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Course content

This Masters in Cancer Sciences will prepare you for a career in cancer science, whether you aim to pursue a PhD or further medical studies, or seek a career in the health services sector, in the life sciences, biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries. Our programme takes a 'bench to bedside' approach, enabling graduates to work within a multidisciplinary environment of world-leading scientists and cancer-specialists to address the latest challenges in cancer research.

Why this programme

  • University of Glasgow is rated in the UK top five and best in Scotland for cancer studies. You will be taught by a multidisciplinary team of world leading cancer scientists and clinicians within the Cancer Research UK Glasgow Centre.
  • This MSc in Cancer Sciences programme is unique in the UK as it delivers integrated teaching in molecular biology, pathology and clinical service.
  • The Cancer Research UK Glasgow Centre brings together scientists and clinicians from research centres, universities and hospitals around Glasgow to deliver the very best in cancer research, drug discovery and patient care. The centre’s world leading teams have made major advances in the understanding and treatment of many cancers. For more information, please visit: http://www.wecancentre.org/
  • In the first semester, each week is focused around one of the new Hallmarks of Cancer, with the focus on the molecular/cellular biology of this hallmark. A tutorial session will enable you to discuss and integrate your learning from the week. This will enable you to understand how research into the fundamental principles of cancer cell biology can translate to advances in cancer treatment.
  • The aim of this MSc in Cancer Sciences is to train cancer researchers who can break down the barriers that currently prevent discoveries at the bench from being translated into treatments at the bedside. By understanding the science, methodology and terminology used by scientists and clinicians from different disciplines, you will learn to communicate effectively in a multidisciplinary environment, to critically evaluate a wide range of scientific data and to research strategies and learn how to make a significant contribution to cancer research.

Programme structure

Semester 1: Hallmarks of Cancer

This 13 week core course aims to:

  • provide you with a critical understanding of the molecular and cellular events that drive cancer development and progression
  • demonstrate how an understanding of these events underpins current and future approaches to cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • integrate the teaching of molecular biology, cell biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer
  • describe how all these disciplines communicate and work together in the fight against cancer
  • provide you with theoretical training in fundamental molecular and cell biology techniques used in cancer research

One week of practical training is provided at the start of the course. This course is assessed through a lab notebook, group assessment, critical essay and an exam that focuses on data analysis and interpretation.

Semester 2

In the second semester, you can choose from a range of 3 week optional courses, before taking the core course “Designing a Research Project”.

  • Drug Discovery
  • Drug Development and Clinical trials
  • Viruses and Cancer
  • Diagnostic technologies and devices
  • Technology transfer and commercialisation of bioscience research
  • Current trends and challenges in biomedical research and health

or

  • Frontiers in Cancer Sciences – 5 week optional course
  • Omic technologies for the biomedical sciences: from genomics to metabolomics - – 5 week optional course

or

  • Designing a research project: biomedical research methodology - 6 week optional course

Semester 3

Bioscience Research Project

In this 14 week core course you will:

  • have an opportunity to perform a piece of original research to investigate a hypothesis or research questions within the area of cancer research. The project may be “wet” or “dry”, depending what projects are available
  • develop practical and/or technical skills, analyse data critically and draw conclusions, and suggest avenues for future research to expand your research findings

Note: students must have a minimum of grade C in semesters 1 and 2 in order to proceed to the research project.

Career prospects

The knowledge and transferable skills developed in this programme will be suitable for those contemplating a PhD or further medical studies, those wishing to work in the health services sector, and those interested in working in the life sciences, biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries, including contract research organisations (CROs). This programme is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in the life sciences, scientists working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and clinicians and other healthcare professionals. 


Visit the Cancer Sciences - MSc page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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