Cancer Biomedicine BSc

UCAS Code: B800

In this unique degree you will be taught by researchers working at the forefront of basic, translational and clinical cancer research. You will focus on cancer as a disease, its treatment, and the associated research and socioeconomic impacts.

Programme Leader, Dr Chrissie Thirlwell, and UCL student, Georgia Constantinou, introduce the BSc Cancer Biomedicine programme:

Cancer Biomedicine BSc

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2018
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2018
London, Bloomsbury
Applications per place
n/a (2016 entry)*
Total intake
n/a (2018 entry)*
* Figures relate to Cancer subject area

Entry requirements

A Levels

Biology and Chemistry required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A total of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects including Biology and Chemistry, with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 - D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Chemistry and Biology required.

A,A,A - A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher to A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher), including Chemistry and Biology at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA-AAB. Chemistry and Biology required.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • The focus of this degree programme is on cancer as a disease, its treatment, and the associated research and socioeconomic impacts. It is a research-connected curriculum with teaching delivered by leading cancer scientists and clinicians.

  • You will have the opportunity to undertake a unique research project working alongside world class cancer researchers.

  • The skills, training, and knowledge gained within this programme will be enhanced by the combination of basic science, clinical disease management and translational medicine. This collectively offers a unique skill set to graduates.

  • There is a wide choice of optional modules for you to select from, ranging between cancer-related psychology, socioeconomic impacts, cancer survivorship and fertility, stem cell therapies and nanomedicine.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

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.

  • 80% 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.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year one is demanding, covering the foundations of human biology and medicine. There are seven modules providing an understanding of human health and disease. Teaching of biochemistry, physiology and anatomy is integrated with an understanding of each organ system. One further module gives an introduction to cancer medicine in society and leads on to cancer-related modules in years two and three. You will be mostly based at UCL’s Royal Free campus in Hampstead, North London, and taught by world-leading scientists and clinicians.

Year two comprises six compulsory modules covering molecular biology, cancer biology and therapeutics, clinical cancer management and clinical trials. Two further modules are optional with a wide range of subjects to chose from including tissue engineering, behavioural science and pharmacology.

Year three comprises four compulsory and three optional modules, with the compulsory modules examining how new cancer treatment strategies are designed and tested. You will also undertake a research project. The wide range of optional modules allows students to tailor-make a preferred route within biomedical sciences, guided by interest and intended career choice.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Foundations in Health and Disease
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Function in Health and Disease
The Gut, Liver and Drug Metabolism
Kidneys, Hormonal Control of Human Physiology, Fluid Balance and Nutrition
Infection, Inflammation and Repair
Data Interpretation and Evaluation in Health and Disease
Musculoskeletal Biology
Cancer Medicine in Society

Optional modules

There are no optional modules in year one. 

Core or compulsory module(s)

Molecular Basis of Disease
Techniques in Molecular Medicine—A Practical Approach
Cancer Biology and Therapeutics
Cancer Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Staging and Imaging
Clinical Management of Cancer
Introduction to Clinical Trials

Optional modules

Basics of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Behavioural Science and Cancer
Pharmacology and Drug Action
Immunology in Health and Disease
Physics of the Human Body
Statistical Methods for Biomedicine
Biomedical Entrepreneur
Health Psychology
Health Economics

Core or compulsory module(s)

Precision Cancer Medicine
Research Methods
Cancer Clinical Trials
Research Project

Optional modules

Drug Design and Delivery
Human Microbiome in Health and Disease
Stem Cell Therapies
Cancer Survivorship and Long Term Effects
Fertility and Cancer Treatment

Your learning

Teaching is delivered through formal lectures, small tutorials, group and independent work. Year two includes laboratory practicals, and in year three you will undertake a research project and produce a dissertation.

Lectures are both face-to-face and online, which gives you the opportunity to review topics at your own pace. There are also more intensive, creative sessions of tutorial-based problem solving and learning which take place in small groups.


Formative and summative assessment methods include: examinations (some of which are in multiple-choice or short-answer question format); coursework; poster presentations; practical skills assessment (OSPE); and online participation. There is a project dissertation which is produced as part of the research project in year three.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Cancer Biomedicine BSc.


Graduates will become highly skilled scientists capable of critical thinking and complex problem-solving. They will have developed excellent verbal and written communication skills. These competencies and this acquired knowledge will equip our graduates to excel in laboratory or clinical research careers, or flourish in other professions where a keen understanding of science and clinical medicine are crucial.

We expect our graduates to be capable of working at the highest levels and have the ability to make a significant contribution within all fields of biomedical sciences, research and associated professions.


The first cohort of students admitted to Cancer Biomedicine BSc is due to graduate in 2021. Therefore, information about career destinations for students on this programme is not yet available. 

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding


UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£24,040 (2018/19)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

We are looking for evidence of a firm interest in science as well as a motivation towards further knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. We expect our students to have a real curiosity and desire to contribute to society. We also expect them to be keen for the challenge of this innovative and research-connected programme. 

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2018


We will use predicted or achieved academic qualifications, your personal statement and references to decide whether to offer you a place. There will be no interviews.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

Programme contacts

More Information

Subject area


Faculty overview

Faculty of Medical Sciences

Department website

Cancer Institute