This Masters in Cancer Sciences will prepare you for a career in cancer science, whether you aim to pursue a PhD or further medical studies, or seek a career in the health services sector, in the life sciences, biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries. Our programme takes a 'bench to bedside' approach, enabling graduates to work within a multidisciplinary environment of world-leading scientists and cancer-specialists to address the latest challenges in cancer research.
This 13 week core course aims to:
One week of practical training is provided at the start of the course. This course is assessed through a lab notebook, group assessment, critical essay and an exam that focuses on data analysis and interpretation.
In the second semester, you can choose from a range of 3 week optional courses, before taking the core course “Designing a Research Project”.
In this 14 week core course you will:
Note: students must have a minimum of grade C in semesters 1 and 2 in order to proceed to the research project.
The knowledge and transferable skills developed in this programme will be suitable for those contemplating a PhD or further medical studies, those wishing to work in the health services sector, and those interested in working in the life sciences, biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries, including contract research organisations (CROs). This programme is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in the life sciences, scientists working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and clinicians and other healthcare professionals.
The Cancer MSc reflects the depth and breadth of research interests, from basic science to translational medicine, within the UCL Cancer Institute. The programme, taught by research scientists and academic clinicians, provides students with an in-depth look at the biology behind the disease processes which lead to cancer.
This programme offers a foundation in understanding cancer as a disease process and its associated therapies. Students learn about the approaches taken to predict, detect, monitor and treat cancer, alongside the cutting-edge research methods and techniques used to advance our understanding of this disease and design better treatment strategies.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), four specialist modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks) is offered.
All MSc students undertake a laboratory project, clinical trials project or systems biology/informatics project, which culminates in a 10,000–12,000 word dissertation and an oral research presentation.
Teaching and learning
Students develop their knowledge and understanding of cancer through lectures, self-study, database mining, wet-lab based practicals, clinical trial evaluations, laboratory training, assigned reading and self-learning. Each taught module is assessed by an unseen written examination and/or coursework. The research project is assessed by the dissertation (75%) and oral presentation (25%).
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Cancer MSc
The knowledge and skills developed will be suitable for those in an industrial or healthcare setting, as well as those individuals contemplating a PhD or medical studies in cancer.
Skills include critical evaluation of scientific literature, experimental planning and design interpretation of data and results, presentation/public speaking skills, time management, working with a team, working independently and writing for various audiences.
UCL is one of Europe's largest and most productive centres of biomedical science, with an international reputation for leading basic, translational and clinical cancer research.
The UCL Cancer Institute brings together scientists from various disciplines to synergise multidisciplinary research into cancer, whose particular areas of expertise include: the biology of leukaemia, the infectious causes of cancer, the design of drugs that interact with DNA, antibody-directed therapies, the molecular pathology of cancer, signalling pathways in cancer, epigenetic changes in cancer, gene therapy, cancer stem cell biology, early phase clinical trials, and national and international clinical trials in solid tumours and blood cancers.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Cancer Institute
80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The MSc in Cancer Medicine will provide students with new knowledge of how precision medicine can improve and shape future healthcare. Students will gain hands-on experience of molecular techniques and the equipment/devices used in a modern molecular laboratory; the course will provide training in laboratory and research skills that are applicable across multiple scientific disciplines in a supportive learning environment. Students will be able to evaluate how novel therapeutic approaches can be used to stratify patients into treatment groups for better clinical management (stratified / precision medicine). They will observe the delivery of precision medicine through tours of the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre.
There are optional modules in the second semester allowing students to explore.the fundamental principles of Carcinogenesis and the translational approaches (including cutting edge technologies) which allow cancer scientists and clinicians to advance our understanding and treatment of cancers. The Precision Cancer Medicine stream provides a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the Hallmarks of Cancer from the role of genetic/epigenetic alterations, cell cycle control and metastases/angiogenesis to the development of applications to help diagnose cancers earlier, improve treatments, rationally design clinical trials and reduce chemotherapy drug resistance.
The Radiation Oncology stream will develop skills in understanding the biological principles of radiotherapy and its clinical applications in the treatment of cancer. This will include the physical and chemical basis of radiation interactions and the biological consequences of radiation exposures. Clinical aspects of Radiation Oncology will be covered including principle of advanced radiotherapy delivery, cancer imaging techniques and biomarker discovery.
Importantly, both streams show how our improved understanding of the molecular processes driving cancer growth and spread can be ‘translated’ through research-intensive MSc projects to improve the treatment and survival of cancer patients.
The strong links between us and the biotech and biopharmaceutical sectors provides a stimulating translational environment, while also expanding your career opportunities.
WORLD CLASS FACILITIES
INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED EXPERTS
Research Translational: from Concept to Commercialisation (Full Year)
Diagnosis and Treatment (Semester 1)
Cancer Biology (Semester 1)
Students will make a selection from the following modules:
Building on the biological basis of radiotherapy, this module will develop knowledge and skills in understanding clinical radiotherapy and medical imaging. Through the delivery of a multidisciplinary taught programme, students will cover clinical tumour and normal tissue biology, radiological imaging and the design of radiotherapy treatment plans. This will develop the clinical rationale for radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer and highlight emerging treatment combinations and techniques for biomarker discovery in radiation oncology.Biology and Imaging
You will undertake a project in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.
This module comprises the write-up contribution to the overall research element of the programme, with the Research Project (SCM 8067). The Dissertation will represent the student’s personal studies in the literature, a description of their experimental execution of their project, data presentation, analysis and interpretation, followed by critical discussion and conclusions.
Our MRes Experimental Cancer Medicine master's course will give nurses, doctors and clinical researchers the skills needed to work in early phase clinical studies.
You will learn how to master experimental cancer through a combination of traditional teaching and hands-on learning, spending a year as a member of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Team at The Christie while also taking four structured taught units.
The taught units will see you learn the details of designing and delivering Phase 1 clinical studies, understanding the pre-clinical data required before a clinical programme can commence, and how to optimise early clinical studies to provide evidence for progressing a promising drug into Phase II/III clinical testing.
Alongside the taught elements, you will be allocated to one or more clinical trials that are being conducted by The Christie experimental cancer medicine team. You will have a named trainer and be exposed to tasks required in the setup, delivery, interpretation and audit of a clinical study.
Nursing and physician students will be expected to participate in patient care, including new and follow-on patient clinics, treatment and care-giving episodes with patients.
For clinical trials coordinators, no direct patient contact is envisaged and duties will involve clinical trial setup, protocol amendments, database setup, data entry, costing and billing for clinical research.
You will be able to choose two aspects of your direct clinical trial research experience to write up for your two research projects in a dissertation format. This will give you the skills and knowledge required to critically report medical, scientific and clinically related sciences for peer review.
The primary purpose of the MRes in Experimental Cancer Medicine is to provide you with the opportunity to work within a premier UK Phase 1 cancer clinical trials unit and, through a mix of taught and experiential learning, master the discipline of Experimental Cancer Medicine.
Extensive practical experience
You will spend most of your time gaining hands-on experience within The Christie's Experimental Cancer Medicine Team.
Meet the course team
Dr Natalie Cook is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Christie. She completed a PhD at Cambridge, investigating translational therapeutics and biomarker assay design in pancreatic cancer.
Professor Hughes is Chair of Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University and Strategic Director of the Experimental Cancer Medicine team at The Christie. He is a member of the research strategy group for Manchester Cancer Research Centre. He serves on the Biomarker evaluation review panel for CRUK grant applications.
Professor Hughes was previously Global Vice-President for early clinical development at AstraZeneca, overseeing around 100 Phase 0/1/2 clinical studies. He was previously Global Vice-President for early phase clinical oncology, having been involved in over 200 early phase clinical studies.
Dr Matthew Krebs is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Christie.
He has a PhD in circulating biomarkers and postdoctoral experience in single cell and ctDNA molecular profiling. He is Principal Investigator on a portfolio of phase 1 clinical trials and has research interests in clinical development of novel drugs for lung cancer and integration of biomarkers with experimental drug development.
Our course is structured around a 2:1 split between clinical-based research projects and taught elements respectively.
Taught course units will predominantly use lectures and workshops.
For the research projects, teaching and learning will take place through one-to-one mentoring from a member of the Experimental Cancer Medicine team.
The clinical and academic experience of contributors to this course will provide you with an exceptional teaching and learning experience.
You will be assessed through oral presentations, single best answer exams, written reports and dissertation.
For each research project, you will write a dissertation of 10,000 to 15,000 words. Examples of suitable practical projects include the following.
Publication-based/dissertation by publication
Service development/professional report/ report based dissertation
Adapted systematic review (qualitative data)
Full systematic review that includes data collection (quantitative data)
Qualitative or quantitative empirical research
Qualitative secondary data analysis/analysis of existing quantitative data
Quantitative secondary data analysis/analysis of existing qualitative data/theoretical study/narrative review
Teaching will take place within The Christie NHS Foundation Trust , Withington.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
This course is relevant to physician, nursing and clinical research students who are considering a career in Phase 1 clinical studies.
The course provides a theoretical and experiential learning experience and offers a foundation for roles within other experimental cancer medicine centres within the UK and EU, as well as careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, clinical trials management and medicine.
The MRes is ideal for high-calibre graduates and professionals wishing to undertake directly channelled research training in the clinical and medical oncology field.