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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £13,770 (FT)
- £25,890 (FT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
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.
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:
About this degree
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.
- Basic Biology and Cancer Genetics
- Cancer Therapeutics
- 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%).
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- £5,000 / £25,000 (One year)
- UK, EU, Overseas
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
- 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.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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.
Department: Cancer Institute
Student / staff numbers
› 133 staff
including 96 postdocs
› 29 taught students
› 89 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Cancer Institute
74% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"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 QuezadaProgrammes in the Faculty of Medical Sciences and in the Master’s programmes in Cancer
"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 DraperCancer MSc
"I came to UCL because only two Universities in Germany offer any study relating purely to cancer biology and these are within bigger programmes (e.g. Biomedical Sciences and one focus is cancer). But here at UCL there is a dedicated programme where students can learn about cancer biology and therapy."
Laura WisnewskiCancer 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.
- All applicants
- 28 July 2017
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.