The introduction to the module presents the topics that are discussed as well as how to proceed. The estimated time required to work through the module content is provided. The introduction also lists the learning objectives and outcomes of the module.


All the activities of the module are grouped in the menu separately from the content. They are of two types:

Activities include (i) drafting the clinical development plan of a recently registered vaccine using public information, (ii) proposing a new TB vaccine, (iii) writing an informed consent form compliant with guidelines, (iv) define the action plan following the occurrence of a serious adverse event in a clinical trial, (v) building a complete development plan for an improved vaccine against yellow fever, including technical and financial constraints, (vi) the critical reading of numerous scientific papers, including the first publication of Edward Jenner, (vii) considering the constraints on the implementation of devices for vaccine delivery, (viii) studying the environmental assessment of the first licensed recombinant human viral vaccine, and more!


The course content is a set of web pages linked in a hierarchical way that are accessed through a menu located on the left of the screen similar to the one you see now. Menu items can be expanded by clicking on the triangles. Pages contain summarized information (smallpox sample content), links to external web pages, illustrations, animations (sample animations), movies, sound, and access to scientific literature. The content can be studied independently on its own or accessed from the different activities. Page content is enhanced with additional information that can be viewed in an expanded text area or in a pop-up window if an illustration or an animation is needed.


Each large section or submodule concludes with a self-assessment to help you check if you met your learning objectives. Self-assessments are auto-corrected quizzes consisting of a variety of multiple choice questions (sample assessment).

Each module concludes with an exam of 100 multiple choice questions. A final exam will take place in Lausanne at the end of the first year in the form of multiple choice questions and an oral examination.

Individual Activities

Document reading

In document reading activities, the understanding of the key messages is facilitated by the use of annotations in the document as well as thought questions to be answered using the assessment tool. through either free text and/or multiple choice questions. Content relative to the document will be provided through the menu. The documents are either scientific articles, protocols, regulatory reports or regulatory guidelines.

Case studies

In case studies, a situation is presented and students must select the solution they consider the most adapted and justify their choice. Relevant content will be proposed along the progress of the case. Students who made the wrong choice will be explained why they got it wrong and will be redirected to the right track.

Group activities

A study question is proposed to all students who are divided into small groups. Each group is assigned a subset of the global task. Group members work individually and together to prepare a text document and/or a set of slides summarizing their findings and proposals to the other groups. All group members then work together and use the output of each group to prepare a consensus response to the study question as an executive text summary and set of slides. All the discussions will take place via the forum tool and using a word processor, spreadsheet and slide drafting software available on an online collaborative platform. Such a tool allows multiple people to work together on the same document seamlessly. The system keeps track of versions in the background so that no information is lost.

For example, an activity of module 3 on vaccine development is to assess the current vaccine against yellow feverin a product life cycle perspective, to define if it can be improved and, if yes, under which limitations and constraints. The different tasks are summarized in the linked page.