Cancer Institute MPhil/PhD
Research degree studies at the UCL Cancer Institute provide 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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £5,060 (FT) £2,530 (PT)
- £23,540 (FT) £11,760 (PT)
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 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.
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
- Clinical Trials Centre
- 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. Other funded studentships will also be advertised on the Institute's website as they become available.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates go on to further medical training or clinical posts, 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.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Consultant Haematologist, Barts Health NHS Trust
- Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, Imperial College London
- Senior Laboratory Research Scientist, Francis Crick Institute
- Research Associate, UCL
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.
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 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Cancer Institute 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.
Department: Cancer Institute
Student / staff numbers
› 133 staff
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
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.
What our students and staff say
"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 EmmenisCancer Institute PhD
"In the first year of my programme I had the opportunity to rotate around three different laboratory groups before picking the one where my interests lie for the final three years of my PhD. This has enabled me to develop a broader knowledge of research areas and technical skill, including molecular biology, and biochemistry techniques. In 2015 I got the opportunity to travel to UCSF San Francisco to take part in an international collaborative project, which I was very excited about!"
Greg JonesCancer Institute PhD
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.
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