Cancer Biology

World-class training in research at the interface between computational and clinical translational science.

Your Autumn term and academic year 2020–21

Your course will begin on schedule in the Autumn and we plan to reopen our campuses. Your teaching will be a combination of on-campus (in-person) and remote (online) learning and research opportunities. We call this ‘multi-mode’ delivery.  Depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of the next academic year, the balance in the ‘multi-mode’ offering may be subject to change. We will do our best to provide you with increased on-campus teaching and research activities as we progress throughout the year.

We are looking forward to seeing you in person, if travel and visa arrangements allow. If you can’t travel to campus in time for the start of the academic year, you should immediately contact the Department using the details in the ‘Further information’ section below.

For more information about multi-mode delivery and the steps we’ll be taking to keep you safe on campus if you are able to join us, please see our COVID-19 information for applicants and offer holders.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2020
Campus: Hammersmith
ECTS: 90 credits

Register your interest

Applications are now closed


Our Cancer Informatics stream offers world-class training in research at the interface of computational and clinical translational science.

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 Informatics
    MRes Cancer Biology (Cancer Informatics)

This page is primarily for the Cancer Informatics stream of the MRes Cancer Biology. For information on the Cancer Biology 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.

What is informatics?

Informatics broadly covers the handling and analysis of data.

It is fast becoming one of the most desirable skills for postgraduate studies in biological fields. This is due to the widespread adoption of high-throughput molecular profiling technologies, in conjunction with the practice of uploading datasets to standard publicly-available online repositories.

We will provide you with the skills to leverage these large biological and clinical datasets to address novel hypotheses in order to gain new insights into molecular biology and to have a competitive advantage over other biological students.

Study programme

The course is made up of an initial 4/5-week taught component partly shared with the Cancer Biology stream. 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 in a series of lectures, which are inspired in part by the lecturer's own research.

You will gain 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).

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

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 receive three weeks of intense informatics training through lectures and workshops with Imperial academics and industry experts.

Once you complete your informatics assignment, you will begin your research projects (lasting 15 weeks, and then 20 weeks).


This MRes is designed for aspiring researchers – 75% of the 2015-16 cohort are currently studying for a PhD.

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


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.

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 Informatics
  • Project 1
  • Project 2

Teaching and assessment


  • Lectures
  • Technical workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Seminars
  • Student-led presentations


  • Cancer Informatics Assignment
  • Mock Grant Proposal
  • Poster Presentation
  • Projects (Thesis and Viva)

Entry requirements

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


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 batches.

Applications received before the deadlines below 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: Deadline 31 January 2020
  • Second batch: Deadline 15 April 2020
  • Third batch: Deadline 1 July 2020

If all spaces are filled before these deadlines, applications will close early.

Making an application

All applicants to our Master's courses must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

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

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry


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.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry

£35,600 per year

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.

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 are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


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


Got a question?


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

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