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MSc/PGDip/PGCert Cancer Biology and Radiotherapy Physics / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Our MSc in Cancer Biology and Radiotherapy Physics is ideal if you wish to pursue a career in cancer research and/or cancer therapy involving ionising radiation.

With around 40% of all cancer cure cases involving radiotherapy and the UK soon to have a proton therapy service, the need for multidisciplinary scientists in this field has never been greater.

We aim to develop multidisciplinary scientists to create the necessary skill base that will drive radiotherapy forward in the UK.

This course will enable you to train as a multidisciplinary scientist in this area by covering a variety of subjects in content that is delivered by staff with a range of expertise, including physicists, biologists, engineers, clinicians and oncologists.

Our collaboration with The Christie will allow you to undertake unique research projects in its radiotherapy facilities that cannot be carried out anywhere else in the UK or most of Europe.


This course aims to help you develop:

  • a sound scientific knowledge of cancer biology and radiotherapy physics;
  • the confidence to apply the scientific principles of radiotherapy to practical situations;
  • the multidisciplinary skills required for world-leading cancer research and treatment delivery;
  • a knowledge of cancer biology that can form a basis for research into existing and future treatment modalities.

Teaching and learning

You will be taught by academics from the University and clinical scientists at The Christie, meaning both fundamental science and its clinical application will be covered equally.

Units are delivered in one-week blocks with a mix of face-to-face content delivery and hands-on practical sessions.

There will be a number of assessed and non-assessed activities to develop your key skills and expand your knowledge base.

There is an also online pre-course element, which will be the beginning of your multidisciplinary scientific journey.

After the taught units, there is an supervised research project that will put into practice the key skills and knowledge acquired in the taught component.

Coursework and assessment

The taught units will be assessed through multiple choice exams and practical assessments.

The research project will be assessed through the submission of a short report and oral presentation.

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
The Physics of Radiotherapy MEDN62321 15 Mandatory
The Biology of Cancer MEDN63231 15 Mandatory
Clinical Radiotherapy MEDN64841 15 Mandatory
Research Project MEDN67670 60 Mandatory
Radiobiology MEDN68472 15 Mandatory
Imaging for Radiotherapy MEDN62322 15 Optional
Treatment Planning MEDN63232 15 Optional
Advanced Radiotherapy MEDN65752 15 Optional
Computational Methods MEDN67572 15 Optional
Research Project MEDN67670 60 Optional
Biomarkers MEDN67672 15 Optional
Radiotherapy Dosimetry MEDN68471 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units

Course collaborators

Much of the course content is delivered through a collaboration with  The Christie .


Our collaboration with  The Christie  means you will have access to an MRI image guided radiotherapy linear accelerator and a proton therapy centre incorporating a dedicated research room for your research project.

You will also be able to access a range of library and IT  facilities  throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the  Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

Individual taught units from this MSc can be offered to industry and healthcare professionals as part of  a career and professional development programme. Please contact us for further information.