This Masters in Cancer Sciences will prepare you for a career in cancer science, whether you aim to pursue a PhD or further medical studies, or seek a career in the health services sector, in the life sciences, biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries. Our programme takes a 'bench to bedside' approach, enabling graduates to work within a multidisciplinary environment of world-leading scientists and cancer-specialists to address the latest challenges in cancer research.
Why this programmeWolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre
- University of Glasgow is rated in the UK top five and best in Scotland for cancer studies. You will be taught by a multidisciplinary team of world leading cancer scientists and clinicians within the Cancer Research UK Glasgow Centre.
- This MSc in Cancer Sciences programme is unique in the UK as it delivers integrated teaching in molecular biology, pathology and clinical service.
- The Cancer Research UK Glasgow Centre brings together scientists and clinicians from research centres, universities and hospitals around Glasgow to deliver the very best in cancer research, drug discovery and patient care. The centre’s world leading teams have made major advances in the understanding and treatment of many cancers. For more information, please visit: http://www.wecancentre.org/
- In the first semester, each week is focused around one of the new Hallmarks of Cancer, with the focus on the molecular/cellular biology of this hallmark. A tutorial session will enable you to discuss and integrate your learning from the week. This will enable you to understand how research into the fundamental principles of cancer cell biology can translate to advances in cancer treatment.
- The aim of this MSc in Cancer Sciences is to train cancer researchers who can break down the barriers that currently prevent discoveries at the bench from being translated into treatments at the bedside. By understanding the science, methodology and terminology used by scientists and clinicians from different disciplines, you will learn to communicate effectively in a multidisciplinary environment, to critically evaluate a wide range of scientific data and to research strategies and learn how to make a significant contribution to cancer research.
Semester 1: Hallmarks of Cancer
This 13 week core course aims to
- provide you with a critical understanding of the molecular and cellular events that drive cancer development and progression.
- demonstrate how an understanding of these events underpins current and future approaches to cancer diagnosis and treatment.
- integrate the teaching of molecular biology, cell biology, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
- describe how all these disciplines communicate and work together in the fight against cancer.
- provide you with theoretical training in fundamental molecular and cell biology techniques used in cancer research.
One week of practical training is provided at the start of the course. This course is assessed through a lab notebook, group assessment, critical essay and an exam that focuses on data analysis and interpretation.
In semester 2, you can choose from a range of optional courses, before taking the core course, Designing a Research Project.
In this 3 week optional course you will learn
- about the stages of pre-clinical drug discovery, including target identification and validation, assay development, identification, validation and optimisation of a lead compound.
- how to critically evaluate literature on current methods, techniques, and strategies used for drug discovery, and to appraise their advantages and disadvantages for targeting a specific disease.
Drug Development and Clinical Trials
In this 3 week optional course you will learn
- about the key issues involved in developing a candidate drug from late stage pre-clinical drug discovery through to clinical implementation.
- about the clinical components of target validation and disease linkage, the use of pharmacodynamic biomarkers in early clinical trials and the development of companion diagnostics to enable personalised medicine strategies.
- how early stage clinical trials are designed to achieve key milestones in early drug development including proof of mechanism, proof of principal and proof of concept.
- how statistical, clinical and regulatory considerations influence study design.
Viruses and Cancer
The aim of this 3 week optional course is to provide you with a critical understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which viruses contribute to oncogenesis, knowledge about how viral infections can be diagnosed, treated and prevented and insights into strategies used in cancer research.
Diagnostic Technologies and Devices
In this 5 week optional course you will
- appraise the diverse modern technologies available for diagnosis of infectious and non-transmissible diseases.
- work in small groups to critically research the limitations of current diagnostics for a selected disease, devise a new diagnostic device or test that would overcome these limitations, and present your findings.
Technology Transfer and Commercialisation of Bioscience Research
In this 3 week optional course you will
- evaluate the technology transfer of bioscience research and the commercialisation of research ideas.
- working in small groups, design and evaluate a market research strategy and business plan for a small company planning to commercialise a recent bioscience discovery.
Current Trends and Challenges in Biomedical Research and Health
In this 3 week optional course you will have the opportunity to research a current topical issue or challenge of your choice in biomedical research or health. You will select an area of recent global or national importance, and working in groups, will plan and perform research of the scientific background of the issue, analysing and synthesising the available information to draw conclusions, and/or develop possible solutions.
Frontiers in Cancer Sciences
This 5 week optional course aims to
- provide you with a critical understanding of current successes and challenges in cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
- demonstrate how translational research can be used to address critical unmet clinical needs.
- explain the principles and challenges of therapy resistance, residual disease, dormancy and relapse after treatment, biomarkers and 'omics' approaches.
- show how recent success stories can help in the development of new treatments for other cancers.
- explain the need for clinically relevant in vitro and in vivo tumour models, for bio-repositories, and for cross-discipline working.
Omic Technologies for the Biomedical Sciences: From Genomics to Metabolomics
In this 5 week optional course you will
- develop a critical understanding of a range of modern 'omics' technologies and applications.
- learn about genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques, and the analytical approaches that can be employed to examine the data output from these approaches.
- have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your understanding and proficiency through the critical analysis of real data sets.
Designing a Research Project: Biomedical Research Methodology
In this 6 week core course you will
- develop a critical understanding of research methodology as applied to modern biomedical research.
- have the opportunity to appraise the different types of scientific research, and to examine critically the different steps within a research project.
- develop your understanding and competence through the development of the study design for your research project, including hypothesis setting, literature review and project work plans.
Bioscience Research Project
In this 14 week core course you will
- have an opportunity to perform a piece of original research to investigate a hypothesis or research questions within the area of cancer research. The project may be 'wet' or 'dry', depending what projects are available.
- develop practical and/or technical skills, analyse data critically and draw conclusions, and suggest avenues for future research to expand your research findings.
Note: students must have a minimum of grade C in semesters 1 and 2 in order to proceed to the research project.
Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.
The knowledge and transferable skills developed in this programme will be suitable for those contemplating a PhD or further medical studies, those wishing to work in the health services sector, and those interested in working in the life sciences, biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries, including contract research organisations (CROs). This programme is designed for students with undergraduate degrees in the life sciences, scientists working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and clinicians and other healthcare professionals.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2018-19
|Home and EU|
|Full time fee||£8000|
|Full time fee||£21500|
Fees are subject to change and for guidance only
International applicants (from beyond the EU) are requested to pay a deposit of £1000 when an offer is made.
Deposits terms & conditions
The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programmes and who require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University in order that they can apply for a student visa. This is required where the programme is competitive and the deposit is required in order to demonstrate your commitment to attend the programme should you meet all the conditions of your offer.
If you are made an offer for this programme the University will write to you and request a deposit with information on how to pay your deposit and the deadline for making the deposit payment. Please note that if you are unable to pay a deposit because you are planning to fund your studies through an official financial sponsor then you should upload a copy of your scholarship application or award letter to your application by the deadline date.
The following guidelines will apply in determining whether or not a deposit will be refunded. Where the deposit is refunded, a 10% handling fee will be deducted.
Deposits WILL be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:
- Where the University is unable to offer you a place.
- Where the applicant has personal circumstances such as illness, bereavement or other family situations that has prevented them coming to the UK. Medical or other proof may be requested.
- Applicant can prove that they have applied for a visa to attend the University of Glasgow, but the VISA has been refused. The applicant must have shown ‘real intent' to study at the University of Glasgow but has been unable to obtain their visa.
- Applicant does not meet his / her conditions of offer: this may be academic or language test requirements. Satisfactory evidence must be uploaded to the student’s online application to prove that they have not met the conditions of their offer (note that applicants who do not meet the language condition of their offer must show reasonable attempt to meet this, i.e. they must provide a language test which was taken after the date that the deposit was paid).
Deposits WILL NOT be refunded to applicants under the following circumstances:
- Applicant decides to go to another institution.
- Applicant cannot be released from work to study at the University of Glasgow.
- Applicant does not send completed documentation as requested in the condition of the offer: this may be required in order to prove that the offer has not been met for academic or language test conditions - failure to respond to requests for this information will result in no refund.
- Applicant has not secured funding to attend the University of Glasgow: this may be as a result of not being successful in applications for scholarships, OR simply not having sufficient funds in bank at time of visa application. This condition will apply unless it can be proven that there are clear mitigating circumstances which have significantly changed the applicant’s position since the time of application.
- Applicant has decided to defer – in this situation the University will retain the deposit and credit it against the applicant’s account for securing their place for the following year of entry.
Refund requests must be made within 60 days of the programme start date stated on your offer letter: requests made after this date will be subject to discretion.
- Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £315
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
- Registration/exam only fee: £150
- General Council fee: £50
University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award
In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000more information
University International Leadership Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has 10 International Leadership Scholarships available to international (non-EU) students starting a postgraduate taught Masters programme in any discipline in September 2018. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fees discount.
The University offers a 10% discount on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.more information
The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database
A very good degree in biochemistry, biotechnology, medicine or other relevant biological/biomedical science. Alternative qualifications will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.
An IELTS score of at least 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component (or equivalent qualification) is required for students who do not have English as their first language.
When applying, please include a CV and personal statement that explains how your previous studies provide a suitable background for this programme.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
- Reading: 20
- Listening: 19
- Speaking: 19
- Writing: 23
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
- School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study
- BALEAP guide to accredited courses
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
How to apply
To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.
Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.
As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- One reference letter on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.
You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, check Frequently Asked Questions
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form.
If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
Reference: Please provide the name and contact details for one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. The reference should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 21 July 2018
- UK and EU applications: 25 August 2018
Classes start September 2018 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.Apply now