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 (2021/22)
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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
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
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
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 (30 credits each) providing a foundation in cancer biology and cancer therapeutics, a 30 credit specialist module exploring cancer and the immune system, a 15 credit research skills module and a 15 credit optional module. Following the taught modules you will undertake a 60 credit research project.
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 15 weeks) is offered.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Cancer. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Cancer. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Cancer.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
You will study the following two core modules.
- Basic Biology and Cancer Genetics
- Cancer Therapeutics
You will study the specialist modules "Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy" and "Cancer Research Proposal". You will choose either "Cancer Clinical Trials" or "Behavioural Science and Cancer" as an option module.
- Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
- Cancer Research Proposal
- Cancer Clinical Trials (optional module)
- Behavioural Science and Cancer (optional module)
You will undertake a 60-credit laboratory project, clinical data 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, laboratory based practicals, clinical trial evaluations, research training, assigned reading and self-learning. Each taught module is assessed by an unseen written examination, presentation and/or coursework. The research project is assessed by the dissertation and oral presentation.
The MSc Cancer programme is a full-time degree course, and teaching may be scheduled throughout the working week. During the core and specialist modules, a typical week might involve around 15 hours of lectures and tutorials over three working days, however this will vary between weeks and between different modules. The remainder of the time is intended for students to undertake independent study. During the research project, students will typically attend their research group full-time.
Students are expected to pay for the printing and soft binding (usually spiral/comb binding) of two copies of their research project dissertations. Certain research projects, depending upon the activities involved, may require you to obtain Hepatitis B vaccination.
Although the majority of the teaching is conducted in the main UCL Bloomsbury campus, you may on occasion have to travel to other sites (e.g. Royal Free Hospital) for some activities. These other sites are all expected to be local within London, and therefore any additional travel costs that you may have to pay would be expected to be low. The purchase of core textbooks is recommended but is not a requirement for the programme. You may find it useful to have your own laptop or desktop computer, but this is not a programme requirement and UCL students can access computers in the libraries or student learning areas around the campus.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
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 contemplating a PhD or medical studies in cancer, as well as those individuals interested in a career in an industrial or healthcare setting.
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 multidisciplinary research into cancer. Our particular areas of expertise include: the molecular pathology of cancer, signalling pathways in cancer, epigenetic changes in cancer, bioinformatic analysis of cancer genomics and tumour heterogeneity, targeted drug design and antibody-directed therapeis, stem cell therapy and cancer immunotherapy, early phase clinical trials, and national and international clinical trials in solid tumours and blood cancers.
Department: Cancer Institute
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
"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 or 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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
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
- 31 May 2021
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.
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