Advanced Clinical Trials [EL013]

Course highlights

EC points


Start date


End date


Course days

Monday to Friday (5 full days), assignment is due at the end of the course.


Prof Tim Clayton, MSc, Associate Prof Bettina Hansen, PhD

Course fee

€ 1225


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL


Intermediate Advanced


Introductory courses in clinical epidemiology and medical statistics.


  • Clinical Epidemiology


How to apply

Detailed information about this course:


The Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial (RCT) is the most reliable method of assessing the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions. In order to provide the best possible evidence-based health care, health professionals must be able to judge the scientific merits and clinical relevance of published RCTs. In addition, they may be involved in designing and performing a RCT and are frequently asked to recruit patients for RCTs.

Reports published in major medical journals show a surprising variability in methods including choice of study design, blinding, avoidance of bias, outcome measures, effect parameters, sample size calculations, data analysis techniques, presentation of results in tables and figures, and inferences made from the results. Hence, appraising trial reports can be challenging. In designing RCTs many difficult decisions need to be made with respect to these same issues.

In this course these topics and issues will be addressed and developed through lectures and group practical sessions. A laptop during classroom sessions is required in order to do the practical assignments.

See 'how to apply' for the course registration period.


  • Be able to critically appraise and interpret intervention research
  • Understand study design issues related to both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions
  • Understand potential forms of bias in intervention research 
  • Understand the key features of non-inferiority RCTs, factorial RCTs, cross-over RCTs, cluster RCTs, stepped wedge cluster RCTs, pre-randomization, preference trials, cohort multiple RCT, SMART designs, MAMSdesign, basket master protocols, umbrella master protocols, platform designs, and adaptive design
  • Be able to design a study and understand the key elements of a study protocol
  • Understand practical issues in performing a clinical trial
  • Be able to analyse the data from a clinical trial and make justified inferences from the results
  • Be able to synthesize data from published clinical trials 

Participant profile

Medical doctors and medical students involved in patient care or in clinical research. Researchers, clinical epidemiologists, biostatisticians, health technology assessors, and public health professionals with an interest in clinical trials.



Reduction on fees

PLEASE NOTE: This does not apply to the fee of the research master programmes (120 EC points)

No fees are charged for  Erasmus MC PhD candidates, provided they have an account in Hora Finita, the Erasmus University PhD registration system. When submitting the application, you can state that someone else pays your tuition fee.

In case of cancellation or no show, the cancellation policy applies based on the full course fee.


25% reduction for all (international) PhD candidates without formal appointment at Erasmus MC

Upon receipt of your application you will receive a request to upload proof of enrollment as a PhD candidate.