MSc Cancer

Samuel Fund scholarships will be available for 2018-19 entry. Applications are now OPEN. £5,000 and £25,000 awards available. 


The MSc Cancer programme reflects the depth and breadth of research expertise within the UCL Cancer Institute. The programme, taught by research scientists and academic clinicians, will provide students with an in-depth look at the biology behind the disease processes which lead to cancer. Students will learn about the approaches taken to predict, detect, monitor, and treat cancer. The programme provides a strong grounding in the cutting edge research methods and techniques used to advance our understanding of this disease and design better treatment strategies. 

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

Student Christian Pellegrino talks about why he chose MSc Cancer:

Student Georgia Constantinou talks about her experience studying MSc Cancer:

Degree content and structure

The normal period of registration for a full Master's degree is one year's taught programme for full-time students. 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).

  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.
  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks) is offered.
PG Cert
(60 credits)
PG Dip 
(120 credits)
(180 credits)
Basic Biology & Cancer Genetics Basic Biology & Cancer Genetics Basic Biology & Cancer Genetics
Cancer Therapeutics Cancer Therapeutics Cancer Therapeutics
- Cancer Clinical Trials Cancer Clinical Trials
- Biomarkers in Cancer Biomarkers in Cancer
- Heamatological Malignancies & Gene Therapy Heamatological Malignancies & Gene Therapy
- Behavioural Science & Cancer Behavioural Science & Cancer
- - Dissertation

Core modules:

There are two core modules worth 30 credits each. Each module will consist of a written exam (50%) and coursework (50%).

  • Basic Biology and Cancer Genetics
  • Cancer therapeutics

For the two core modules, there will be four assignments in all. Three of the assignments will count towards your mark, one of the pieces is formative i.e. you can use it to gather feedback but it doesn’t count towards your final mark. 

- Formative assessment: eg data mining
- Summative assessments: eg x2 lab practicals and x1 evidence-based medicine review

There will be x2 multiple choice exams in January 

Students will also participate in discussion group activities and journal paper dissection. General skills lectures/tutorials include: academic writing. thesis writing, evidence-based critiques, IP, ethics, strategies for applying for PhD programmes.

Specialist modules:

There are four specialist (optional) modules. Each optional module is worth 15 credits. Each module assessment will consist of a written exam or coursework.

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

Laboratory based project or research module:

  • Dissertation

The project/research component of the course is worth 60 credits. Students will undertake a laboratory project, be involved with clinical trials or have a systems biology/informatics project. Students will submit a written dissertation of 10,000 - 12,000 words and have an assessed oral presentation about their research project around the midpoint of the module.

Why study with us? 

University College London is one of Europe’s largest and most productive centres of biomedical science with great strengths in cancer research. Scientists at UCL have an international reputation for leading basic, translational and clinical cancer research. The newly formed UCL Cancer Institute brings together scientists from various disciplines to synergise multidisciplinary research into cancer. Our researchers’ 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
  • epigenetic changes in cancer
  • gene therapy
  • early phase clinical trials
  • national and international clinical trials in solid tumours and blood cancers

In addition we collaborate with scientists in nanotechnology, bioinformatics and computational sciences, developmental biology, stem-cell research, immunity, engineering and medicinal chemistry.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or an appropriate professional qualification or work experience.

How To Apply

Applications should be submitted directly to UCL admissions

Applications will be open until Friday 27 July 2018 for the 2018-19 academic year (September 2018 start). See online prospectus entry for MSc Cancer.

Apply now

Fees and Funding

Home/EU: £14,180 (2018/19) full-time
Overseas: £26,670  (2017/18) full-time

For those students working to organise scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants), early application for admission is strongly encouraged.

The new UK Government Postgraduate Loan Scheme is available to students applying to Master's programmes starting September 2018 (eligibility criteria apply)