applicant will need, as a minimum, to have a higher level undergraduate degree in a related discipline. If a prospective student can also point to pertinent professional experience it can help bolster their chances of acceptance further.
One of the most attractive attributes of the clinical research program is the academic flexibility it offers. Students can tailor the curriculum to mirror their long term career goals or personal interests by selecting from a diverse range of elective modules. In this regard, among the most commonly pursued specialities are epidemiology, clinical research management, and laboratory research.
As a virtue of the program’s academic breadth, the range of job opportunities available after graduation is similarly extensive. For example, whereas a student specializing in epidemiology may be targeting a career as a healthcare advocate, a student focusing on laboratory research may have it in mind to become a microbiologist. Furthermore, those students more inclined towards clinical research management may eventually choose to work as health educators.
In addition to opening the door to PhD programs, the qualification can also serve as a gateway to pursuing advanced professional certification in fields as varied as clinical microbiology, environmental science, clinical research coordination, and infection control and epidemiology.
Career prospects for graduates are bright. The continued evolution and expansion of the medical sector means that from pharmaceutical companies to government agencies the demand for qualified clinical researchers is increasing rapidly. As a result, a masters in clinical research is more highly prized than ever before.