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.
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.
Our MSc in Cancer Biology and Radiotherapy Physics is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in cancer research and/or cancer therapy involving ionising radiation.
With around 40% of all cancer cure cases involving radiotherapy and the UK soon to have a proton therapy service, the need for multidisciplinary scientists in this field has never been greater.
We aim to develop multidisciplinary scientists to create the necessary skill base that will drive radiotherapy forward in the UK.
This course will enable you to train as a multidisciplinary scientist in this area by covering a variety of subjects in content that is delivered by staff with a range of expertise, including physicists, biologists, engineers, clinicians and oncologists.
Our collaboration with The Christie will allow you to undertake unique research projects in its radiotherapy facilities that cannot be carried out anywhere else in the UK or most of Europe.
This course aims to help you develop:
You will be taught by academics from the University and clinical scientists at The Christie, meaning both fundamental science and its clinical application will be covered equally.
Units are delivered in one-week blocks with a mix of face-to-face content delivery and hands-on practical sessions.
There will be a number of assessed and non-assessed activities to develop your key skills and expand your knowledge base.
There is an also online pre-course element, which will be the beginning of your multidisciplinary scientific journey.
After the taught units, there is an supervised research project that will put into practice the key skills and knowledge acquired in the taught component.
The taught units will be assessed through multiple choice exams and practical assessments.
The research project will be assessed through the submission of a short report and oral presentation.
The taught component, which includes the five core and three optional units, will amount to 120 credits of the 180 credits required for an MSc qualification.
The remaining 60 credits will be obtained through a supervised research project.
Much of the course content is delivered through a collaboration with The Christie .
Our collaboration with The Christie means you will have access to an MRI image guided radiotherapy linear accelerator and a proton therapy centre incorporating a dedicated research room for your research project.
You will also be able to access a range of library and IT facilities throughout the University.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .
Individual taught units from this MSc can be offered to industry and healthcare professionals as part of a career and professional development programme. Please contact us for further information.
This course will help you gain the knowledge and skills to become a leading healthcare scientist in the public or private sector.
It may also be of interest if you are a healthcare worker in the field of radiotherapy who wishes to advance your career.
The master's qualification gained could act as a stepping stone to further academic qualifications or careers involving medical science research.