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MSc(Res) Translational Oncology

University of Sheffield Medical School

Full time & Part time September MRes 1 year FT / 2 years PT

About the course

Course description

Lead academic: Dr Carolyn Staton

Translational oncology is the process by which laboratory research informs the development of new treatments for cancer. It’s a rapidly advancing field with massive therapeutic and commercial potential, and recent oncology graduates have gone on to work in academic research science, pharmaceuticals, the biotech industry and the NHS among others.

Our oncology MSc(Res) is taught by leading research scientists and clinicians in cancer. The course offers training in the theory and practice of translational oncology and provides you with transferable skills for your future career.

The oncology course is designed so that students progressively achieve more advanced levels of learning and practice by giving a thorough grounding in cancer through

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

Minimum 2:1 in a relevant science-related subject. We also welcome medical graduates, and UK medical undergraduates wishing to intercalate.

Medical students can intercalate after completing three years of their medical degree.

English language requirements:
Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.


Course Content

Where is University of Sheffield


Student Profile(s)

Amy Harding

“I am from South Wales. I moved to Sheffield for university and have not left”, explains Amy Harding, who studied MSc(Res) Translational Oncology. “I had always found cancer biology interesting and it’s a rapidly expanding area of biomedical research. The MSc(Res) Translational Oncology offers both a taught component and a six-month research project with dissertation. I felt that this aspect of the course would benefit my long-term career aspirations.”

“I enjoyed being taught by both clinicians and scientists, whose inputs were current and informative. As they were experts in theirs fields, I felt very privileged to learn from them”, she recalls. “I really enjoyed the six-month research project component, where I learned lab skills, attended lab meetings, conferences and integrated into a research environment. I also felt that this project was fundamental for my career plans, as it certainly helped me get my PhD. Therefore, making it the perfect transition from undergraduate degree to further graduate training.”

Following her MSc(Res) Translational Oncology, Amy progressed into PhD study at Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry. She is currently in the final stages of PhD study, and is working as a postgraduate research associate. In 2018, Amy was awarded the prestigious Senior Colgate Prize by the British Society for Oral and Dental Research, for her research into the use of tissue engineered models to study cancer progression. In the future, Amy plans to establish her own scientific group.

“My advice for someone considering studying MSc(Res) Translational Oncology is that if you are interested in cancer biology and ‘bench to beside’ research, then this course is perfect. The skills you learn are not just transferable to science and academia but to other graduate employment avenues. It is rare to get a six-month high-quality research project that includes being supported by top-class researchers in excellent lab facilities, so it’s definitely worth it.”

Lucinda Sinclair

“I’m from Brighton, and I moved up to Sheffield for university. I studied biomedical science for my undergraduate degree”, recalls Lucinda Sinclair. “After studying biomedical science, I wanted to get a more in depth understanding of a specific area. I also wanted to gain some lab experience as I’d chosen theory modules and literature reviews instead of practicals throughout my undergraduate degree. So I chose to study MSc(Res) Translational Oncology.”

“I loved doing the research project”, she says, explaining her enjoyment of the course. “Spending time working full-time in a lab has given me a much better understanding of the research. It was also great being in a small cohort as the lectures were much more interactive and interesting.”

“I now work as an associate medical writer at Ashfield Healthcare on the Allegro Programme. My masters degree helped with my writing of course, but also with things like presenting and confidence at interviews as we had so many presentations and workshops throughout the taught phase.”

“After my masters I took a year out, did an internship at Pfizer in marketing and realised I enjoyed the science too much to focus on the business side. I then spent five months doing a ski season in Austria and then went travelling in the summer, by which point I realised what I wanted to do and so started my job as an associate medical writer last October.”

“I’m on a fast-track training programme so will (hopefully) be promoted to medical writer by this October. I’d like the opportunity to travel and attend congresses so am keen to get medical affairs experience in my next rotation. I’d love to spend some time living and working in another country again.”

Jack Williamson

"Undertaking the Translational Oncology master of research at the University of Sheffield was an excellent opportunity for me to explore the cellular basis of cancer and also enabled me to gain a hands on experience in the laboratory with my own 6-month research project analysing the potential therapeutic role of monoacylglycerol lipase inhibiters in osteosarcoma."

"The course also gave me a working familiarity with a number of science databases, the types of statistical analyses commonly used throughout scientific literature, as well as the essentials of good scientific writing. I use all of these skills on a daily basis in my role as an assistant editor at The Lancet; a scientific journal that publishes high quality research to help inform clinical practice and improve lives. In my role, I collaborate with scientists from a wide range of backgrounds and medical specialities to help enable outstanding research to be as clear and impactful as possible to the wider scientific community."

James Craig

"After completing a graduate scheme programme at a FTSE 250 healthcare company I have started a role as a strategic intelligence analyst with the same company. In this role I collect, analyse and distribute intelligence about products, technologies and competitors with a focus on oncology. Previously on the graduate scheme I rotated around various business units that play key roles in a healthcare company including clinical development, manufacturing and operations and marketing."

"The MSc course in Translational Oncology has given me a solid understanding of the fundamentals of oncology that has meant in my current role I have been able to interpret and analyse new clinical data and trends in the cancer space to fully understand the outcomes and rationale. Additionally, the soft skills I also gained on the course such as presentation giving, reporting writing, literature searching as well as managing various projects at once has allowed me to hit the ground running in my role and be an active member of the team."


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