Cancer Biology and Therapy  MSc

Cancer Biology and Therapy MSc

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

MSc Cancer Biology and Therapy at UCLan provides specialist theoretical and practical knowledge of basic molecular, genetic and biological processes associated with cancer; with an emphasis on the advances in pathology, diagnosis and therapy.

This course is taught by researchers who have published extensively in the field of cancer biology and who have close research links with Brain Tumour North West and the Royal Preston Hospital.

As part of the course, you will undertake a research project with one of the cancer biology research teams. The school is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment based in our Biomedical Research Facility and the Biological Sciences Laboratories (Teaching), that will enhance your research experience.   Research themes include: analysis of phytochemicals for cancer treatment; development and characterization of novel drug delivery systems; use of aptamers as diagnostic and therapeutic agents for brain tumours; potential of aspirin analogues in the treatment of glioma; and synthesis of bioactive molecules with anticancer properties.

This postgraduate course will prepare you for further study to PhD level or a career in the biotechnology or healthcare industries.

The course is offered on a one-year full time basis, taught over three terms. It includes six taught modules in the first two terms in which all lecture material will be provided on our virtual learning environment (VLE) to enable access.

Entry Requirements

Specific entry requirements for the course are:

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree from a UK university or its equivalent in a biological discipline, for example Biochemistry, Physiology, Biomedical Science.

A qualification or experience deemed to be equivalent to the above.

Other Accepted English Language Qualifications:

  • IELTS at 6.5
  • TOEFL at 600 (paper) and 250 (CBE) with a TWE of 4

Those applicants seeking entry with appropriate experiences will be required to demonstrate the suitability of this experience both on application and at interview.

Programme at a Glance

Semester 1

The course is offered on a one year full time basis, taught over three terms. It includes six taught modules in the first two terms in which all lecture material will be provided on our VLE to enable access.

  • BL4200 Research Methods for Clinical Science
  • BL4210 Cancer Biology and Therapy
  • BL4211 Drug Design and Delivery
  • BL4224 Laboratory Based Research Techniques

Semester 2

  • BL4200 Research Methods for Clinical Science
  • BL4203 Biomedical Ethics
  • BL4210 Cancer Biology and Therapy
  • BL4211 Drug Design and Delivery

Semester 3

  • BL4207 Research Project

Postgraduate Advice Event

Find out more about Postgraduate courses at our Postgraduate Advice Event on 9 November 2017

Further Information

Based with the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, postgraduate Cancer Biology and Therapy possesses a state-of-the–art research facility in which current research programmes relevant to the field of cancer are established.  In addition, staff have close links with clinical specialists in cancer who will be contributing to the course.

Dr Gail Welsby
Course Leader

Tel: 01772 893501

Module Information

BL4200 - Research Methods for Clinical Science
Module Leader: Dr Steve Beeton

This module will provide you with study sessions to further develop research and transferable skills that are useful to you in studying your course and in completing a major research project. It will also give you skills in choosing and doing statistical tests and will develop key areas of epidemiology.

BL4203 - Biomedical Ethics
Module Leader: Dr Abdullah Isreb

This module will make you think, challenge your views and expand your knowledge base of biomedical ethics and the issues raised by biomedical research and the development of biomedical products (including pharmaceutical, diagnostic and clinical interventions).

BL4207  - Research Project   
Module Leader: Dr Tony Ashton

Projects will be conducted individually and allied to a specific theme embedded within those research areas which currently form the focus of research groups within the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. In this way you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment housed in the Biomedical Research Facility and the Biological Sciences Laboratories, in addition to receiving expert guidance and support in the respective areas. The time allocated to the projects is inclusive of the necessary literature preparation, satisfactory completion of required health and safety forms, data handling and writing of the report.

BL4210 - Cancer Biology and Therapy
Module Leader: Dr Gail Welsby

This module aims to develop your understanding of the normal patterns of cell growth and how these may be disrupted, leading to oncological disease. It will also develop your knowledge of different types of cancer and the current strategies being employed to treat them. An important element of this module will be development of your ability to critically assess literature in the subject area.  The module will review and appraise the current state of knowledge in the field of cancer, with the cellular mechanisms involved in the aetiology, epidemiology and pathology of oncological disease being discussed.

BL4211 - Drug Design and Delivery 
Module Leader: Dr Tim Snape

This module aims to introduce you to some of the anticancer agents used in the treatment of the disease as well as the source of such drugs and the methods which are employed to deliver them to the desired target(s).  You will develop an appreciation of the process of anticancer drug development in the pharmaceutical industry and an extensive knowledge base of drug delivery systems and methods of drug targeting in cancer therapy.

BL4224 - Laboratory Based Research Techniques
Module Leader: Dr Gail Welsby

The aim of this module is to introduce students to some common analytical laboratory techniques and to develop your scientific writing and problem-solving skills. These techniques and skills will be useful when preparing for your research project.  The module will include an introduction to the following subject areas: data analysis, report writing, plagiarism and lab notebooks; cell culture; molecular biology; SDS PAGE; FACS analysis and flow cytometry; and microscopy.

Student Testimonials

Current Students 2016-2017:

“Although the course is challenging, all the staff are very supportive, and I’m glad I chose this course as I feel it has allowed me to get the skills I need for my career. I would advise anyone willing to work hard to study at UCLan- it is very rewarding!”

‘’My aspiration is to pursue a PhD, and the MCc in Cancer Biology and Therapy is giving me the necessary laboratory skills and knowledge to achieve this. The lecturers are friendly, very knowledgeable with a great deal of experience both in research and in the industry, they have been very supportive and have given me guidance in order to achieve my goals’’

Previous Students 2015-2016:

"The step from undergraduate to postgraduate seemed daunting! However, this course has allowed me to grow with such comfort and never have I enjoyed studying an actual concept as much as I have this year. To have gained an incredible insight into the biology of cancer and elements of chemistry, alongside the manual lab skills I have developed, is just invaluable."

"Having completed my BSc degree at UCLan, I was eager to further my studies with the Cancer Biology MSc. Doing my Masters in Cancer Biology and Therapy at The University of Central Lancashire has given me the opportunity to acquire extensive laboratory experience and enriched my knowledge in the field of cancer. This taught course was ideal for me since it provided a great insight into the biological world of cancer and expanded my knowledge in disease progression and patient survival."

 “Taking this course in UCLan helped me gain insight of research in cancer biology. My dream to pursue PhD is becoming more vivid as I got overwhelming support and guidance from faculties in here.”

‘’I am very grateful to the support all teachers showed to me. They all were very knowledgeable and helpful. In this MSc course there was a variety of assessments which made sure we were trained in different key skills like experimental design, literature search and public speaking. We received up to date information regarding cancer research and the laboratory experience acquired has allowed me to successfully apply for a PhD.’’

How to Apply

You can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2018/19

Full-time: £6,500 per year (UK/EU)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2017/18 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

Details of the UK Government postgraduate loan scheme for students commencing a Masters Postgraduate programme for the 2017/18 academic year.

View further information

Professional Accreditation

UCLan is a founder member of Brain Tumour North West, (BTNW), the largest co-ordinated research group working on brain tumour in the UK.

Learning Environment and Assessment

Teaching on the course comprises a diverse range of methods and styles including lectures, tutorials, seminars, computer-based learning, case studies and laboratory practicals. As well as the traditional methods of teaching, e-learning (based around a virtual learning environment) and problem-based learning techniques will be used.

Assessments are by a combination of examinations, essays, data handling and interpretation, log-books, practical reports, project reports, poster and oral presentations allowing a full range of skills to be developed. 

National Student Survey 2015

Students who completed the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS) and studied Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry related courses at UCLan were very satisfied with their experience, 100% of students thought that the course is intellectually stimulating, whilst 97% of students said staff are good at explaining things.


Biological Sciences Laboratories - Teaching

We have a human patient simulator called IStan which is a breathing, talking, advanced mannequin used to teach undergraduate students and like most of our equipment is of a professional industry standard.

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