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Cancer - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

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.

Degree information

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.

Core modules
-Basic Biology and Cancer Genetics
-Cancer Therapeutics

Specialist modules
-Behavioural Science and Cancer
-Biomarkers in Cancer
-Cancer Clinical Trials
-Haematological Malignancies and Gene Therapy

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%).


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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Research Technician, NHS Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
-Cancer and Genetics, ETH Zurich
-PhD Cancer Research, University of New South Wales (UNSW)
-Clincial Trial Project Manager, Beijing Lawke Health Laboratory Inc.
-Research Scientist, SporeGen

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Visit the Cancer - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Dimitra Georgopoulou

"UCL and the UCL Cancer Institute gave me the opportunity to meet and maintain contact with important and established people in my field of interest, both in academia and industry. I also had the chance to meet invited scientists from the UK and other universities from around the world."

Dimitra Georgopoulou
Cancer MSc (2010)

(Student Profile)

Ben Draper

"There have been many things that have been impressive in the programme. For the core module we had an extremely wide variety of lecturers who were at the cutting-edge of their field which gave a largely in depth-look at the field of cancer research as a whole. The summer lab project has been a great opportunity to develop current lab skills and learn new ones as well as actually doing something worthwhile; additionally, at least in my experience, everyone in the lab seems to go out of their way to help and, instead of thinking you're just getting in everyone's way, it feels like you're a part of the lab and people are interested in the work that you're doing."


Samuel MSc Fund - 6 Awards

The criteria for awarding the scholarship is academic excellence and demonstrated aspiration/potential to work or study in the area of cancer research. Candidates must demonstrate how they plan to utilise the MSc Cancer degree.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£5,000 - 25,000


Samuel MSc Fund Scholarships are available to applicants who have an unconditional or conditional offer to study the MSc in Cancer at UCL, full time, for entry in September 2016.

Application Procedure

Submit Samuel Fund MSc Fund application form to [email protected]
Deadline: Friday 15th April 2015, 5.00pm

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline such as life sciences or medicine or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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