Oncology MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This flexible MSc Oncology, studied over 3-5 years, is ideal for busy clinicians aspiring to become consultants in clinical or medical oncology. It combines short blocks of on-campus teaching with active online teaching. Clinically-focused modules provide an in-depth understanding of the underlying basis of cancer processes and its treatment for direct application into your clinical practice. You can study towards a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, or MSc award.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 28 Feb – 31 Jul 2023

Applications closed

Entry requirements

Applicants must possess an undergraduate medical degree (i.e. MBBS or equivalent from a recognised institution) and have completed foundation training (or equivalent basic postgraduate clinical training). Applicants must have full and current registration with the UK General Medical Council (or international equivalent) and be in clinical practice in an oncogological specialty with access to patients for the duration of the programme.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

For this programme, please contact our UCL Graduate Admissions team.

About this degree

This MSc programme provides oncology registrars with the essential knowledge of cancer science and clinical practice to advance your career and enhance your skills in cancer research. It will suit ambitious clinicians who are preparing for the FRCR Part 1 examinations, the Final FRCR and the Specialty Certificate Examination for Oncology.

Our syllabus maps onto the General Medical Council curriculum for the specialist registrar training for medical oncology and clinical oncology. Through clinically focused modules, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the underlying basis of cancer processes and its treatment, which you can apply directly into your clinical practice. The MSc award helps you develop key academic and research skills, such as appraising evidence, designing research and how to present your findings.

We combine weekly interactive online sessions with intensive three-day blocks of face-to-face teaching in London each term to help you fit the course around your existing commitments. You will network with colleagues and supervisors on day-release taught days and our online learning platforms. UCL draws on specialist clinical and cancer science expertise from the UCL Cancer Institute, UCLH, Francis Crick, the Royal Free and associated hospitals.

You can study over 3-5 years and qualify with a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, or master's degree.

Who this course is for

We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate:

  • A clear understanding of and commitment to oncology as a career.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • You must value dignity, compassion, teamwork, diversity, inclusion, and above all, person-centred care, listening and responding to the specific needs of individuals and communities.

The programme is ideal for busy clinicians / oncology registrars who aspire to become consultants in clinical or medical oncology and are preparing for the FRCR Part 1 examinations, the Final FRCR and the Specialty Certificate Examination for Oncology.

What this course will give you

  • We provide oncology registrars with the essential knowledge of cancer basic science and clinical practice to advance their careers and enhance skills in cancer research.
  • Flexibility: we compress on-campus teaching into termly 3-day blocks, alongside weekly online teaching that will help you fit your studies around other commitments.
  • The foundations for professional qualifications, including the first and final fellowship examinations of the Royal College of Radiologists in clinical oncology and the Specialty Certificate Examination in Medical Oncology of the Royal Colleges of Physicians.
  • A final-year project for MSc students that can result in a peer reviewed scientific publication. 
  • An ideal pathway to higher research degrees (such as the PhD Oncology). It will be the hallmark of a high achieving oncologist when it comes to applications for consultant posts.
  • Opportunities to network with colleagues and supervisors on day-release taught days and online on our sophisticated virtual platforms.
  • Specialist clinical and cancer science expertise from the UCL Cancer Institute, UCLH, Francis Crick, the Royal Free and associated hospitals.

The foundation of your career

Students on this course are committed to careers in medical oncology or clinical oncology. This MSc will help you to advance your career to a more specialised level or to become more established as a practitioner.

You will develop your knowledge, clinical skills, and specialist expertise to be awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training. Also, studying aspects of your specialty in greater depth will help you prepare for site specialist practice.


Most MSc Oncology graduates will become consultants in one or other specialty, either in an NHS based predominantly clinical service role or in an academic position. There are also a range of alternative career paths that will suit graduates - for example, in industry.

Whatever the destination, the MSc Oncology provides a range of transferable skills that will benefit you in your career pathway.

The MSc also provides important skills for further research, such as a PhD. If you wish to pursue this, we will provide guidance and support for the next steps.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of:

  • Intensive three-day blocks of face-to-face teaching
  • Online lectures and clinical examples
  • Research appraisal and journal clubs
  • Practical sessions and group discussions.
  • Self-directed reading and learning, supported by tutorials and workshops.

We accommodate a range of learning styles. Our teaching includes tutorials, group work, online and live lectures, online seminars, case reviews and interpretation of clinical images and data. Recorded lectures and audio recordings of some topics will also be available.

We use the learning platform, Moodle, to direct you to relevant publicly available websites and to other learning materials to support your learning.

You will also receive support and feedback from module leads and lecturers on the course content and your progress.

The assessments include:

  • Short answer exam questions to test your core knowledge.
  • A written review of a clinical trial to develop critical evaluation skills.
  • Written patient treatment plans to apply principles of radiotherapy and pharmacology to specific clinical contexts.
  • Various communication platforms (including social media) to test your communication skills to a range of lay and specialist audiences.
  • Oral skills are developed through regular group discussions and assessed through poster presentations.
  • A research project, where you consolidate your skills and knowledge from the degree to conduct independent research.

Your data analysis and critical evaluation skills will be assessed through an oral presentation and written dissertation.

Your contact hours and independent study requirements will depend on the modules you select every year.

A 15-credit module includes 18 hours of face-to-face group learning (in a block of three days), 27 hours of online courses, and four hours of tutor meetings. You should allow approximately 100 hours for self-directed learning and preparing for your assessments.

If you study 60 credits per year, you should expect to spend roughly one day per week towards your award.


In this modular programme, both specialties work together for the first registrar year ('Oncology Common Stem' year) for you to gain in-depth experience of the other specialty. It then splits into the two specialist training programmes in the second year.

We recommended that you study 60 credits per year for three years, as detailed below. However, you can study fewer modules per year, provided you complete within five years.

Year one

Year one covers the curriculum for the FRCR Part 1 examinations, encountered at the end of the Oncology Common Stem training year. The science base is illustrated in four common tumour types (lung, breast, colorectal and prostate) as exemplars of fundamental oncology principles. 
You study two compulsory 30-credit modules:

  • Fundamentals of Oncology Science  
  • Fundamentals of Oncology Therapeutics

Year two

Year two prepares you to pass the Final FRCR and the Specialty Certificate Examination for Oncology. We focus on the management of less common tumour sites and the role of other oncology disciplines.
You study three compulsory 15-credit modules:

  • Cancer Management 1
  • Cancer Management 2
  • Cancer Management 3

You also choose one 15-credit module from the following:

  • Specialist Systemic Therapy
  • Specialist Radiation Therapy

Year three

Year three is clinical or laboratory-based research, using the academic expertise and facilities provided by the UCL Cancer Institute and the Francis Crick Institute.

Compulsory modules

Cancer Management 1

Cancer Management 2

Cancer management 3

Research dissertation

Optional modules

Specialist Systemic Therapy

Specialist Radiation Therapy

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Oncology.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £9,600
Tuition fees (2023/24) £24,200

Programme only available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

  • Travel and accommodation for the termly face-to-face teaching blocks at our Bloomsbury campus in London. We may also travel locally to other sites (e.g. Royal Free Hospital) for some activities.
  • Printing and binding of two copies of your final-year research dissertation (c. £50).
  • Vaccination: some research projects may involve primary human tissue. You may need to obtain a Hepatitis B vaccination (around £150 for a full course).
  • Textbooks: we recommend purchasing core textbooks, but it is not requirement.  
  • Equipment: you will need access to a computer and webcam and a reliable internet connection, as most of this course is online. When you come to London for the face-to-face components, you will be able to access computers on campus.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

As this is a flexible-mode programme that allows you to take a break from the end of a year of study, it is not considerable eligible for traditional study loans.

If you are interested in applying for a £1,000 oncology student award from the Cancer Institute, you must provide a statement of 600 words explaining why you would most benefit from it.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

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 Application fees.

As part of your application, we would like to know:

  • Why you want to study oncology at graduate level.
  • Why you want to study oncology at UCL.
  • What particularly attracts you to this programme.
  • How your academic, professional, and personal background meets the demands of this programme.
  • Where you would like to go professionally with your degree.

Your personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying will match what the programme will deliver.

Further requirements

As you will be working with the public, you will be subject to screening by UCL Occupational Health and through the Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

You will need to consent to vaccinations to protect yourself and patients. You must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

International students who apply to this programme are not eligible for a regular student visa for full-time study in the UK. To attend the on-campus teaching sessions for this course, international students will ordinarily use a UK Standard Visitor visa for study. For any visa queries, please contact the UCL Student Immigration Compliance Team.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Got questions? Get in touch

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