Postgraduate taught 

Cancer Research & Precision Oncology MSc

Core Skills in Cancer Research BIOL5340

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cancer Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The course will provide a basic understanding of the core skills required to undertake cancer research. It will include lectures on the fundamental techniques required in the laboratory and also laboratory practical experience to reinforce the knowledge gained from lectures.


Teaching takes place over 3 weeks in Semester 1 with students attending lectures, tutorials and workshops.

Excluded Courses





1. Compile a detailed laboratory book (70% weighting)


2. Online histology and clinical data analysis assessment (30% weighting)


Course Aims

The course aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of cancer research technologies, including ethics and legislation surrounding the human tissue act. It will provide critical laboratory training on molecular and cellular techniques routinely used in the cancer field.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Critically discuss the theoretical principles and application of research methods commonly used in molecular, cell, translational and clinical cancer research;

2. Critically discuss the methods and scientific rationale concerning the sampling and assessment of cancers to establish diagnosis, tumour grade and cancer stage from the perspective of a research scientist;

3. Analyse, interpret and critically evaluate data from their own experiments and clinical datasets;

4. Produce an effectively written laboratory book on experiments performed during practical sessions.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.