Due to the hands-on requirement in the program, students can find master's degree programs in clinical research that include online coursework in clinical research and ethics, as well as an internship in the field that must be completed in person. Entrance into this field requires a bachelor's degree, and some programs require applicants to be licensed.
Clinical Research Master's Degree Programs
At the post-baccalaureate level, online clinical research degrees are commonly available in clinical research management or administration. These degree programs are designed for healthcare industry professionals interested in overseeing the complex processes of research trials. Students examine the scientific approach to developing medical products as well as the legal and ethical framework behind clinical trials.
Program enrollment is limited to students with bachelor's degrees. Some programs may require students to be licensed clinical laboratory scientists. Related fields of study include biology and public health.
There are no general education requirements for master's degree students. All coursework deals specifically with issues related to clinical trial administration.
History of Clinical Research
Students explore the evolution of clinical research. Case studies are used to understand research goals, clinical processes and the various responsibilities of research team members.
Ethics and Legality in Research
Laws, ethical codes and government agencies regulate the clinical trial industry. Students examine the development of regulation in the field, with particular attention paid to rights of patients, conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct and independent review boards.
Research Data Analysis
Students learn how to interpret and organize different types of research data. Topics include qualitative analysis, trial proposals and written documentation.
Clinical Research in Practice
The process of researching and testing a pharmaceutical or medical product is discussed. Students explore how to create a project outline and conduct clinical tests.
A typical clinical research program can be completed in two years. Coursework is delivered online through streaming audio and video applications, so a computer with access to the Internet is required. Though online programs are intended to be flexible, some may ask students to participate in scheduled forums or lectures. Many programs also require students to complete field-based internships under the guidance of a mentor.
Graduates of a master's-level program in clinical research management or administration can obtain positions as research associates, coordinators or university teachers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the average wage for medical and clinical laboratory technologists was $61,860, as of May 2015. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that job growth was expected to increase by 17% for medical and health services managers between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).
Online master's degree programs in clinical research typically allow students to view lectures and complete coursework online but require an on-site internship. These programs take about two years to complete, and graduates can find work as teachers, research associates or clinical lab technologists.