Do you have a clear and specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology? Our Master’s programme Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology combines research in three areas: oncology, molecular developmental biology and genetics. The focus is on molecular and cellular aspects of development and disease, utilising different model systems (mice, zebrafish, C. elegans, organoids and cell lines). The programme will guide you through the mysteries of embryonic growth, stem cells, signalling, gene regulation, evolution, and development as they relate to health and disease.
Given that fundamental developmental processes are so often impacted by disease, an understanding of these processes is vital to the better understanding of disease treatment and prevention. Adult physiology is regulated by developmental genes and mechanisms which, if deregulated, may result in pathological conditions. If you have a specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology, this Master’s programme is the right choice for you. Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology offers you international, high ranked research training and education that builds on novel methodology in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics technology applied to biomedical and developmental systems and processes.
In the Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology programme you will learn to focus on understanding processes underlying cancer and developmental biology using techniques and applications of post-genomic research, including microarray analysis, next generation sequencing, proteomics, metabolomics and advanced microscopy techniques. You explore research questions concerning embryonic growth, stem cells, signaling pathways, gene regulation, evolution and development in relation to health and disease using various model systems. As a Master’s student you will take theory courses and seminars, as well as master classes led by renowned specialists in the field. The courses are interactive, and challenge you to further improve your writing and presenting skills.
Compared to most other Master’s programmes in cancer and stem cell biology in the Netherlands, in Utrecht we offer:
As a MSc graduate trained in both fundamental and disease-oriented aspects of biomedical genetics you are in great demand. You’ll be prepared for PhD study in one of the participating or associated groups. Alternatively, leaving after obtaining your MSc degree you will profit from a solid education in molecular genetics, in addition to your specialised knowledge of developmental biology. You’ll find your way to biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry or education.
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.
Our MSc Cell Biology course will enable you to consider the most exciting current problems in the field under the guidance of leading experts in cell biology.
Our understanding of cell biology will undoubtedly help in the quest for treatments for major diseases, including cancer. Our course will give you a unique opportunity to study the mechanisms that define and regulate the function of cells and organisms.
As this is a research-focused master's course, you will take an interactive approach to learning, rather than taking traditional lectures. Through seminars, workshops, small group tutorials and research placements, you will learn the concepts and techniques used in cutting-edge research in cell biology and how knowledge of the field can be applied to various fields of research.
You will be able to apply what you learn to your own research projects, which you can choose from a wide range of areas thanks to the large number of cell biology researchers at Manchester.
Extensive research experience
Gain significant laboratory experience through placements with leading cell biology researchers.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including tutorials, workshops, seminars and research placements.
Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.
We will assess your progress using:
The course starts in September and runs for 12 months. You require 180 credits to complete the course, of which:
Your projects each run for 18 weeks starting in October and April.
45 credits are achieved through completion of activities that develop your transferable skills in essential areas such as experimental design, statistics, bioethics (included in the tutorial and workshop unit) and science communication. Experimental Design and Statistics runs at the start of the year to prepare you for your research projects. Elements of the other units run throughout the year alongside your research projects.
Disclaimer: Our units teach the current trends in life sciences. Consequently, details of our units may vary over time. The University therefore reserves the right to make such alterations to units as are found to be necessary. Before accepting your offer of a course, it is essential that you are aware of the current terms on which the offer is based. This includes the units available to you. If in doubt, please contact us.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate degree at Manchester. It was during my final year that I realised how much I relished being a part of current scientific research while learning a myriad of new skills and techniques. I therefore decided that a research-based master's course was the next step for me.
It is the combination of a fantastic university with a global reputation in research and teaching, and a vibrant city that meant I chose to stay in Manchester for another year."
You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
This course will provide training in both transferable and subject-specific skills. Your experience of group-based activities and presentations will be valuable in scientific and non-scientific careers.
Your general scientific training will provide you with invaluable skills for a career in academic research, further study (eg PhD study) or in industrial research.
The widespread impact of cell biology on diverse subject areas will provide you with experience in a range of fields and permit you to work within almost any area in the biological sciences.
This course is suitable if you
Most of your practical work is carried out in our teaching laboratories which contain industry standard equipment for cell culture, quantitative nucleic acid and protein analysis and a sophisticated suite of analytical equipment such as HPLC and gas chromatography. In addition many of our research facilities such as flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and mass spectrometry are used in taught modules and research projects and our tutors are experts in these techniques.
The teaching on the course is split between formal lectures and tutorials, and laboratory-based work. A third of the course is a laboratory-based research project, where students are assigned to a tutor who is an active researcher in the biomedical research centre. Typically, taught modules have a mixture of lectures and tutorials and involve a significant amount of laboratory time. Other modules are tutorial-led with considerable input from the course leader who acts as personal tutor.
Tutors complete research within the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre into cancer, musculoskeletal diseases, human reproduction, neurological disease, medical microbiology and immunological basis of disease. Their work is regularly published in international peer-reviewed journals, showing that the course is underpinned by relevant quality research.
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.
The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
Assessment methods include written examinations and coursework including
Research project assessment includes a written report and viva voce.
As a graduate you can find work in the expanding area of life sciences or enter a career in research. You can find careers in areas such as • medical research in universities hospital laboratories or research institutes • private industry.
The course also provides the skills and knowledge for those wishing to do research at PhD level.
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.