Education and training

Do you work in clinical trials and want to know more about cancer trials?

If so you may be interested in our courses which are aimed at those new to academic cancer clinical trials.

Our courses give an introduction to this field of research. Places are limited, and priority is given to applicants actively involved in academic clinical trials working in a UKCRC Registered Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) or for the NIHR Clinical Research Network in the NHS. For example, trial assistants, data managers, trial managers, statisticians, clinicians and research nurses. If you do not fit this category then you can ask to be put on the waiting list for any unfilled places and, if a place is available you will receive notification 2 weeks before the course.

  • Statisticians new to cancer trials should attend the annual Introduction to Cancer Clinical Trials for Statisticians Course.
  • Clinicians may benefit from two of the Trial and data management courses: Running a Trial from Concept to Completion and Trial Outcomes.
  • Experienced trialists wanting to become more effective trainers from any discipline (statistical, regulatory, trial management) may be interested in attending our Train the trainer course
All courses take place at the Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trial Centre.
Trial and data management courses and resources

Until further notice the trial and data management courses are not available for external participants

These courses are aimed at trial managers, data managers, trial assistants, research nurses and trial practitioners new to academic cancer clinical trials. These are introductory courses aimed at those wishing to expand their knowledge.

Available courses and Materials

There are currently no training courses available.

Training resources and materials

To register for one of the above courses please download the registration form () and email the completed form to

Statistician courses & resources

Available courses and Materials

Understanding Statistical Concepts in Research

This is an introductory but intensive programme on the practical application of statistical methods in clinical research. The sessions are based on using examples from the scientific research literature.

This programme is particularly relevant to the following groups:

  • All research students (particularly before starting the project or at the end when analysing and interpreting data)
  • Students with little/ no knowledge of medical statistics or those who wish to refresh their memory

Key themes are:

  • Understanding the different types of data
  • Summarising each type of data
  • Checking and displaying data
  • Making comparisons, and correlations
  • Statistical significance
  • Problems with small studies
  • Regression analyses
  • Considering one factor, or multiple factors at the same time
  • Diagnostic/prognostic tests
  • Interpreting results, and formulating conclusions

A major feature of this course is that there is no algebra or presentation of the mechanics of the statistical methods used, which students say has been a hindrance to understanding medical statistics when taught elsewhere. All analyses should be now done with statistical packages, without the need to understand in detail how the methods work. Our goal is to concentrate on knowing when to use the most appropriate statistical method for each analysis, but importantly, properly understanding the output. Terms such as confidence intervals and p-values are presented using simple language.

All the sessions use examples from the literature, based on a variety of topics from the different faculties (including human and laboratory studies), and are interactive.

The course is run over 4.5 days (two weeks). Exercises are provided at the end of each day, and are discussed by the tutors in the following session. At the end of the last day there will be an opportunity for students to ask questions about their own project in relation to the topics covered during the course, with comments from the tutor and other students.

Professor Allan Hackshaw and Nicholas Counsell
Start date:
Start time:
End time:
This course is only available to UCL research students and bookable through the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme website.
Course materials
Day 1 material
File nameDownload
Introduction and overview
Outcome measures: ‘counting people/things’
Outcome measures: ‘taking measurements on people/things’
Outcome measures: time-to-event data
Making comparisons between two groups
Day 2 material
File nameDownload
Examining and displaying data
Statistical significance (p-values)
Examining a single factor (univariable)
Examining associations (regressions) - ‘taking measurements’
Study design issues, and sample size
Day 3 material
File nameDownload
Examining associations (regressions) - ‘risk’
Examining several factors together (multivariable)
Small studies/unexpected results
Day 4 material
File nameDownload
Multiple groups or comparisons
Other types of regression
Day 5 material
File nameDownload
Examining agreement
Repeated measurements

Statistical Monitoring Programs for R

Below are the programs used in Application of methods for central statistical monitoring in clinical trials. Clinical trials, Volume 10 Issue 5 October 2013 pp. 769 - 792.

The links give the R code and a word document with instructions on how to run the program and interpret the output.

Program nameInstructionsR Code
Dates: Order Checking
Dates: Weekends and National Holidays
Digit Preference: Integers
Digit preference: Benford’s law and comparison with all other sites
Comparison of Means: Chernoff Faces and Star Plots
Checking adverse event rates
Correlation checks
Variance checks
Categorical variables
Web applications

This online application allows the user to design randomised phase 2 trials (with either 2 or 3 arms) using a margin of practical equivalence. This work was done by Dr. Hakim-Moulay Dehbi and will be published in a scientific journal in the near future.

To register for one of the above courses please download the registration form () and email the completed form to

Clinician courses and resources

Information on courses aimed at clinicians can be found here

For more information on partnering with a CTU

Train the trainer

Available courses and Materials

There are currently no training courses available.

Training resources and materials
no resources are available for this section right now

To register for one of the above courses please download the registration form () and email the completed form to

Other education and training

CTC staff also collaborate with the Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology (ICTM) courses as well as undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and our statisticians run a number of UCL graduate skills courses aimed at researchers across UCL

There are currently no training courses available.

Contact Us
Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre
University College London
90 Tottenham Court Road

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+44 (0)20 7679 9898 (General CTC Enquiries)
020 7679 9899
University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT +44 (0)20 7679 2000

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