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Diploma in Experimental Therapeutics


Overview and who should apply

monitor3The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine runs a 2-year training programme and qualification called the Diploma in Experimental Therapeutics (DET). It is intended for physicians conducting Phase I/II studies predominantly in patients within their clinical specialty e.g. oncology, rheumatology, in a hospital clinical research facility.

The DET comprises supervised, structured workplace training with production of a portfolio of completed work, reflective learning and evidence of appropriate clinical and investigator skills. In addition trainees are required to attend three courses. These cover exploratory drug development including 'first-in-human' studies (5 days), drug development pharmacology (5 days) at an advanced level and management of adverse events in Phase I studies (1 day). The two 5-day courses are run at King's College London.  In addition to post-course tests and assignments, there is also a DET examination administered by the Faculty (see below).

sciandmicroThe Diploma is recognised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as the most appropriate qualification for accreditation of PIs in the pharmaceutical industry and is taken into account in the MHRA accreditation of study units.  The DET is aimed at doctors working in contract research organisations and also NHS doctors working in various specialities such as oncology, rheumatology, experimental medicine and clinical pharmacology, who are involved in early clinical trials of investigational medicines.

Structure and Curriculum


Curriculum for the Diploma in Experimental Therapeutics


  1. A period of approximately 18 months’ supervised training in the workplace with evidence of attainment of defined investigator skills (Learning Objectives) provided by a portfolio and quality assured assessments;
  2. Maintenance of up-to-date clinical skills including satisfactory completion of an Advanced Life Support or equivalent course;
  3. Attendance at two five-day DHP training courses at King’s College London (KCL), completion of the course assignments to a satisfactory standard and a pass in each of the KCL MCQ post-course tests;
  4. A FPM Multiple Choice Question single written examination paper. 


In addition, those who have successfully completed the DET curriculum will be required to have gained a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in their specialty.




Maintaining clinical skills

Acquisition and maintenance of up-to-date clinical skills including satisfactory completion of an Advanced Life Support or equivalent course


  • workshop2Attendance at two five-day courses run at King's College, London with satisfactory completion of post-course tests and assignments. These cover exploratory drug development including 'first-in-human' studies and drug development pharmacology at an advanced level
  • Attendance at a one-day course on prevention and management of adverse events in Phase I studies
  • Any other courses deemed necessary depending on the individual trainee's needs


A DET examination administered by the Faculty comprising one multiple-choice question paper focusing on scientific knowledge.

Registration and key dates

The fee for trainees enrolling on the DET programme is £2500 which includes exam fees. Fees for the teaching and materials associated with the DHP courses are charged separately by the provider, King's College London. The fee does not include travel or accommodation expenses. A reduction of fees is available for trainees who are also enrolled in Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST).

Initial application for the DET requires submission of the completed CV template to the Faculty office - Examinations and Standards Manager - The CV will then be reviewed for eligibility and if provisionally approved you will be sent an enrolment pack. Please view the document summarising the enrolment process and also the templatefor structuring your CV.

The next DET examination will take place on Monday 4th March 2019 at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in London. Please see the Examination Guidance for Candidates and Regulations and Procedures and Examination Appeal Procedure.