Cancer MSc

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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£13,370 (FT) £N/A (PT)
£25,140 (FT) £N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.

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.

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:

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%).

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Cancer MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed 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.


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

  • PhD student at LSZGS, University of Zurich (2014)
  • Research Technician, University of Bath (2014)
  • Medical Science Liaison in breast cancer, Roche- Beijing (2014)
  • Clinical Trials Co-ordinator, Cyprus (2014)
  • PhD Student, EMBL (2014)


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 multi-disciplinary 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.

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

Department: Cancer Institute

Degree reviews

Staff review

"In addition to UCL and UCL Hospitals, London in general has all you need in terms of basic science and resources as well as clinical oncologists who want to team up with basic scientists to develop potent translational programs in cancer, autoimmunity, genetic diseases and so on."

Dr Sergio Quezada

Programmes in the Faculty of Medical Sciences and in the Master’s programmes in Cancer
Group Leader
Alumni review

"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 review

"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."

Ben Draper

Cancer MSc

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.

Who can apply?

The programme is designed for those with qualifications in life sciences, scientists, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals including individuals from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The knowledge and transferable skills developed are suitable for those in an industrial or healthcare setting, and for students contemplating further PhD or medical studies.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016
Further information on modules, degree structure and options to discuss the course with teaching staff available on the department web site: Cancer Msc.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study this programme at graduate level
  • why you want to study this programme at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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