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Course content

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.

Visit the MSc Molecular Pathology of Cancer page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!

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