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MRes Experimental Cancer Medicine at The University of Manchester
MRes Experimental Cancer Medicine
This course will enable you to work within a leading Phase 1 cancer clinical trials unit.

MRes Experimental Cancer Medicine

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Research
Duration
MRes FT 12 months, PGCert PT 12 months
Entry requirements

We require an Upper Second undergraduate degree in the life sciences, pharmaceutics, biotechnology or pharmacy from any UK university or overseas equivalent as approved by The University of Manchester.

We also require you to hold existing qualifications to conduct clinical research as a General Medical Council-registered physician, Nursing and Midwifery Council-registered nurse or clinical trial coordinator, including evidence of current good clinical practice training. Relevant experience and commitment to oncology research will be beneficial.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
9 places
How to apply

Please apply via our online application form , following any instructions for completion carefully. See the Advice to applicants section for details of the supporting documents we require with your form.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MRes Y N N N
PGCert N Y N N

Course overview

Rachel Chown - MRes Experimental Cancer Medicine

"I have learned about all aspects of the industry from the laboratory to the clinic. Lectures from experts have proved insightful and practical within my day-to-day role.

"I can focus on my own interests in assignments and projects with exemplary supervision from knowledgeable academics. I would highly recommend this exciting and progressive course."

Rachel Chown / MRes Experimental Cancer Medicine
  • Develop the skills for a potential career in early phase clinical studies if you are a doctor, nurse or clinical researcher.
  • Spend a year as a member of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Team at The Christie while also taking four structured taught course units.
  • Open up careers in other experimental cancer medicine centres within the UK and EU, as well as careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, clinical trials management and medicine.
  • Study at a university ranked 9th in the UK for medicine (QS World University Rankings 2017).
  • Scholarships funded by CRUK are available for some doctors, nurses and graduates.

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our  upcoming open days .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MRes (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £11,000
    International students (per annum): £23,500
  • PGCert (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,400
    International students (per annum): £9,400
  • Modular (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £1,200 per 15 credit module
    International students (per annum): £2,700 per 15 credit module
The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies. All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely. For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees. Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Scholarships/sponsorships

GMC-registered physicians, NMC-registered nurses and graduates are eligible to apply for a CRUK-funded scholarship that covers both course fees and salary (determined by the prior experience of the applicant) for the full-time one-year MRes.

Please send a copy of your CV together with a covering letter explaining your motivation for enrolling on the MRes Experimental Cancer Medicine course to the Programme Director, Dr Natalie Cook, at natalie.cook@manchester.ac.uk for consideration for a CRUK-funded scholarship.

Contact details

Academic department
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 5220
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/medicine/
Academic department overview
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an Upper Second undergraduate degree in the life sciences, pharmaceutics, biotechnology or pharmacy from any UK university or overseas equivalent as approved by The University of Manchester.

We also require you to hold existing qualifications to conduct clinical research as a General Medical Council-registered physician, Nursing and Midwifery Council-registered nurse or clinical trial coordinator, including evidence of current good clinical practice training. Relevant experience and commitment to oncology research will be beneficial.

English language

Most international students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system. We ask for English language proof from applicants from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS - minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with 20 in writing)

English language test validity

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form , following any instructions for completion carefully. See the Advice to applicants section for details of the supporting documents we require with your form.

Advice to applicants

Your application form must have the following documents.

  • Two academic references on letter headed paper or sent from work emails. Professional references can be provided in instances where you have been out of university for more than 3 years. We do not contact referees directly.
  • Official degree certificates (with translations if not in English).
  • Official university transcripts (with translations if not in English).
  • A personal statement - This should be a page in length including: why you want to undertake this course of study; any relevant past experience and what you think you can bring to the course; how this course fits into your future career plans; any other information you think relevant to your application.
  • Full curriculum vitae including voluntary experience.
  • A scanned copy of your passport if you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
  • If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

Supporting documents can be uploaded with the online application form, or if this is not possible, emailed to pgtaught.medicine@manchester.ac.uk . We are unable to consider your application until we have received all of the documents listed above.

You must include your University ID number on any correspondence and do not send any documents before you have submitted your application.

Skills, knowledge, abilities, interests

You will need to have the ability to communicate well and work as part of a team.

Interview requirements

Candidates will need to attend an interview, either in person or via telephone/Skype.

Fitness to practise / health requirements

All physician applicants need to provide their GMC number. All nurse applicants need to provide their NMC number.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

For clinical placements a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) check will be require for UK residents.

Overseas students are required to provide a Police/Government Office Certificate of Good Conduct.

Please email pgtaught.medicine@manchester.ac.uk  for further guidance.

Deferrals

No deferrals will be considered.

Course details

Course description

Our MRes Experimental Cancer Medicine master's course will give nurses, doctors and clinical researchers the skills needed to work in early phase clinical studies.

You will learn how to master experimental cancer through a combination of traditional teaching and hands-on learning, spending a year as a member of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Team at The Christie while also taking four structured taught units.

The taught units will see you learn the details of designing and delivering Phase 1 clinical studies, understanding the pre-clinical data required before a clinical programme can commence, and how to optimise early clinical studies to provide evidence for progressing a promising drug into Phase II/III clinical testing.

Alongside the taught elements, you will be allocated to one or more clinical trials that are being conducted by The Christie experimental cancer medicine team. You will have a named trainer and be exposed to tasks required in the setup, delivery, interpretation and audit of a clinical study.

Nursing and physician students will be expected to participate in patient care, including new and follow-on patient clinics, treatment and care-giving episodes with patients.

For clinical trials coordinators, no direct patient contact is envisaged and duties will involve clinical trial setup, protocol amendments, database setup, data entry, costing and billing for clinical research.

You will be able to choose two aspects of your direct clinical trial research experience to write up for your two research projects in a dissertation format. This will give you the skills and knowledge required to critically report medical, scientific and clinically related sciences for peer review.

Aims

The primary purpose of the MRes in Experimental Cancer Medicine is to provide you with the opportunity to work within a premier UK Phase 1 cancer clinical trials unit and, through a mix of taught and experiential learning, master the discipline of Experimental Cancer Medicine.

Special features

Extensive practical experience

You will spend most of your time gaining hands-on experience within The Christie's Experimental Cancer Medicine Team.

Additional course information

Meet the course team

Dr Natalie Cook is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Christie. She completed a PhD at Cambridge, investigating translational therapeutics and biomarker assay design in pancreatic cancer.

Professor Hughes is Chair of Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University and Strategic Director of the Experimental Cancer Medicine team at The Christie. He is a member of the research strategy group for Manchester Cancer Research Centre. He serves on the Biomarker evaluation review panel for CRUK grant applications.

Professor Hughes was previously Global Vice-President for early clinical development at AstraZeneca, overseeing around 100 Phase 0/1/2 clinical studies. He was previously Global Vice-President for early phase clinical oncology, having been involved in over 200 early phase clinical studies.

Dr Matthew Krebs is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Christie.

He has a PhD in circulating biomarkers and postdoctoral experience in single cell and ctDNA molecular profiling. He is Principal Investigator on a portfolio of phase 1 clinical trials and has research interests in clinical development of novel drugs for lung cancer and integration of biomarkers with experimental drug development.

Teaching and learning

Our course is structured around a 2:1 split between clinical-based research projects and taught elements respectively.

Taught course units will predominantly use lectures and workshops.

For the research projects, teaching and learning will take place through one-to-one mentoring from a member of the Experimental Cancer Medicine team.

The clinical and academic experience of contributors to this course will provide you with an exceptional teaching and learning experience.

Coursework and assessment

You will be assessed through oral presentations, single best answer exams, written reports and dissertation.

For each research project, you will write a dissertation of 10,000 to 15,000 words. Examples of suitable practical projects include the following.

Research proposal

  • Compilation of a research proposal to research council/charity
  • Writing a protocol and trial costings for sponsor
  • Research and write a successful expression of interest selected by grant funder for full development

Publication-based/dissertation by publication

  • Writing a clinical study report
  • Authoring a peer-review journal review/original article

Service development/professional report/ report based dissertation

  • Public health report/outbreak report/health needs assessment/health impact assessment
  • Proposal for service development/organisational change
  • Audit/evaluate service delivery/policy
  • Implement recommended change from audit report

Adapted systematic review (qualitative data)

  • Compiling the platform of scientific evidence for a new drug indication from literature
  • Review of alternative research methodologies from literature

Full systematic review that includes data collection (quantitative data)

  • Referral patterns for Phase 1 patients

Qualitative or quantitative empirical research

  • Design, conduct, analyse and report an experiment

Qualitative secondary data analysis/analysis of existing quantitative data

  • Compilation, mining and analysis of existing clinical data sets

Quantitative secondary data analysis/analysis of existing qualitative data/theoretical study/narrative review

  • Policy analysis or discourse analysis/content analysis
  • A critical review of policy using framework analysis

Course unit details

This course consists of four taught 15-credit units and two practical 60-credit research projects. Students achieving 180 credits will be awarded the MRes; students may receive a PGDip in Experimental Cancer Medicine upon achievement of 120 credits. There is also an option for students to register for a PGCert and complete only the four taught units on a part-time basis for 60 credits.

The four taught units run as follows:

  • Research Methods & An Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (1 September to 31 December)
  • Assembling Pre-clinical And Early Clinical Development Strategies For A New Candidate Drug (1 January to 30 April)
  • Assembling A Translational Medicine Strategy For An Anti-Cancer Drug (1 May to 31 August)

See the Course unit list below for more information on each unit and project.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Tutorial Unit MEDN66100 15 Mandatory
Research Project 1 MEDN66121 30 Mandatory
An Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre MEDN66201 15 Mandatory
Assembling pre-clinical and early clinical development strategies for a new candidate drug MEDN66212 15 Mandatory
Assembling a translational medicine strategy for an anti-cancer drug MEDN66222 15 Mandatory
Research Project 1 MEDN66230 60 Mandatory
Research Project 2 MEDN66242 60 Mandatory
Principles of the Cardiovascular System in Health and Disease MEDN67720 15 Mandatory
BHF Practical Research Project 1 MEDN71000 35 Mandatory
BHF Practical Research Project 2 MEDN71010 35 Mandatory
BHF Practical Research Project 3 MEDN71030 35 Mandatory
Displaying 10 of 11 course units

Facilities

Teaching will take place within The Christie NHS Foundation Trust , Withington.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

This course is relevant to physician, nursing and clinical research students who are considering a career in Phase 1 clinical studies.

The course provides a theoretical and experiential learning experience and offers a foundation for roles within other experimental cancer medicine centres within the UK and EU, as well as careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, clinical trials management and medicine.

The MRes is ideal for high-calibre graduates and professionals wishing to undertake directly channelled research training in the clinical and medical oncology field.