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 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.
The Department of Oncology and the Department for Continuing Education’s CPD Centre offer a part-time MSc in Experimental and Translational Therapeutics that brings together some of Oxford's leading clinicians and scientists to deliver an advanced modular programme designed for those in full-time employment, both in the UK and overseas.
The Programme draws on the world-class research and teaching in experimental therapeutics at Oxford University and offers a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of the principles that underpin clinical research and to translate this into good clinical and research practice.
Visit the website https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/msc-in-experimental-therapeutics
If your application is completed by this January deadline and you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered for a graduate scholarship. For details see: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/graduate-scholarships.
The MSc in Experimental and Translational Therapeutics is a part-time course consisting of six modules and a research project and dissertation. The programme is normally completed in two to three years. Students are full members of the University of Oxford and are matriculated as members of an Oxford college.
The modules in this programme can also be taken as individual short courses. It is possible to transfer credit from up to three previously completed modules into the MSc programme, if the time elapsed between commencement of the accredited module(s) and registration for the MSc is not more than two years.
- The Structure of Clinical Trials and Experimental Therapeutics
- Drug Development, Pharmacokinetics and Imaging
- Pharmacodynamics, Biomarkers and Personalised Therapy
- Adverse Drug Reactions, Drug Interactions, and Pharmacovigilance
- How to do Research on Therapeutic Interventions: Protocol Preparation
- Biological Therapeutics
The aim of the MSc programme is to provide students with the necessary training and practical experience to enable them to understand the principles that underpin clinical research, and to enable them to translate that understanding into good clinical and research practice.
By the end of the MSc programme, students should understand the following core principles:
- Development, marketing and regulations of drugs
- Pharmaceutical factors that affect drug therapy
- Pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenetics and pharmacodynamics
- Adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, and pharmacovigilance
- Designing phase I, II and III clinical trials for a range of novel therapeutic interventions (and imaging agents).
- Application of statistics to medicine
- Laboratory assays used to support trial end-points
- Use of non-invasive imaging in drug development
- Application of analytical techniques
By the end of the programme, students should be equipped to:
- demonstrate a knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques for solving clinical research problems and translate this into good clinical and research practice
- apply skills gained in techniques and practical experience from across the medical and biological sciences
- develop skills in managing research-based work in experimental therapeutics
- carry out an extended research project involving a literature review, problem specification and analysis in experimental therapeutics and write a short dissertation
Guidance from the UK Royal College of Physician's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine
The Faculty have confirmed that if enrolled for Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST), trainees may be able to use knowledge provided by Experimental Therapeutics modules to cover aspects of a module of the PMST curriculum. Trainees are advised to discuss this with their Educational Supervisor.
Experimental Therapeutics modules may also be used to provide those pursuing the Faculty's Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine (DPM) with the necessary knowledge required to cover the Diploma syllabus. Applicants for the DPM exam are advised to read the DPM syllabus and rules and regulations.
Members of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine who are registered in the Faculty's CPD scheme can count participation in Experimental Therapeutics modules towards their CPD record. Non-members may wish to obtain further advice about CPD credit from their Royal College or Faculty.
To complete the MSc, students need to:
Attend the six modules and complete an assessed written assignment for each module.
Complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor and the Course Director.
The dissertation is founded on a research project that builds on material studied in the taught modules. The dissertation should normally not exceed 15,000 words.
The project will normally be supervised by an academic supervisor from the University of Oxford, and an employer-based mentor.
The following are topics of dissertations completed by previous students on the course:
- The outcomes of non-surgical management of tubal pregnancy; a 6 month study of the South East London population
- Analysis of the predictive and prognostic factors of outcome in a cohort of patients prospectively treated with perioperative chemotherapy for adenocarcinoma of the stomach or of the gastroesophageal junction
- Evolution of mineral and bone disorder in early Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): the role of FGF23 and vitamin D
- Survey of patients' knowledge and perception of the adverse drug reporting scheme (yellow cards) in primary care
- The predictive role of ERCC1 status in oxaliplatin based Neoadjuvant for metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) to the liver
- Endothelial Pathophysiology in Dengue - Dextran studies during acute infection
- Literature review of the use of thalidomide in cancer
- An investigation into the phenotypical and functional characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells for clinical application
- Identification of genetic variants that cause capecitabine and bevacizumab toxicity
- Bridging the evidence gap in geriatric medicines via modelling and simulations
The class-based modules will include a period of preparatory study, a week of intensive face-to-face lectures and tutorials, followed by a period for assignment work. Attendance at modules will be a requirement for study. Some non-classroom activities will be provided at laboratory facilities elsewhere in the University. The course will include taught material on research skills. A virtual learning environment (VLE) will provide between-module support.
The taught modules will include group work, discussions, guest lectures, and interaction and feedback with tutors and lecturers. Practical work aims to develop the students' knowledge and understanding of the subject.
Find out how to apply here - http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford
This research-based course has a taught component that is the same as an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.
The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences or other science disciplines, and for intercalating and fully qualified MBBS or BDS students. It can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or as an entry route onto a PhD or MD.
The taught component of the course includes subject-specific content in the area of translational medicine and therapeutics. You have the flexibility to develop your own bespoke course by selecting additional, complementary modules. You will also participate in training in general research principles, and other professional and key skills.
Subject-based modules in translational medicine and therapeutics provide the opportunity to learn about the development and evaluation of new medicines and to develop skills in translational research relating to therapeutics. Teaching and supervision is provided by both university-based academics and experts from the pharmaceutical industry.
Your research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks of research in an area of translational medicine and therapeutics under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.
The course allows you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry.
Translational Medicine and Therapeutics MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in:
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.
The Oncology Drug Discovery MSc course is designed to provide an insight into how existing and future drug targets are identified from biological samples isolated from the cancer clinic. This will include an industrial viewpoint into what makes an interesting target and how, through an iterative process, this target is validated. In addition, lectures will be provided to discuss how ‘hit’ compounds are identified, in both the academic and industrial setting, using compound screen assays and fragment based screening technologies. We will also provide an insight in computational methods for generating chemical ‘hits’. The module will also cover how these ‘hit’ compounds are prosecuted into tool compounds or Lead Optimisation candidates (LO), both historic and modern, that are used to further validate a potential drug target.
During this second module we will provide an insight into the challenges of moving a compound from an LO candidate to a pre-clinical candidate. How bio-marker companion tests are developed, validated and are used to underpin clinical trials. The lectures will also provide a keen insight into novel formulation strategies currently under development within Queen’s University Belfast. In addition, we will also provide an insight into the development of bio-therapeutics, such as antibodies, that are proving to be a powerful alternative to small molecule based therapeutics.
The strong links between us and the biotech and bio-pharmaceutical 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 of Cancer
Target Identification and Development in Drug Discovery
Drug optimization, drug delivery and clinical trials