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Clinical Oncology MSc/Diploma - Part-time


Course Description

Overview

For health care professionals from diverse backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of oncology, including:

- medical and clinical oncology SpRs
- nurses
- pharmacists
- radiographers
- vets
- clinical trial co-ordinators
- dieticians

A full-time programme is also available.

This programme aims to give you a scientific understanding of the cellular and molecular biology of cancer, its epidemiology and pathology, and to place this in a clinical context. You will then address how this knowledge effects therapeutic approaches and disease management.

It aims to allow you to understand the research process by drawing on examples within the department and its associated clinical trials unit. A key part of this Masters programme is the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study leading to submission of a dissertation.

At all levels we aim to encourage interactive rather than didactic learning and lecturing. Therefore, in addition to assembling and learning facts you will also to consider some of the philosophical challenges which underlie the treatment of cancer.

You can opt for a Postgraduate Diploma on completion of the core modules and 40 credits of optional modules, or an MSc on successful completion of the taught programme and an independently researched dissertation.

Why study this course

This course:

- is run at the Birmingham Cancer Research UK Centre
- draws on expertise from staff within the School and clinical staff from Birmingham Hospitals plus invited speakers from across the country
- meets the training requirements of the FRCR part I exams
- can contribute towards career development and open up further career progression opportunities
- can be tailored to suit your own interests by selecting from a choice of optional modules
- has part-time or full-time versions available
- is taught in week long blocks of study for ease of travel and freedom from competing work commitments
- will increase your personal knowledge of the practices and principles of clinical oncology
- will give you the ability to improve the standards of clinical oncology practiced at your institute or place of work

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open day (Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Clinical Oncology MSc/Diploma - Part-time page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Gillian Hornzee

MSc Clinical Oncology, part-time 2011

Current role - Cancer Trials Team Leader, Imperial College

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I had previously been working as a trials coordinator, but after graduating I was promoted to Team Leader, heading up a team of 5 people and running all the cancer trials run at St Mary’s Hospital site of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

What is the best thing about the job you are doing now?

I enjoy speaking to patients about trials, discussing with the clinicians which trials should be opened at the hospital and making sure that all trials data is accurate and medically correct.

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

One of my colleagues had done the course and recommended it, especially as several of the lecturers are at the cutting edge of cancer research in terms of developing the vaccine for cervical cancer.

What did you think were the best points of the course and the University?

I loved the fact that clinicians were lecturing us about what happens in the real world of treatment of cancer. Also it was great to have lectures on the latest research into cancer. It fit in really well with my job too, because having lectures condensed into a week-long block made it possible for me to attend a course which was a long way away from where I work, but was better than other courses available locally.

What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?

Make the most of all the learning opportunities as they will stand you in good stead for the future.

How did you grow as a person by studying at University? Did it change your life in any way?

I became more confident, especially in dealing with the clinicians and professors making important decisions about recruiting to clinical trials.

(Student Profile)

Rachel Hoare

Current role - Research Technician at the University of Birmingham, School of Cancer Sciences

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

The MSc course enabled me to further develop my skills as a researcher, helping me to conduct research in a more informed way, taking into acount the downstream processes required to translate research for a patient’s benefit. The disseration project enabled me to become a more independent researcher by intercalating my laboratory-based job with the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study for this purpose (which I subsequently presented at a conference). This Masters level programme benefited me in many ways. I not only assembled and learnt facts, but also considered some of the philosophical challenges which underlie the treatment of cancer. I gained a greater understanding of how the research and trials processes fit together in the context of oncology and through engaging in continuing professional development, I gained increased confidence and self esteem.

What is the best thing about the job you are doing now?

I am committed to cancer research and enjoy making a positive contribution to cancer research fields through my laboratory work, which is what I enjoy doing.

What did you think were the best points of the course and University?

The lectures are given by world-class researchers and clinicians working at the university/experts in their field, and the information is very current and very relevant. One highlight is to hear the views of clinicians and others who are working at the leading edge of their specific fields, which often opens up discussions in the lectures.
Very relevant course for anybody working in the cancer field.
Broadens knowledge, not only clinical but also research methods and statistical analysis.
Teaches you how to critically appraise published work and analyse the statistical methods used in clinical studies, which is a very important skill.

What advice would you give to current students?

Ask questions and don’t be afraid to express an opinion during lectures. Enjoy learning!!

How did you grow as a person by studying at University?

I have gained increased confidence and self esteem, as well as become much more independent in my research skills. I have gained skills and expertise from studying (and working) at the University, which will be paramount for directing my career in cancer research and maximising its impact on improving patient treatment and care.


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Entry Requirements

A relevant degree (eg, Medicine, Radiography or Pharmacy), plus at least six months' experience working in an oncology environment. This may include experience in medicine, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry, nursing, radiography, clinical trials, scientific research, veterinary medicine, biostatistics and other related disciplines.

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