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The Science Behind Anti-Doping

Key information

Subject area:

FutureLearn Online Courses

Course type:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Credit level:

Not for credit


4 Weeks

Available course dates:

From: 01 September 2023 To: 31 August 2024

Course overview

This fascinating course will cover the life cycle of a sample (blood and urine) collected for anti-doping purposes within sport and explain the science behind the analytical processes involved.

Gain an understanding the WADA anti-doping system

After getting an overview of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), you’ll cover the prohibited drugs list and will get an insight into screening methods of both blood and urine.

You’ll also gain an understanding of the collaborations with WADA (World Anti-doping Agency), UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) and PCC (Partnership for Clean Competition), as well as high profile VIP sports professionals.

Discover how samples are tested and learn about the future of anti-doping

You’ll then see how an accredited anti-doping laboratory needs to meet the highest quality assurance standards in order to serve sporting bodies and professionals.

You’ll also learn how the samples tested and analysed, validated and confirmed, as well as which instruments and scientific processes are used throughout.

Before the course ends, you’ll cover a range of case studies and will gain an insight into future directions of research and development.

Get the know-how from the experts at the Drug Control Centre (DCC)

The internationally renowned Drug Control Centre (DCC) was founded in 1978 in association with the UK Sports Council, and since then has been at the forefront of advances in anti-doping science. It is an integral part of King’s Forensics, a specialised research department at King’s College London.

You’ll be taught by academic and teaching experts who also teach on the postgraduate Master’s degree programmes in Analytical Toxicology and Forensic Science at King’s College London.


What will I achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Reflect on the role of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and the reason why the organisation is so important to everyone involved in sport worldwide.
  • Discuss how the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) provides a robust system for ensuring that quality assurance standards are maintained using validated scientific methods for testing sports samples fairly and appropriately.
  • Explore the science behind the methodology used by an accredited anti-doping laboratory to meet the international standard for laboratories (ISL).
  • Investigate the drugs that are present on the WADA Prohibited List and what the specialist accredited status of the laboratories permitted to carry out testing means in practice.
  • Explore the relationship between UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the London Drug Control Centre (WADA accredited laboratory).
  • Explore current and future practices that are supporting research to improve the capabilities for identifying people who are cheating.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.


Who is this for?

This course is likely to be appealing to non-health professionals, such as journalists and bloggers, as well as amateur athletes, coaches, and others involved in the world of sport.

It’s also suited to anyone who has been interested in the latest doping controversies around the world.


Course status:


Full fee £0



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