Undergraduate prospectus 2021


Cancer Biomedicine BSc

Cancer poses a significant health and socio-economic burden to society. In this unique degree you will be taught by researchers working at the forefront of basic, translational and clinical cancer research. Knowledge of cancer is widely relevant to careers in biomedical research, health science, allied health professions and the pharmaceutical industry.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2020
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2020
London, Bloomsbury

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

Contextual offer

BBB (more about contextual offers)
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 points in three higher level subjects including Biology and Chemistry, with no score below 5.

Contextual offer

32 (more about contextual offers)
A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects including Biology or 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 to include Distinction in Biology and Chemistry.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 18-23 credits in Chemistry and Biology awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

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

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or 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 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.

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 socio-economic 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, including the human microbiome, stem cell therapies, drug design and delivery, and nanomedicine.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module 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 five 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 choose from.

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 and treatment
Introduction to Clinical Trials

Optional modules

Basics of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Nutrition and Cancer Risk

Other optional modules will also be available. If there is a particular module that a student is interested in offered elsewhere in UCL, it is possible to select this if approved by the Programme Director. 

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

Medical Entrepreneur

Paediatric and young adult cancer: Basic research and clinical applications

Nutrition in cancer treatments

Other optional modules will also be available. If there is a particular module that a student is interested in offered elsewhere in UCL, it is possible to select this if approved by the Programme Director. 

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:   Cancer Biomedicine Research Project (CINS0011) will be a compulsory module Precision Cancer Medicine (CINS0014) will be a compulsory module Cancer Clinical Trials (CINS0015) will be a compulsory module Research Methods From Bench to Bedside (MEDC0017) will be a compulsory module These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

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.

Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.


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.

Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    

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


Graduates will be capable of critical thinking and complex problem-solving and becoming highly skilled scientists. 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 is 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.

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

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2020/21 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2020/21 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2020/21)
Overseas students
£26,490 (2020/21)

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

Additional costs

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


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

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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 2020


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.

Page last modified on 24 February 2020