MSc Cancer Research and Molecular Biomedicine

Year of entry: 2024

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science
Duration
12 months
Entry requirements

We require a minimum of an Upper Second class honours degree with an average of at least 65% (or overseas equivalent) in:

  • biological sciences
  • biomedical sciences

with sufficient evidence of relevant units taken related to cancer.

Please note we are generally unable to consider applicants with a medical (MBChB/MBBS/MD) or pharmacy degree for this programme unless they are able to demonstrate that they have significant laboratory or research experience. If your undergraduate degree is in medicine or pharmacy, please contact us prior to making an application, providing details of your biology related lab skills and experience.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

We also offer the Transformative Oncology course, which is 100% online and part-time. This course is research-led, clinically relevant and medically applicable education for those who want to gain a greater perspective and understanding of the field of oncology to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. 

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y N N N

Course overview

  • Take a research-focused master's course where you will learn through seminars, workshops, small group tutorials and research placements.
  • Your research placement will be in the laboratory of a leading cancer scientist where you will perform experiments on a dedicated and original cancer project and develop your skills in relevant lab techniques, data management as well as the various forms of science communication to present your project.
  • Study at a university ranked 7th in the UK for Biological Sciences (QS World University Rankings 2023).
  • Prepare for a career in the biosciences industry or academic research.

Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, go to open days and visits .

Fees

Fees for entry in 2024 have not yet been set. For reference, the fees for the academic year beginning September 2023 were as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £13,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £32,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

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 over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK students (fees are typically fixed for International students for the course duration at the year of entry). 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.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Telephone
0161 529 4539
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/biosciences/masters/
School/Faculty
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 a minimum of an Upper Second class honours degree with an average of at least 65% (or overseas equivalent) in:

  • biological sciences
  • biomedical sciences

with sufficient evidence of relevant units taken related to cancer.

Please note we are generally unable to consider applicants with a medical (MBChB/MBBS/MD) or pharmacy degree for this programme unless they are able to demonstrate that they have significant laboratory or research experience. If your undergraduate degree is in medicine or pharmacy, please contact us prior to making an application, providing details of your biology related lab skills and experience.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency at point of application through a secure and approved testing system.

We ask for English language proof if you are 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 : 6.5 overall with 6.5 in each component
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based with 22 in each component

See further information about requirements for your country .

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University Pre-sessional English language course , if your current IELTS scores are:

  • Minimum 6.0 overall (with 6.0 in each component) plus enrolment and attendance on the 6-week pre-sessional course (PS6)
  • Minimum 6.0 overall (with 5.5 in each component) plus enrolment and attendance on the 10-week pre-sessional course (PS10).

Please note, we must approve this before you apply for the English course.

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.

Other international entry requirements

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment. Please do not make this payment until you are prompted to do so.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. This means that if you intend to begin a course on 16th September 2024, we will not issue you with a CAS number before 16th June 2024.

Your CAS number is only valid for one student visa application.

Relevant work experience

Relevant work experience in your chosen pathway is not compulsory but may strengthen your application. Please make sure that engagement in scientific projects outside standard university practical courses is clearly explained in your application documents.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

We also offer the Transformative Oncology course, which is 100% online and part-time. This course is research-led, clinically relevant and medically applicable education for those who want to gain a greater perspective and understanding of the field of oncology to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. 

Advice to applicants

We require the following documents before we can consider your application: 

  • Transcript of your studies to date.
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated).
  • Personal statement or statement of purpose.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV). Please, make sure you explain any laboratory or project experiences that you gained outside your standard undergraduate laboratory practicals, which should also be listed in the official application form.
  • Evidence of English language ability.
  • Two academic references. You must provide the contact details of two referees in your application form.

Both references are compulsory. At least one should ideally be from a lab or project supervisor. Applications will not be considered for a final decision until two references are received.

You must provide the contact details of two referees in your application form. Both references are compulsory, and at least one should be from a lab or project supervisor. Your referees will be contacted directly and asked to provide a letter of reference. When providing referee details, you must ensure the email addresses are accurate and official, typically ending with an institutional domain. We do not accept references provided from a personal email address, eg Hotmail or Gmail.

If any of the supporting documents are not in English, you must also provide us with official or certified English translations.

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 cannot provide an initial decision on an application without seeing some evidence of a good level of English language ability. If you do not provide this when you apply, your application will remain on hold until evidence is received.

How your application is considered

We consider your full academic history including which undergraduate course units you have taken and the marks obtained. When application numbers are high, even if you have met our minimum entry requirements, we will take into account your marks in relevant undergraduate course units in our final decision making.

Interview requirements

We may interview you via Zoom prior to making a decision on your application.

Deferrals

Deferrals are not usually considered for this course.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Our MSc Cancer Research and Molecular Biomedicine course will give you thorough training in this area alongside lab-based research placements.

Rather than attending traditional lectures on your chosen subject, you will learn through an interactive approach involving seminars, workshops and small group tutorials. This will provide you with transferable skills in experimental design, statistics and science communication preparing you for relevant aspects of a science-based career. As this is a research-focused master's course, you will also undertake your own research project in the laboratory of a leading researchers.

You will take three units and then focus on a research placement in the labs of leading cancer researchers.

You will gain research experience and professional skills, perhaps in a different area to your first degree, before deciding on a future career in industry or academic research. This will allow you to make an informed choice about the research area you want to go into.

You choose the research placement from a list provided by your programme director in the lab of experienced cancer scientists working on processes relating to tumourigenesis. These include: 

  • understanding cell cycle control mechanisms and how they are disrupted in the formation of a tumour;
  • investigating the cell fate choices of normal cells, and how these differ in cancer cells;
  • investigating how cell signals regulate gene expression in different types of cells, and how this flow of information is compromised in cancer cells.

If you want to broaden your expertise beyond molecular cancer research, you can undertake a research placement in another area of molecular biomedicine.

We investigate the mechanisms underlying a range of diseases including hypertension, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, and we aim to develop ways of preventing and treating these. Our research pages provide more information on our research interests.

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our Integrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.

Special features

Extensive research experience

Gain laboratory experience through a research placement in a leading cancer and molecular biomedicine laboratory preparing you for your future science-related career.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including tutorials, workshops, seminars and research placements.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Coursework and assessment

We will assess your progress using:
  • written reports on your research projects and tutorials
  • oral presentations
  • written assignments
  • posters
  • multiple choice exams
  • critical assessment of literature
  • online statistics exercises.

Course unit details

The course starts in September and runs for 12 months. You require 180 credits to complete the course, of which:

  • 120 credits are project based
  • 60 credits are from transferable skills units

Transferable skills

60 credits are achieved through completion of activities that develop your transferable skills in essential areas such as laboratory skills, experimental design, statistics, bioethics (included in the tutorial and workshop unit) and science communication. The Experimental Design and Statistics unit runs at the start of the year to prepare you for your research project. Elements of the other units run throughout the year alongside your research project.

  • Experimental Design and Statistics (15 credits)
  • Tutorial and Workshop (15 credits)
  • Science Communication (15 credits)
  • Laboratory Skills (15 credits)

Disclaimer

Our units teach the current trends in life sciences. Consequently, details of our units may vary over time. The University therefore reserves the right to make such alterations to units as are found to be necessary. Before accepting your offer of a course, it is essential that you are aware of the current terms on which the offer is based. This includes the units available to you. If in doubt, please contact us.

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 and Workshop BIOL60210 15 Mandatory
Scientific Communication BIOL60330 15 Mandatory
Statistics & Experimental Design BIOL65161 15 Mandatory
Laboratory Skills BIOL66111 15 Mandatory
Research Project 1 BIOL66121 30 Mandatory
Research Project 2 BIOL66132 90 Mandatory

What our students say

Doing my master's at Manchester has given me the opportunity to acquire extensive laboratory experience and enriched my knowledge in the field of cancer. This is also combined with a great student life!

Elli Marinopoulou

Facilities

You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

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

Careers

Career opportunities

This course will provide training in both transferable and subject-specific skills. Your experience of group-based activities, literature research, applied science communication, data management and hands-on experimental training will provide you with invaluable skills that prepare you for successful PhD applications and a subsequent career in academic research within almost any area in the biological sciences, for industry-based jobs or even non-scientific careers.