Entry requirements

Good honours degree or equivalent in a biologically-related discipline or professional qualification. Applicants with professional experience may be eligible. Please contact the course director for details. Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

Months of entry

September

Course content

This course will provide an in-depth understanding of the disease processes involved in malignancy and the opportunity to explore the scientific rationale for various therapeutic options. It will allow you to link academic knowledge with the practical applications of cancer biology, with a focus on the latest advances in this field. This course is, therefore, excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers in hospital laboratories, commercial laboratories, cancer research, pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions.

  • You will be taught by active researchers and expert practitioners, and have the opportunity to work in industry with companies like GlaxoSmithKline, or at a research institute, such as the Institute of Cancer Research.
  • Your research project can be carried out with one of our research groups or as part of an industrial placement (if you are a part-time student) at your place of work.
  • Flexible study options (such as single modules) can be taken as part of a continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

You will be trained in science research methods and learn about the techniques used in molecular biology. You will study the biology of disease, tumour biology, immunology, molecular oncology, haematological malignancy, plus diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for cancer.

In addition to developing a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practice of core topics in current areas of medical science, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of oncology topics – and their relationship to other medical disciplines. You will also learn how to plan, carry out and report on a piece of independent scientific research.

Available modules

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer

This module introduces biological interactions between tumour cells and the host and how these interactions affect tumour progression. The module is designed to provide a more detailed understanding of the hallmarks of cancer and the molecular processes and changes (ie genetic and epigenetic alterations) that underlie the generation of malignancies. Processes to be studied include carcinogenesis, angiogenesis and metastasis. Tumour responses to therapeutic approaches such as the development of drug resistance, as well as some of the mechanisms by which tumours may escape immune destruction, are also covered.

  • Immunology and the Biology of Disease

It provides students with an introduction to the concepts of immunity and pathobiology. Students will become familiar with the different cells and organs of the immune system and how these function and interact to protect the body from infection. In addition, the module introduces students to the cellular mechanisms and genetic causes of disease considering both the physiological manifestations and the public health implications. The module also introduces some of the molecular processes and signalling events that are important in communication between cells of the immune system. It goes on to consider the role of cellular pathology in the context of other pathology disciplines such as clinical chemistry. Practical classes are used to allow students the opportunity to apply their basic knowledge of immunology to interpret the significance of laboratory data and the role of the immune system in disease.

  • Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy

This module considers the methodologies employed to diagnose, manage and treat malignancy. It explores the biological basis for treatment options, allowing you to:

  • interpret diagnostic results; and
  • propose suitable therapeutic approaches.

It also discusses novel methods of diagnosis and treatment that are currently in clinical developmental stages.

  • Research Techniques and Scientific Communication

The module allows students to develop and extend skills required to research and communicate in biosciences, and the principles and practice of laboratory techniques, research planning, management, data handling and presentation. The material is contextualised by lectures, practicals, workshops and directed reading around the planning and execution of experiments and interpretation of the data in a clinical setting or in clinically based studies.

  • Research Project

This module culminates from knowledge gained throughout the course, in particular, the Research Techniques and Scientific Communication module in order to present work in formats appropriate to wider professional audiences, practising new and/or improved laboratory skills, as well as demonstrate the ability to independently solve complex problems. The research proposal assessment will usually be based on the research area that has been allocated for the research project or alternatively an external laboratory placement. The project results should be statistically analysed and scientifically presented and discussed within a 9,000-word thesis and scientific poster.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Plan, organise and carry out a sustained piece of independent research.
  • Practise new and/or improved laboratory skills and/or critical data analytical skills.
  • Present and critically evaluate their own research in a clear and concise fashion in both written and poster formats.

Information for international students

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking. http://www.kingston.ac.uk/international/studying-at-kingston/language-requirements/

Fees and funding

Please see www.kingston.ac.uk/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/ for further information

Qualification and course duration

MSc

part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Phone
08448 547683/+44 (0)20 3308 9931