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Cancer Institute MPhil/PhD

Research degree studies at the UCL Cancer Institute provides students with a supportive yet intellectually rigorous environment to develop their research skills, subject knowledge and critical review abilities. Excellent facilities, supervision and training opportunities prepare students for careers in academia, industry, business, biomedicine and healthcare.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£4,770 (FT) £2,385 (PT)
£22,180 (FT) £11,090 (PT)

Application dates

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. You should check the institute's studentship opportunities page or contact the Departmental Graduate Tutor before making an application. For more information see our How to apply page.
Fees note: All fees quoted are for new students only for 2016 entry. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase by approximately 3-5%.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


Research within the UCL Cancer Institute is diverse and entails various disciplines such as molecular and cellular biology, cancer genetics, immunology, genetic engineering, cancer therapeutics and bioinformatics. There are five research departments within the Cancer Institute:
  • Cancer Biology
  • Haematology
  • Oncology
  • Pathology
  • Clinical Trials Centre

Research areas

  • Antibody-based therapeutics for imaging and treatment of cancer
  • Brain cancer and stem cells
  • Cellular and gene therapy for cancer and other blood-related disorders
  • Chromosomal DNA replication and cancer
  • Effects of tumour biology on therapeutic response, tumour immunology
  • Epigenetic changes and cancer
  • Genetics of sarcoma, acute leukaemia, chronic leukaemia and myoproliferative diseases
  • Medical genomics, cancer systems, science and biomedical informatics
  • Signalling networks
  • Stratified/personalised cancer medicine
  • Therapeutic drug-DNA interactions
  • Translational projects, clinical trials and epidemiology
  • Viral oncology.


Annual CR-UK funded clinical fellowships and non-clinical PhD studentships are available; please check the Cancer Institute website for further details.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

SLMS Student Conference Fund

UK, EU, Overseas students

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


Graduates go on to further medical training or clinical posts, take up PhD studies or academic posts at institutions including universities around the world. They have also found employment in laboratory management, research, industry, clinical trials co-ordination, scientific writing and editing, sales and consulting.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Miltenyi Biotec
  • Research Data Manager in Cancer Clinical Trials, Imperial College Helthcare NHS Trust
  • Analyst, GfK Market Access
  • Account Executive, Health Interactions
  • Core Medical Trainee in Nephrology, Renal Transplant Ward, Royal Free Hampstead Hospital NHS


Skills students acquire include bench and technical skills, critical evaluation of scientific literature, experimental planning and design, interpretation of data results, presentation/public speaking skills, time and project management, working within a team, working independently and writing for various audiences.


Networking opportunities include weekly internal divisional seminars, weekly external speaker seminar and reception, Cancer Institute annual conference, student poster sessions, national/international research conference attendance, academic careers day and LinkedIn alumni network.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Cancer Istitute offers a unique opportunity to work in a collaborative research environment that spans basic research, translational medicine and clinical applications. The Cancer Institute works closely with its associated clinical trials facilities, experimental cancer medicine centre, biobanking facilities and associated partner hospitals in London.

Student / staff ratios › 224 staff including 74 postdocs › 32 taught students › 89 research students

Department: Cancer Institute

Degree reviews

Student review

"By picking and choosing from courses offered through the Cancer Institute and the UCL Doctoral School I can piece together my own curriculum for acquiring the skills I really feel I need in order to support my research."

Anna Koeferle

Cancer Institute MPhil/PhD
Student review

"UCL is home to one of the leading cancer institutes in the country. My research interests are mainly focused around cancer and therefore UCL was the perfect place for me to continue my graduate studies. The close links UCL has with CRUK, my funding body, are also extremely important; it was very encouraging to know that UCL places such an emphasis on cancer research and is committed to being a leading institution in the field."

Lucie Van Emmenis

Cancer Institute PhD
Staff review

"UCL is a research powerhouse with an international reputation for excellence. I joined UCL to create programmes linking education and research to train the next generation of cancer scientists. Supporting students on their academic journey of discovery and development, I enjoy watching them progress in their studies, grow in confidence and move into a wide range of subject-related careers. "

Dr Julie Olszewski

Cancer MSc, Cancer Institute MD(Res), Cancer Institute MPhil/PhD
UCL Cancer Institute

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. You should check the institute's studentship opportunities page or contact the Departmental Graduate Tutor before making an application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact Information


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  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
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