Free Online Courses for Learning Clinical Trial Basics

Lisa Haddican
January 15th, 2014

At Forte Research Systems, we believe in providing free educational resources to help organizations improve their clinical research operations. We also like to share helpful resources that we find on the web. Here are four websites that offer free courses for learning about clinical trial fundamentals and other industry related topics.


This website offers an array of free courses on all topics related to health and society. For example, the University of Pittsburgh will offer “Clinical Terminology for International and U.S. Students” in July, 2015 through Coursera. This six week course teaches participants the structure and meaning of terms and acronyms commonly used in the early stages of clinical work.

Coursera also provides courses based on hot topics in the clinical research industry. UNSW Australia is currently offering a course until July 21, 2015 on Coursera titled “Myths and Realities of Personalised Medicine: The Genetic Revolution.” This course is divided into eight sections that cover both the basics of genetic science as well as the past, present and future technological advances of personalised medicine in clinical research.


Similar to, this website features a variety of free live and archived classes related to health and safety. It is currently offering a course titled, “Fundamentals of Clinical Trials.” This archived course covers the basic how-to’s of clinical research, including trial design and result analysis.


Future Learn allows learners to communicate during courses with unique discussion segments intended to enhance the learning experience. This website features two course sections relevant to the clinical research industry: health and psychology and science, maths and technology. Future Learn currently offers an August, 2015 course titled “Cancer in the 21st Century: the Genomic Revolution” presented by the University of Glasgow. The course explains the influence of genetics in cancer research over the past decade and allows students to participate in an internet-based investigation of cancer medicine.


This website acts as a searchable hub for available online courses, providing results from a variety of free sites including Coursera, edX and FutureLearn, while also offering its own course material. Class Central has an extensive health and medicine course section that covers a variety of topics, including those relevant to the clinical research industry. The site currently offers an archived course presented by the University of Sheffield titled “Health Technology Assessment” (HTA). This course introduces students to the concept through evaluation and appraisal of technologies and outcomes using the HTA decision-making process.

Keeping up with the demands of clinical research can be difficult, but utilizing free resources such as these to educate employees will likely improve the quality of work performed on site and may enhance the overall work environment.

Know of other free resources we missed? Let us know in the comment section. 


9 thoughts on “Free Online Courses for Learning Clinical Trial Basics

    1. Hi Zafar,

      As all of the sites listed are external, I’m unaware if all courses would provide a certificate for recognition purposes. It would likely be on a course-by-course basis and it may be beneficial to reach out to the sites individually for more information. At Forte, we provide a certificate of attendance to each webinar attendee within 24 hours following the webinar. If you’d like more information on our internal educational webinars, here’s a link:

      Thanks for your comment!


  1. good to know about the free online classes……pls tell when it will start …is ur course is certified???fees & all

    1. Hi Suchitra,

      As all the courses listed are on external websites, I would recommend researching fees and credits on a course-by-course basis. Here at Forte, we offer free webinars once or twice a month covering a variety of topics, such as patient recruitment, compliance and regulatory, financials, etc. Although we don’t offer credits for these webinars, we provide a certificate of attendance to all webinar attendees for them to use as they choose. You can visit our Resources page to learn more about upcoming webinars:

      Thanks for your comment!


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