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Masters Degrees (Cancer Immunology)

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The biggest modern breakthrough for cancer treatment has been antibody therapies. An increasing number of biotechnology companies have antibody - or vaccine-based cancer therapies in development. Read more

Overview

The biggest modern breakthrough for cancer treatment has been antibody therapies. An increasing number of biotechnology companies have antibody - or vaccine-based cancer therapies in development. This course aims to attract students interested in tumour immunology who wish to pursue a career either in industry (biotechnology) or academia.

The course covers both antibody and vaccine cancer therapies and explores the immunology of the tumour host interface. In addition, students will learn about intellectual property and how to exploit scientific research in scientific writings, patents and in development of business plans applicable to the biotechnology industry. To gain practical experience in research students will carry out a research project in the field of tumour immunology.

Aims and objectives

- Acquire a specialised knowledge in tumour immunology with particular reference to monoclonal antibody and cancer vaccines
- Develop the critical and analytical power to evaluate scientific literature
- Perform a scientific research project
- Acquire the ability to communicate scientific results orally and in writing
- Learn about business exploitation of cancer therapy

Innovative features of the course

- The only MSc course based entirely on tumour immunology
- Students undertake a substantial research project, during which time they acquire a considerable amount of laboratory-based skills
- A module based entirely on scientific writing and the development of a business plan
- Individuals from industry lecture on the course
- It is suitable for graduates in Life Sciences, Biomedical Sciences and allied subjects and also for people already in suitable employment who wish to improve and update their knowledge and experience
- It attracts students from the UK and worldwide

Student opinions

"I really enjoyed the course. At first I thought it might be too much of a challenge for me to catch up with everyone because I did not do much molecular science, but the lecturers and staff were really helpful. They made sure everyone was on the same level and there was always someone with whom you could speak if you had any problems. Let's just say they are always there if you need help.

The course also focused on the business side as well, which was a nice change. We were also given lectures by people from the industry. All in all, I would have no hesitation in recommending this course to anyone seeking to develop their scientific knowledge, skills and enhance their career prospects."

"The course prepared me for the cut-throat business of securing research funding, patents and the enormous opportunities available in this new and fascinating field.

Nottingham is a wonderful place to study with excellent academic support and several postgraduate social events throughout the year. I thoroughly enjoyed my one year here."

Comments from potential employers (biotechnology companies)

"This subject is currently undergoing massive expansion and yet qualified graduates are difficult to find. The industry as a whole would benefit from having a source of students with this qualification and from our point of view, such a course may provide candidates that are potentially useful to our company."

"A course in cancer immunotherapy would provide valuable training for people wanting to seek a career in the biopharmaceutical industry where much of the research and development effort is focussed on targeted biological therapies for cancer."

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If you want to pursue a research career in academia or industry, our MSc Cancer Biology will provide you with the essential advanced skills and knowledge for a role in biopharma, healthcare or cancer research. Read more
If you want to pursue a research career in academia or industry, our MSc Cancer Biology will provide you with the essential advanced skills and knowledge for a role in biopharma, healthcare or cancer research. We offer many opportunities for you to explore medically relevant research in the School of Biological Sciences including hospital-based sessions through our collaboration with local cancer specialists and clinicians.

An important and exciting part of your programme is an extensive independent research project, based in one of our academic research groups using advanced laboratories facilities and bioinformatics tools. There are also opportunities for research projects to take place within an industrial or clinical setting.

Throughout the course, you develop your knowledge in the essential areas of molecular and cellular biology which complement your specialist modules in cancer biology. You gain expertise in areas including:
-Specific cancer types (including breast, prostate, pancreatic and colon cancer)
-Clinical aspects of cancer
-Emerging trends in cancer research

You are also trained in modern research methods and approaches which will develop your skills in complex biological data analysis and specific techniques in cancer research.

Within our School of Biological Sciences, two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you will learn from and work alongside our expert staff as you undertake your own research.

Our expert staff

We have a very strong research team in the area of cancer biology, who are well placed to deliver the specialist teaching on this course.

The team includes the course leader Professor Elena Klenova (molecular oncology and cancer biomarkers), Dr Ralf Zwacka (apoptotic and survival signalling in cancer), Dr Greg Brooke (steroid hormone receptor signalling in cancer), Dr Metodi Metodiev (clinical proteomics and bioinformatics), Dr Pradeepa Madapura (cancer epigenetics), Dr Vladimir Teif (computational and systems biology), Professor Nelson Fernandez (tumour immunology) and Dr Filippo Prischi (structural biology and biophysics of novel drug targets).

External experts also input to your teaching, including guest speakers from hospitals and research institutions, who deliver classes both on-campus and within the hospital environment.

As one of the largest schools at Essex, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high-quality teaching, and you benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Study in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Carry out your research project in shared lab space, alongside PhD students and researchers engaged in cutting-edge cancer research
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities, including an advanced microscopy suite, proteomics laboratory, cell culture, bioinformatics and genomics facilities, modern molecular biology laboratories, and protein structure analysis

Your future

Graduates who are skilled in the research methods embedded into your course are in demand from the biotechnology and biomedical research industries in this area of the UK and beyond.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for a PhD, and there are many opportunities within our school leading to a career in science.

We work with our University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Advanced Cancer Biology
-Practical Skills in Cancer Research
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Protein Technologies
-Professional Skills and the Business of Molecular Medicine
-Cancer Biology (optional)
-Research Project: MSc Cancer Biology
-Genomics (optional)
-Cell Signalling (optional)
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology (optional)
-Human Molecular Genetics (optional)
-Molecular and Developmental Immunology (optional)
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)

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The area of cancer immunotherapy considers how to use conventional therapies including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Read more
The area of cancer immunotherapy considers how to use conventional therapies including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Whilst these treatment have served well and new drugs will continue to be designed, clinical trials over the last five years have shown that boosting the body’s immune system, whose main task is to deal with invading pathogens, can help our immune system to destroy tumour cells. Many of the new immunotherapies may be tested in combination with more conventional treatments or tested alone, but investigators and oncologists now believe immunotherapy, initially combined with pharmacological treatments, will soon provide curative therapies and certainly give many patients a new lease of life.

More about this course

Worldwide the incidence of cancer is increasing, and is expected to reach 22 million new cases per year by 2030. In addition to treatments such as radiotherapy and surgery, chemotherapy has a vital role to play in prolonging the lives of patients.

The aims of the Cancer Immunotherapy MSc are to:
-Provide an in-depth understanding of the molecular targets at which the different classes of anticancer drugs are aimed, and of how drug therapies are evolving
-Review the biology of cancer with respect to genetics, pathological considerations, and the molecular changes within cells which are associated with the progression of the disease
-Enhance intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of scientific data
-Deliver a programme of advanced study to equip students for a future career in anti-cancer drug and immunotherapy development
-Cover new areas in immunotherapy (some of which may enhance existing pharmacological therapies including: History of immunotherapy and review of immune system; Monoclonal antibodies in cancer therapy and prevention; DNA vaccines against cancer; Adoptive T cell therapy; Dendritic cell vaccines; Antibodies that stimulate immunity; Adjuvant development for vaccines; Epigenetics and cancer: improving immunotherapy; Immuno-chemotherapy: integration of therapies; Exosomes and Microvesicles (EMVs) in cancer therapy and diagnosis; Dendritic cell vaccine development and Pox virus cancer vaccine vectors; Microbial causes of cancer and vaccination

Students will have access to highly qualified researchers and teachers in pharmacology and immunology, including those at the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Centre. Skills gained from research projects are therefore likely to be highly marketable in industry, academia and in the NHS. Students will be encouraged to join the British Society of Immunology and the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles.

Assessment is a combination of coursework, which includes tests and essays, the research project and its oral defence and examination.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:
-Advanced Immunology (core, 20 credits)
-Cancer Immunotherapy (core, 20 credits)
-Cancer Pharmacology (core, 20 credits)
-Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy (core, 20 credits)
-Molecular Oncology (core, 20 credits)
-Research Project (core, 60 credits)
-Scientific Frameworks for Research (core, 20 credits)

After the course

Students will have many opportunities to work in industry. There are established industries working hard to develop cancer immunotherapies including Bristol-Myers Squibbs, MERCK, AstraZeneca and Roche. There are also an innumerate number of start-up companies appearing including Omnis Pharma, UNUM Therapeutics and Alpine Immune Sciences.

Students will also have ample opportunity for future postgraduate study either within the School of Human Sciences and the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Centre at the MPhil/PhD level or beyond, even with some of our research partners within the UK, Europe and beyond.

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The contribution of Inflammation and Immune dysfunction to a wide range of diseases, from Arthritis to Cancer to Obesity is becoming increasingly clear. Read more
The contribution of Inflammation and Immune dysfunction to a wide range of diseases, from Arthritis to Cancer to Obesity is becoming increasingly clear. The MSc in Immunology and Inflammatory Disease integrates basic, translational and clinical immunology and inflammation biology with cutting edge molecular and cellular techniques to equip students with both a working knowledge of Inflammatory disease together with state of the art research approaches used to study the area.

Why this programme

-You will receive training in the disciplines of Immunology and Inflammation within an internationally recognized centre of excellence
New opportunities to work together with scientists, clinicians and pharmaceutical industry scientists to research, drug discovery to drive improvements in patient care in areas of critical international importance
-You will attend UK Congress of Immunology
-The University of Glasgow is home the ‘GLAZgo Discovery Unit’ a unique facility established between the Respiratory, Inflammation, Autoimmunity Medicines Unit at AstraZeneca and the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation to identify new pathways by which inflammation can promote diseases and ultimately create better medicines for patients, http://www.glazgodiscoverycentre.co.uk
-The University of Glasgow is home to an Arthritis Research UK (ARUK) Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre to recruit local patients to test new and existing drugs and to find new approaches that can predict which treatment works best in Rheumatoid Arthritis
-The University of Glasgow is home to The Arthritis Research UK Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathogenesis Centre of Excellence (in collaboration with Birmingham and Newcastle Universities), which aims to find out more about the causes of rheumatoid arthritis, http://www.race-gbn.org/

Programme structure

The MSc programme will consist of five taught courses and a project or dissertation, spread over 11-12 months. Three courses are compulsory, and two are chosen from a series of options.

The PGDip programme will consist of five taught courses, spread over 7-8 months, with three compulsary courses and two chosen from a series of options.

The PgCert programme consists one core taught course over 3-4 months.

4 Core courses
-Immunology: Basic, Translational and Clinical
-Omic technologies for the biomedical sciences: from genomics to metabolomics
-Designing a research project: biomedical research methodology
-Research project or dissertation

5 Optional Courses (choose 2)
-Drug discovery
-Diagnostic technologies and devices
-Viruses and Cancer
-Current trends and challenges in biomedical research and health
-Technology transfer and commercialisation of bioscience research

The course will include registration and attendance at the British Society for Immunology Annual Congress. This will enable:
-Exposure to the best international immunological research.
-Networking with prospective employers in academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

Excellent opportunities to engage with industrial and clinical scientists, with guest lecturers from the pharmaceutical industry, medical diagnostic laboratories and bioscience business.

Career prospects

The programme provides an ideal grounding for progression to further research studies in Immunology, Inflammation and Infectious diseases, or for a career in pharmaceutical/bioscience industries.
-PhD
-Pharmaceutical industry research and development
-Research technologist
-Graduate research assistant
-Healthcare Scientist
-Scientific publishing
-Scientific management

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Your programme of study. Immunology is linked to our ability to remain healthy and free of disease - fighting off infections and disease and understanding our genetic factors and risk factors in inheriting disease. Read more

Your programme of study

Immunology is linked to our ability to remain healthy and free of disease - fighting off infections and disease and understanding our genetic factors and risk factors in inheriting disease. You look at behavioural factors and their links to disease to understand protection methods and you go into the detail of bioinformatics and genomics to understand DNA and analyse within practical research when you test for specific issues such as stress, hunger and so on and responses in the body.

The programme is designed for you to develop your academic knowledge of immunology and its relevance to disease with analysis and research skills designed to enhance your career prospects, or continue to PhD. You can use your training within educational establishments to apply training, work in patents, science outreach and public engagement.

Focusing on the relevance of the immune response in the maintenance of health and development of disease, graduates will be able to attain the intellectual and practical skills needed to address both theoretical and technical aspects of modern biomedical research.

In common with the other molecular biosciences Masters courses, the MSc in Immunology & Immunotherapy builds on recent advances in genomics to understand the generation of immunological diversity at a cellular level, how this imparts variability in immune responses at the individual and population level and the relevance of the immune system in disease areas such as autoimmunity, cancer, allergy and microbial infections.

You may also be interested in the Scottish Innovation Centres research and enterprise work with companies in Scotland to find out more about the possibilities in this area of health science and spin-out research going on from Aberdeen and other universities:

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Basic Skills Induction
  • Generic Skills
  • Current Topics in Immunology
  • Introductory Immunology
  • Applied Statistics

Semester 2

  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Genome - Enabled Medicines
  • Research Tutorials
  • Immunogenetics

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You will be taught by world leading researchers in immunology and bioscience with practical training in Flow Cytometry analysis
  • You study at one of the largest health campuses in Europe with a teaching hospital, Medical School, and Institute of Medical Sciences plus Rowett Institute on one campus
  • The university ranked 9th in the world and 5th in Europe for international research collaboration (Leiden 2015)

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • 12 Months Full Time or 24 Months Part Time
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees:

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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This course will provide an in-depth understanding of the disease processes involved in malignancy and the opportunity to explore the scientific rationale for various therapeutic options. Read more
This course will provide an in-depth understanding of the disease processes involved in malignancy and the opportunity to explore the scientific rationale for various therapeutic options. It will allow you to link academic knowledge with the practical applications of cancer biology, with a focus on the latest advances in this field. This course is, therefore, excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers in hospital laboratories, commercial laboratories, cancer research, pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions.

-You will be taught by active researchers and expert practitioners, and have the opportunity to work in industry with companies like GlaxoSmithKline, or at a research institute, such as the Institute of Cancer Research.
-Your research project can be carried out with one of our research groups or as part of an industrial placement (if you are a part-time student) at your place of work.
-Flexible study options (such as single modules) can be taken as part of a continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

What will you study?

You will be trained in science research methods and learn about the techniques used in molecular biology. You will study the biology of disease, tumour biology, immunology, molecular oncology, haematological malignancy, plus diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for cancer.

In addition to developing a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practice of core topics in current areas of medical science, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of oncology topics – and their relationship to other medical disciplines. You will also learn how to plan, carry out and report on a piece of independent scientific research.

Assessment

Coursework, written exam, research project.

Work placement scheme

Kingston University has set up a scheme that allows postgraduate students in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing to include a work placement element in their course starting from September 2017. The placement scheme is available for both international and home/EU students.
-The work placement, up to 12 months; is optional.
-The work placement takes place after postgraduate students have successfully completed the taught portion of their degree.
-The responsibility for finding the placement is with the student. We cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it.
-As the work placement is an assessed part of the course for international students, this is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Details on how to apply will be confirmed shortly.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Modules
-Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer
-Immunology and the Biology of Disease
-Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy
-Research Techniques and Scientific Communication
-Research Project

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Translational Cancer Medicine enables you to gain detailed knowledge and understanding of research methods applied to rational drug design, clinical study design, molecular and cell biology, tumour immunology, genetics and cancer imaging. Read more

Translational Cancer Medicine enables you to gain detailed knowledge and understanding of research methods applied to rational drug design, clinical study design, molecular and cell biology, tumour immunology, genetics and cancer imaging. You'll gain practical experience through two six-month laboratory rotations. 

Key benefits

  • A unique research programme that includes the study of advanced imaging methods and tumour immunology.
  • The sponsoring laboratories and departments all have international standing and closely supervise research trainees throughout the study programme.
  • This programme is a competitive course to support PhD applications and continued translational and medical training.  

Description

The Translational Cancer Medicine MRes study pathway offers unique opportunities for you to join experienced research teams and work on particular projects from the outset. This course will allow you to develop an in-depth understanding of research methods, and of how theoretical academic studies and skills relate to research projects.

You will explore Fundamentals of Translational Cancer Medicine, providing you with advanced knowledge and skills to conceptualise, design, conduct and critically appraise specialist research. You will gain hands on research experience in two six month lab projects. 

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We use lectures, seminars and group meetings to deliver most of the modules on the course. 

On average teaching consists of:

  • 40 hours of lectures
  • 1.5 – 3 hours per week of Lab/group meetings (depending on projects)
  • supervision/feedback during each lab roation

You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.

Typically, 1 credit equates to ten hours of work.

Throughout the year, you will also attend literature reviews and journal clubs that the labs/departments organise, as well as any other internal or external seminars deemed relevant to your projects/assignments.

Assessment

The primary method of assessment for this course is a combination of written essays, a thesis (research report), a presentation/Q&A session regarding the research report and a draft of a scientific paper.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they are subject to change. 

Extra information

Occupational health clearance will be required for some of the projects.

Career prospects

Future PhD studies. Clinical and non-clinical academic careers in cancer medicine.



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This is a full-time 1 year MSc programme suitable for biomedical or life scientists who wish to acquire an extensive knowledge and key skills relating to the fundamental molecular and cellular regulation of immunity and its application to the treatment of disease. Read more
This is a full-time 1 year MSc programme suitable for biomedical or life scientists who wish to acquire an extensive knowledge and key skills relating to the fundamental molecular and cellular regulation of immunity and its application to the treatment of disease. The programme will be delivered by world leaders at the forefront of immunology and immunotherapy research, each with an internationally renowned research group.

Over the past few years significant advances have been made in our understanding of the molecular and cellular control of immune responses. These discoveries are now being translated into the design and testing of immunotherapeutic interventions for a range of diseases including cancer, autoimmunity and inflammatory disease. This programme is for biomedical or life scientists who wish to extend their knowledge and skills in both immunology and its translation to immunotherapy.

A series of interlinked taught modules cover molecular mechanisms in immune cell differentiation and function, autoimmunity, transplant and tumour immunology, and inflammation. This is complemented by comprehensive coverage of the latest developments in immunotherapy including the use of microbial products in immunomodulation and vaccination, small molecules and biologics, as well as cellular immunotherapy.

The programme aims to allow you to understand the research process, from the fundamental discoveries at the forefront of immunological research, to the application of novel interventional immune-based therapies.

A key part of the MSc programme is the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study leading to submission of a dissertation. This study will be in the form of an extensive laboratory research project carried out in internationally renowned research groups. Each student will be a fully-integrated member of one of the large number of research teams in a wide variety of topics across both immunology and immunotherapy. We also plan to offer some projects within external biotechnology companies.

About the College of Medical and Dental Sciences

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences is a major international centre for research and education, make huge strides in finding solutions to major health problems including ageing, cancer, cardiovascular, dental, endocrine, inflammatory diseases, infection (including antibiotic resistance), rare diseases and trauma.
We tackle global healthcare problems through excellence in basic and clinical science, and improve human health by delivering tangible real-life benefits in the fight against acute and chronic disease.
Situated in the largest healthcare region in the country, with access to one of the largest and most diverse populations in Europe, we are positioned to address major global issues and diseases affecting today’s society through our eight specialist research institutes.
With over 1,000 academic staff and around £60 million of new research funding per year, the College of Medical and Dental Sciences is dedicated to performing world-leading research.
We care about our research and teaching and are committed to developing outstanding scientists and healthcare professionals of the future. We offer our postgraduate community a unique learning experience taught by academics who lead the way in research in their field.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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Molecular Pathology (MP) is a rapidly growing discipline in 21st century medicine. It integrates genomics and bioinformatics with modern pathology to underpin molecular diagnostics, theranostics as well as clinical trials delivery within the academic, health services and industry sectors in an era of precision medicine. Read more
Molecular Pathology (MP) is a rapidly growing discipline in 21st century medicine. It integrates genomics and bioinformatics with modern pathology to underpin molecular diagnostics, theranostics as well as clinical trials delivery within the academic, health services and industry sectors in an era of precision medicine.

This MSc is an exciting, innovative blended learning programme aimed to enhance the participant’s theoretical knowledge and practical skills in MP and to empower them to pursue a career in academia, healthcare or industry. The course has a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship; emphasising MP’s central role in molecular diagnostics, clinical trials and biotech/biopharma.

This Masters programme has been developed with a number of options in order to provide maximum flexibility of training. Candidates can take the Certificate/Diploma/MSc in Molecular Pathology of Cancer which will provide a solid foundation for those wishing to study MP at PhD level. The full-time MSc is also available as an intercalated degree for Medical and Dental students. Additionally, the three modules which are offered by Distance Learning are available as a ‘stand-alone’ Certificate in Pathology Informatics and Business Application.



Semester 1

All candidates will undertake traditional ‘face to face’ teaching for the three modules in Semester 1. This will be timetabled teaching. Some of the teaching sessions within the modules also form aspects of formal teaching for other PG programmes, providing the students with the opportunity to interact with other Masters students from different disciplines, which we feel enhances the student experience. Collectively, the modules would be sufficient for a Certificate in Molecular Pathology

(1) Cancer Biology, Immunology and Genomics (15 CATs)

(2) Molecular Pathology – Diagnostics and Technologies (25 CATs)

(3) Translational Research (20 CATs)



Semester 2

Candidates will complete three modules which will be available ‘online’ as distance learning modules. Successful completion of Semester 1 modules plus Semester 2 modules without the research dissertation would be sufficient for a Diploma in Molecular Pathology. Collectively, the modules in Semester 2 without the Semester 1 modules would be sufficient for a Certificate in Pathology Informatics and Business Application.

(1) Digital Molecular Pathology (20 CATs)

(2) Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (20 CATs)

(3) Academia/Industry Interface (20 CATs)



Research component

Students will be able to plan their research project and work on their literature review during semester 1; beginning the practical work for their research project in Semester 2. Research projects will be available across a variety of subjects. Potential project areas for the MSc will include – Molecular Neuropathology; Cancer Immunology; Liquid Biopsies; Digital Pathology; Biobanking; Molecular Diagnostics; Bioinformatics. A number of projects will be put forward from the network of CRUK Accelerator Partners for those students with CRUK Accelerator bursaries who may wish to undertake their research as a placement at one of the partner sites.

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The course will allow you to expand your understanding of immunology, immunopathology and immunotherapy, to further develop skills in analytical approaches to immunodiagnosis and molecular therapeutics, as well as enhance your competence in the design and execution of a laboratory based project. Read more
The course will allow you to expand your understanding of immunology, immunopathology and immunotherapy, to further develop skills in analytical approaches to immunodiagnosis and molecular therapeutics, as well as enhance your competence in the design and execution of a laboratory based project. You will be able to take a proactive role in research, development, evaluation and implementation of current immunological techniques while perceiving the subject in the broader perspective of health care and scientific progress.

The scope of the modules included will ensure a breadth of knowledge appropriate for the scientific and professional needs of practising immunologists, at the same time making use of your knowledge and experience. This course is designed so that you can plan your own taught programme to match your interests and experience by combining core and optional modules with emphasis on therapeutics, diagnostics, haematology or public health.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules
-CELL SIGNALLING AND GENETICS
-IMMUNOPATHOLOGY
-IMMUNOTHERAPY
-POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH METHODS
-POSTGRADUATE PROJECT

Option modules
-ADVANCED CANCER BIOLOGY
-EXTENDED POSTGRADUATE PROJECT
-IMMUNOHAEMATOLOGY AND HAEMOSTASIS
-INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND PUBLIC HEALTH
-MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR THERAPEUTICS
-MOLECULAR SCIENCE AND DIAGNOSTICS
-PRINCIPLES OF MOLECULAR MEDICINE
-SYSTEMS BIOLOGY

Associated careers

The course has been designed to provide professionals with a broad range of skills in immunology, immunopathology and immunotherapy. Successful completion of the course will enhance your career prospects in education, in PhD programmes, in academia, research institutes, as well as in pharmaceutical and related industries. UK part-time students are normally employed in hospital or NHSBT laboratories or in research establishments.

You will develop a range of transferable skills that will enhance your employment prospects and research opportunities in the UK or overseas. As an international student with experience in biomedical sciences, following completion of their studies, you will be able to return to your home country to pursue research opportunities or promotion, seek employment as research technician, biomedical scientist, scientific or medical technical officer or research assistant. You may also seek jobs in industry, research or healthcare or apply for further training (biomedical or clinical scientist routes).

Professional recognition

The course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

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We invite postgraduate research proposals in a number of disease areas that impact significantly on patient care. We focus on exploring the mechanisms of disease, understanding the ways disease impacts patients’ lives, utilising new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and developing new treatments. Read more

We invite postgraduate research proposals in a number of disease areas that impact significantly on patient care. We focus on exploring the mechanisms of disease, understanding the ways disease impacts patients’ lives, utilising new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and developing new treatments.

As a student you will be registered with a University research institute, for many this is the Institute for Cellular Medicine (ICM). You will be supported in your studies through a structured programme of supervision and training via our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.

We undertake the following areas of research and offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in:

Applied immunobiology (including organ and haematogenous stem cell transplantation)

Newcastle hosts one of the most comprehensive organ transplant programmes in the world. This clinical expertise has developed in parallel with the applied immunobiology and transplantation research group. We are investigating aspects of the immunology of autoimmune diseases and cancer therapy, in addition to transplant rejection. We have themes to understand the interplay of the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses by a variety of pathways, and how these can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. Further research theme focusses on primary immunodeficiency diseases.

Dermatology

There is strong emphasis on the integration of clinical investigation with basic science. Our research include:

  • cell signalling in normal and diseased skin including mechanotransduction and response to ultraviolet radiation
  • dermatopharmacology including mechanisms of psoriatic plaque resolution in response to therapy
  • stem cell biology and gene therapy
  • regulation of apoptosis/autophagy
  • non-melanoma skin cancer/melanoma biology and therapy.

We also research the effects of UVR on the skin including mitochondrial DNA damage as a UV biomarker.

Diabetes

This area emphasises on translational research, linking clinical- and laboratory-based science. Key research include:

  • mechanisms of insulin action and glucose homeostasis
  • insulin secretion and pancreatic beta-cell function
  • diabetic complications
  • stem cell therapies
  • genetics and epidemiology of diabetes.

Diagnostic and therapeutic technologies

Focus is on applied research and aims to underpin future clinical applications. Technology-oriented and demand-driven research is conducted which relates directly to health priority areas such as:

  • bacterial infection
  • chronic liver failure
  • cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.

This research is sustained through extensive internal and external collaborations with leading UK and European academic and industrial groups, and has the ultimate goal of deploying next-generation diagnostic and therapeutic systems in the hospital and health-care environment.

Kidney disease

There is a number of research programmes into the genetics, immunology and physiology of kidney disease and kidney transplantation. We maintain close links between basic scientists and clinicians with many translational programmes of work, from the laboratory to first-in-man and phase III clinical trials. Specific areas:

  • haemolytic uraemic syndrome
  • renal inflammation and fibrosis
  • the immunology of transplant rejection
  • tubular disease
  • cystic kidney disease.

The liver

We have particular interests in:

  • primary biliary cirrhosis (epidemiology, immunobiology and genetics)
  • alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • fibrosis
  • the genetics of other autoimmune and viral liver diseases

Magnetic Resonance (MR), spectroscopy and imaging in clinical research

Novel non-invasive methodologies using magnetic resonance are developed and applied to clinical research. Our research falls into two categories:

  • MR physics projects involve development and testing of new MR techniques that make quantitative measurements of physiological properties using a safe, repeatable MR scan.
  • Clinical research projects involve the application of these novel biomarkers to investigation of human health and disease.

Our studies cover a broad range of topics (including diabetes, dementia, neuroscience, hepatology, cardiovascular, neuromuscular disease, metabolism, and respiratory research projects), but have a common theme of MR technical development and its application to clinical research.

Musculoskeletal disease (including auto-immune arthritis)

We focus on connective tissue diseases in three, overlapping research programmes. These programmes aim to understand:

  • what causes the destruction of joints (cell signalling, injury and repair)
  • how cells in the joints respond when tissue is lost (cellular interactions)
  • whether we can alter the immune system and ‘switch off’ auto-immune disease (targeted therapies and diagnostics)

This research theme links with other local, national and international centres of excellence and has close integration of basic and clinical researchers and hosts the only immunotherapy centre in the UK.

Pharmacogenomics (including complex disease genetics)

Genetic approaches to the individualisation of drug therapy, including anticoagulants and anti-cancer drugs, and in the genetics of diverse non-Mendelian diseases, from diabetes to periodontal disease, are a focus. A wide range of knowledge and experience in both genetics and clinical sciences is utilised, with access to high-throughput genotyping platforms.

Reproductive and vascular biology

Our scientists and clinicians use in situ cellular technologies and large-scale gene expression profiling to study the normal and pathophysiological remodelling of vascular and uteroplacental tissues. Novel approaches to cellular interactions have been developed using a unique human tissue resource. Our research themes include:

  • the regulation of trophoblast and uNk cells
  • transcriptional and post-translational features of uterine function
  • cardiac and vascular remodelling in pregnancy

We also have preclinical molecular biology projects in breast cancer research.

Respiratory disease

We conduct a broad range of research activities into acute and chronic lung diseases. As well as scientific studies into disease mechanisms, there is particular interest in translational medicine approaches to lung disease, studying human lung tissue and cells to explore potential for new treatments. Our current areas of research include:

  • acute lung injury - lung infections
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • fibrotic disease of the lung, both before and after lung transplantation.

Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics

Our research projects are concerned with the harmful effects of chemicals, including prescribed drugs, and finding ways to prevent and minimise these effects. We are attempting to measure the effects of fairly small amounts of chemicals, to provide ways of giving early warning of the start of harmful effects. We also study the adverse side-effects of medicines, including how conditions such as liver disease and heart disease can develop in people taking medicines for completely different medical conditions. Our current interests include: environmental chemicals and organophosphate pesticides, warfarin, psychiatric drugs and anti-cancer drugs.

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.



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This M.Sc. program in Translational Oncology will provide high-quality training for basic scientists and clinicians in the theoretical and practical aspects of the causes and treatment of cancer. Read more
This M.Sc. program in Translational Oncology will provide high-quality training for basic scientists and clinicians in the theoretical and practical aspects of the causes and treatment of cancer. A major focus of the programme is the cellular genetic and epigenetic basis of cancer. The course also covers the scientific and clinical challenges pertinent to the management of site specific cancers, and all aspects of cancer treatment from standard therapies to 'individualised' molecular targeted therapies. The focus of the course is research led teaching in the practical aspects of translational cancer research. This innovative M.Sc. program in Translational Oncology is aimed at scientists and doctors in training who wish to:

Develop their research skills
Broaden their expertise in oncology
Develop advanced knowledge in specific areas of scientific, translational and clinical oncology.

The proposed course will offer an opportunity for graduates from a variety of backgrounds to specifically train in translational oncology in advance of undertaking an MD or PhD. Modules are taught using a variety of methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory practicals. Lectures are provided by leaders in the field of translational oncology from both scientific and medical backgrounds. The core modules are Cellular and Molecular Oncology, Cancer Epigenetics, Disease Specific Cancers, Radiation / Chemotherapy and Molecular Targeted Therapies, Tumour Immunology, Molecular Pathology and Imaging, Clinical Statsitics and Research Skills. Students can tailor the course to their interests with optional modules in Obesity, metabolism and Cancer, Gemomic Instability, Cancer Drug Development, Tumour Microenvironment, Clinical Pharmacology, and Surgical Oncology and Economics. Students will be required to submit a dissertation based on an emperical research project conducted in one of the many oncology groups located within or affiliated with Trinity College Dublin and the Institute of Molecular Medicine. Opportunities for national and international placements to conduct research projects will also be available in collaborating universities, hospitals and industry.

All applicants should provide two academic or clinical references confirming their eligibility and suitability for the course, before their application can be considered. Applicants should also include a 500 word personal statement addressing why they are interested in the course, their suitability for the programme and how it will impact on their future career development. Applications for admission to the course should be made through the online system no later than July 31st. Late applications will be considered provided places are available.

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The need to develop new strategies to combat diseases remains a major global challenge. This degree aims to enhance your employability and prepare you to tackle this challenge. Read more

The need to develop new strategies to combat diseases remains a major global challenge. This degree aims to enhance your employability and prepare you to tackle this challenge.

We’ll give you advanced training in the mechanisms underpinning a spectrum of infectious and non-infectious diseases, including viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and chromosomal abnormalities. You’ll also explore current and emerging diagnostic and treatment strategies.

You’ll learn about the latest molecular, genetic and cellular approaches being used to understand, diagnose and treat human disease, including traditional methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and novel methods involving genome and proteome analysis.

You’ll also have the opportunity to investigate the role of the immune system in the response to infection and disease, covering topics such as innate and adaptive immunity, allergy and immune evasion.

If you choose to study at Leeds, you’ll join a faculty ranked 6th in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), and you’ll graduate with the solid base of scientific knowledge and specialist skills highly valued by employers.

Course content

On this course you’ll gain an overview of a range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular sciences. You’ll investigate five topic areas: molecular biology, structural biology, cell imaging and flow cytometry, high throughput techniques and transgenic organisms.

You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based project, involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis.

To help you to develop and specialise, you’ll get substantial subject-specific training through an independent research project in an area of infection, immunity or human disease.

You’ll also take specialist taught modules covering topics such as infectious and non-infectious disease, advanced immunology, medical diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.

If you have previous experience of immunology, you could opt to investigate the structure, regulation and development of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, or explore aspects of human toxicology. These could include the actions of toxicants on the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems, kidneys, liver and lungs, genetic toxicology and chemical carcinogenesis, and the effects of chemicals on fetal development.

In the final part of the course you'll work on an independent laboratory-based research project related to your course options. You’ll receive extensive training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, data analysis and interpretation, and will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you through your project.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Immunology 10 credits
  • Infectious & Non-infectious Diseases 10 credits
  • Practical Bioinformatics 10 credits
  • Medical Diagnostics 10 credits
  • MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal 5 credits
  • Treatment of Infectious Disease and Cancer 10 credits
  • Research Planning and Scientific Communication 10 credits
  • Advanced Biomolecular Technologies 20 credits
  • Protein Engineering Laboratory Project 15 credits
  • Bioscience MSc Research Project 80 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Infection, Immunity and Human Disease MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and specialist modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

The strong research element of the Infection, Immunity and Human Disease MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.

Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.

Links with industry

We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our programmes.

We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ernst and Young
  • The Food and Environment Research Agency
  • The Health Protection Agency
  • MedImmune
  • Thermofisher Scientific
  • Hays Life Sciences
  • European Bioinformatics Institute
  • Smaller University spin-out companies, such as Lumora

Industrial research placements

Some of our partners offer MSc research projects in their organisations, allowing students to develop their commercial awareness and build their network of contacts.

Professional and career development

We take personal and career development very seriously. We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advises us on what they look for in graduates and on employability related skills within our courses.

Our dedicated Employability and Professional Development Officer ensures that you are aware of events and opportunities to increase your employability. In addition, our Masters Career Development Programme will support you to:

  • explore career options and career planning
  • understand the PhD application process and optimise PhD application
  • learn how to use LinkedIn and other social media for effective networking and career opportunities
  • practice interviews for both job and PhD applications.


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If you have a background in biomedical science, biology, medicine and life sciences, this course allows you to develop your knowledge in selected areas of biomedical science. Read more

If you have a background in biomedical science, biology, medicine and life sciences, this course allows you to develop your knowledge in selected areas of biomedical science.

You gain advanced knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis of disease, with focus on the underlying cellular processes that lead to disease. You also learn about the current methods used in disease diagnosis and develop practical skills in our well-equipped teaching laboratories.

As well as studying the fundamentals of pathology, you can choose one specialist subject from • cellular pathology • microbiology and immunology • blood sciences. Your work focuses on the in vitro diagnosis of disease. You develop the professional skills needed to further your career. These skills include • research methods and statistics • problem solving • the role of professional bodies and accreditation • regulation and communication.

This course is taught by active researchers in the biomedical sciences who have on-going programmes of research in the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre together with experts from hospital pathology laboratories.

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.

Many of our research facilities including flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and mass spectrometry are also used in taught modules and 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 full-time students are assigned to a tutor who is an active research in the biomedical research centre. Part-time students carry out their research project within the workplace under the guidance of a workplace and university supervisor.

Three core modules each have two full-day laboratory sessions and the optional module applied biomedical techniques is almost entirely lab-based. Typically taught modules have a mixture of lectures and tutorials. The research methods and statistics modules are tutorial-led with considerable input from the course leader who acts as personal tutor.

The course content is underpinned by relevant high quality research. Our teaching staff regularly publish research articles in international peer-reviewed journals and are actively engaged in research into • cancer • musculoskeletal diseases • human reproduction • neurological disease • hospital acquired infection • immunological basis of disease.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) who commended us on

  • the excellent scientific content of our courses
  • the supportive nature of the staff which provides a positive student experience
  • the laboratory and teaching facilities, which provide an excellent learning environment

Course structure

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.

Core modules

  • Biomedical laboratory techniques (15 credits)
  • Evidence based laboratory medicine (15 credits)
  • Cell biology (15 credits)
  • Molecular diagnostics (15 credits)
  • Research methods and statistics (15 credits)
  • Research project (60 credits)

Optional modules

  • Applied biomedical techniques (15 credits)
  • Cellular and molecular basis of disease (15 credits)
  • Cellular and molecular basis of cancer (15 credits)
  • Human genomics and proteomics (15 credits)
  • Blood sciences (30 credits)
  • Cellular pathology (30 credits)
  • Microbiology and immunology (30 credits)

Assessment

Assessment methods include written examinations and coursework such as

  • problem solving exercises
  • case studies
  • reports from practical work
  • presentations.

Research project assessment includes a written report, presentation and portfolio. 

Employability

This course enables you to start to develop your career in various applications of biomedical science including pathology, government funded research labs or the life sciences industry. It is also for scientists working in hospital or bioscience-related laboratories particularly as biomedical scientists who want to expand their knowledge and expertise in this area.



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The Transplantation MRes enables you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Read more

The Transplantation MRes enables you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. The MRes can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or provide an entry route onto a PhD or MD.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences and is also suitable for graduates from other science disciplines and intercalating and fully qualified MBBS or BDS students.

What you'll learn

There is a taught component with subject-specific content in the area of Transplantation. Subject-based modules provide a broad exposure to diverse aspects of transplantation, from clinical concepts to cutting edge scientific development. There will be a unique opportunity to gain insights into the speciality of transplantation sciences in the context of transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells, corneal/limbal stem cells and a variety of solid organs.

The modules aim to:

  • provide sound understanding of the scientific basis underlying the therapeutic benefits and adverse effects of clinical transplants
  • highlight the research areas where applications of immunology and cell biology can improve transplant outcome and patient wellbeing
  • provide a view of bench to bedside translational links between scientific research and clinical practice

The course emphasises the clinical practice driven research, which prepares students for a future career in either medical practice or broad biomedical research. 

Main topics covered include:

  • transplantation immunology related to cellular and molecular basis of allogeneic immune responses, tolerance, immunosuppression
  • the genetic and molecular basis of HLA system, non-HLA immunogenetics, histocompatibility, impact of HLA matching in choice of donor and transplant outcome
  • transplantation pathology related to graft-versus-host disease following haematopoietic stem cell transplant, rejection following solid organ transplant, tissue damage and loss of graft function
  • manipulation of haematopoietic stem cells for clinical use
  • development of novel therapeutic strategies to aid improvement of clinical transplant outcome

It has the flexibility for you to develop your own bespoke course by choosing additional, complementary modules from a wide selection. You will also undertake training in general research principles and other professional and key skills.

Your project

The research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks’ carrying out research in the area of transplantation under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

Our MRes courses

Transplantation MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in:

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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