Improving healthcare through clinical research

Every tablet that’s prescribed, every treatment that’s given and every test that’s performed has to be first discovered and then thoroughly tested before it can be put into practice. This process takes many years, and is done in a variety of ways, which we collectively call research. When this research involves people like you and me, we call it clinical research.

Without clinical research, we wouldn’t have many of the life-saving and life-changing treatments available today. One way you can improve your understanding of clinical research is by taking part in a free online course, called ‘improving healthcare through clinical research‘. This massive open online course (MOOC) has been created by the National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) and the digital learning team at the University of Leeds. It begins on Monday 7th November 2016!

This free online course is all about the process of discovery and how it is used to improve healthcare. The course explains why we do research and how we do it. This will be brought to life through cases studies and short videos covering topics such as how research is helping to find new ways of treating and providing care for some of the major health conditions affecting people, including cancer and dementia. There will also be a focus on the important ethical questions raised by clinical research and what is likely to come in the future. The course is designed to provide around four hours of learning a week. Over a four week period, you will be able to follow the process of scientific discovery from a number of perspectives. Don’t worry though – it’s not like being in school! You’ll be able to do as much or as little as you want. The course is also available beyond the four week time period, so that you can tailor your learning to your needs and existing circumstances.

Improving healthcare through clinical research will be of special interest to students at school or college, undergraduates or postgraduates who are contemplating or pursuing a career in healthcare or the life sciences, as well as members of the public, patient research partners, health and social care professionals and practitioners who want to find out more about the role of clinical research in improving healthcare.

By the end, you will have a much better understanding of not only the challenges of conducting clinical research, but also the enormous benefits that it can offer to modern healthcare. You can sign up for the course by visiting http://www.futurelearn.com/courses/clinical-research. The course has also been certified by The CPD Certification Service so by completing the course, you will have achieved 16 hours of continuous professional development time. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #FLclinical to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course too!

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