Research course

Cancer Sciences

University of Birmingham · School of Cancer Sciences

Entry requirements

A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in the life sciences or biomedical sciences. We normally expect this to be at the 2(i) level or higher, but will also consider promising students who have not quite achieved this level.

Months of entry


Course content

The Cancer Sciences MRes is a 1 year full-time programme that was introduced in 2013 to offer postgraduate training to suitably qualified science students who are interested in research careers in cancer. It is a stand-alone programme that would be of particular interest to students who wish to apply for further training at PhD level.

Designed to offer life and biomedical science graduates the opportunity to gain research training through practical experience in a leading cancer research centre.

The programme consists of three introductory taught modules and an extensive project within a research group in the School of Cancer Sciences. The lecture modules will be taught by leading cancer experts and will cover such topics as the cellular and molecular basis of cancer, the pathology of selected cancers and how translational research is applied to diagnosis and treatment of cancers. The projects will generally be laboratory-based and will provide skills in designing and implementing research strategies to answer fundamental questions relating to cancer causes, diagnosis and/or treatment.

The skills and experience gained will be of particular benefit when applying to PhD programmes in cancer studies and related cell and molecular biology subjects.

Why study this course

Research into the causes of cancer has accelerated rapidly over the past couple of decades to the extent that we now have a good understanding of the genes, signalling pathways and cellular processes involved. A start has been made on using this knowledge to design new and effective therapies, however, there is still much to do.

This programme offers you the opportunity to be actively involved in cancer research at the University of Birmingham, which was ranked as one of the best centres in the UK for number and quality of publications in cancer in the previous UK Research Assessment Exercise.

The University is the site of the first Cancer Research UK Centre to be opened nationally and has one of the largest cancer research bases in the country. The Birmingham Cancer Research UK Centre unites laboratory researchers with cancer clinicians and clinical trials specialists, and the MRes Cancer Sciences programme will allow you to experience the fully translational nature of research within the School of Cancer Sciences.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Information for international students

Candidates from overseas for whom English is not their first language must meet the University’s English Language requirement e.g. IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in any band).

Fees and funding

UK students
£8,140 FT
International students
£18,450 FT

Please visit:

The University of Birmingham is offering £10,000 subject scholarships available for UK/EU students for programmes that have been identified as an area where there is a national shortage of suitably qualified graduates. This programme falls into this catagory.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005