Cancer Biology

Access advanced technology and approaches being used in cancer biology.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2021
Campus: Hammersmith
ECTS: 90 credits

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Overview

Our Cancer Biology stream provides broad training in research and prepares you for a research career in the fight against cancer.

The course embraces cutting-edge developments in the field: you will experience some of the most technologically advanced approaches currently being applied to the broad field of cancer research in a teaching programme that comprises both theoretical and practical elements.

Choosing a stream

We offer two streams in Cancer Biology:

  • Cancer Biology
    MRes Cancer Biology
 

This page is primarily for the Cancer Biology stream of the MRes Cancer Biology. For information on the Cancer Informatics stream, please follow the link above.

Your choice of stream will inform the modules you study and your choice of research projects.

The structure of the course and assessment methods are similar for both streams.

Study programme

The Cancer Biology stream comprises an initial 4/5-week taught component. This covers the cellular and molecular basis of cancer biology, plus an introduction to the clinical and pathological aspects of carcinogenesis.

This information is covered through a series of lectures. It will be partly based on the lecturer's own research, making use of the excellent researchers we have at Imperial.

Alongside lectures, there are a series of workshops covering key transferable skills such as the oral presentation of scientific data and grant writing.

You will get an insight into the excellent project opportunities we have at Imperial, as well as those of our partner institutions (Crick Institute and Institute of Cancer Research).

To facilitate your learning, we will provide you with a textbook and you will present assigned chapters and additional research in small groups to the rest of the cohort. These book chapter presentations will be spread out over the taught component of the course.

You will then begin the first of two research placements of approximately 20 weeks each.

Careers

This MRes is designed for aspiring researchers. For example, 75% of the 2015-16 cohort studied for a PhD.

Those in employment have entered into roles such as Research Scientist, Research Assistant, and Scientific Officer.

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Structure

Core modules

You take all of the core modules below:

  • Module 1 – covering the cellular and molecular basis of cancer biology, as well as an introduction to the clinical and pathological aspects of carcinogenesis and treatment.
  • Cancer Biology

Research projects

You take two projects:

  • Project 1
  • Project 2

You choose from a list of projects offered by researchers at Imperial College Cancer Research UK Centre and our partner institutions (Crick Institute and Institute of Cancer Research).

These projects will immerse you in a multidisciplinary research environment that will promote your understanding of modern cancer research.

Through continuous interaction with research staff, you will be exposed to state-of-the-art research methodologies and a broad knowledge base, offering a stimulating learning environment.

By undertaking two separate research projects, you will be trained in a range of biological techniques, both from a theoretical and practical standpoint, while further developing your data analysis skills.

You will also further your ability to communicate scientific findings to your peers, both in writing and through oral presentations.

You will apply some of the most technologically advanced approaches in the field of cancer research to your own projects and gain transferable skills through a series of short courses offered by the College.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Modules 1 and 2 are blended learning taught modules, which will make use of pre-sessional tasks, supported workshops, practical sessions, student-lead learning, active learning techniques, as well as more traditional lectures. Working with collaborators (e.g. The Crick, Imperial Clinical Trials Unit), field trips and shadowing may also be available.

Work-based learning is the focus of the programme when you undertake the two research projects.

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Seminars
  • Student-led presentations

Assessment

  • Mock Grant Proposal
  • Poster Presentation
  • Projects (Thesis and Viva)
  • Statistics

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in an appropriate subject.

Non-academic requirements

You must have relevant lab experience, for example an undergraduate degree with a wet-lab project and dissertation.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Application deadlines

We consider applications to this course in three batches.

Applications received before each deadline are considered in those batches, as long as one or more academic reference has been received. It is your responsibility to contact your referees and ensure that they submit your reference.

  • First batch: 29 January 2021
  • Second batch: 23 April 2021
  • Third batch: 2 July 2021

After submission your application goes to Registry for checking prior to release to the Department, checking can take up to five working days.

If you wish your application to be considered in a particular batch, please apply at least five working days before the deadline to ensure your application is included in that round of decision making.

If all spaces are filled before these deadlines, applications will close early. Therefore, we suggest you apply as soon as possible.

Making an application

Apply online

All applicants must apply online.

Visit our Admissions website for details on the application process.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

Application fee

For 2021–22 entry, we are introducing a pilot application fee for our Master's courses. This helps cover some of the administrative and staffing costs associated with processing the large volume of applications we receive.

This fee will be £80 per application and not per course. 

We will waive the fee for any applicant – Home or Overseas – who demonstrates that they are experiencing financial hardship.

There is no application fee for Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas or PhDs. The fee for MBA applications to the Imperial College Business School is £135. 

Find out more about the application fee and waiver

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Cancer Biology Alumni Bursary

You can check your eligibility and apply to our Alumni Bursary if you're applying to Cancer Biology or Cancer Informatics.

Tuition fees

Home rate of tuition

2021 entry

£14,200

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

EU/EEA students

Students from the EU, other EEA country and/or Switzerland starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home rate of tuition, and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, this does not apply to Irish students or students with Citizens Rights benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Overseas rate of tuition

2021 entry

£36,650

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

EU/EEA students

Students from the EU, other EEA country and/or Switzerland starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home rate of tuition, and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, this does not apply to Irish students or students with Citizens Rights benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Additional course costs

This section outlines any additional costs relevant to this course, which are not included in your tuition fees. It is possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the figures provided are usually based on the cost in the most recent academic year. These are likely to change from year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their approximate cost to help you budget for student life at Imperial.

This section indicates whether any additional costs that apply are mandatory or optional. Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you will be free to opt out of these.

DescriptionMandatory/OptionalApproximate cost
Programme Textbook: The Biology of Cancer, Robert A. Weinberg Mandatory Provided
Printing of poster for assessment Mandatory Provided
Travel to project lab location Mandatory As applicable

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2020-21 entry, the maximum amount was of £11,222. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Find out more about our scholarships to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

Microbiome

Got a question?

Enquiries
E: cancer.biologymres@imperial.ac.uk

Read more about the School and our research in the Department of Surgery and Cancer.

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