Immunology BSc/MSci

Cancer 4B option BIOL4023

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cancer Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course will provide students with a broad understanding of the molecular basis of cancer, together with clinical aspects of cancer pathology and treatment. Sessions will include provision of fundamental information as well as discussion of current research addressing the cellular and molecular changes associated with cancer.


This option is assigned to block S2-B. There are normally 3 hours of contact on Tuesdays as arranged. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (60%) and in-course assessment (40%). The in-course assessment will comprise a poster based on published work (25%) and oral presentation of the poster (15%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to: 

■ provide students with a broad understanding of the molecular basis of cancer and metastasis, together with clinical aspects of cancer treatment; 

■ encourage the development of skills relating to analysis, discussion and interpretation of data. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ appraise the current state of scientific knowledge of the molecular basis of cancer; 

■ discuss the classification and nomenclature of human tumours; 

■ discuss various mechanisms leading to carcinogenesis;

■ discuss cancer therapies, including tumour resistance to therapy and new targets for therapy;

■ discuss immune processes as they relate to cancer and cancer therapy;

■ interpret and analyse experimental data and research papers;

■ apply forward thinking and experimental design to address scientific questions.

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.