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.

Research themes include: analysis of phytochemicals for cancer treatment; development and characterization of novel drug delivery systems; potential of aspirin analogues in the treatment of glioma; use of aptamers as diagnostic and therapeutic agents for brain tumours; 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.

On successful completion of the taught modules in semesters 1, you have the opportunity to transfer to the MRes programme

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Entry Requirements

Specific entry requirements for the course are:

2:2 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

  • BL4012   Introduction to Cancer and its Management
  • BL4013   Research Methods
  • BL4014   Research Proposal

Semester 2

  • BL4015   Cancer Therapies

Semester 3

  • BL4017   MSc Research Project

Further Information


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.

The course is offered on a one-year full time basis, taught over three terms. All lecture and support material will be provided on our virtual learning environment (VLE) to enable access.

The course aims to extend your knowledge and understanding of the biology of cancer, advances in prognosis, diagnosis and treatment, and to give you an appreciation of pertinent legislative and ethical issues. In addition, the course has been designed to meet requirements of potential employers providing opportunities for you to develop a skill base that is not solely focussed on academic ability by incorporating elements of assessed work which facilitate personal development in the following areas: communication, IT, numeracy; interpersonal/teamwork, self-management and professional development.

You will also be given the opportunity to discuss cancer diagnosis, treatment and general care within the NHS via sessions with COMENSUS (Community Engagement and Service User Support).  This provides an avenue for students to realise the real-world applications of cancer research, giving them a better understanding of the practice behind the theory.

Modules and module Leaders

BL4012   Introduction to Cancer and its Management  Dr Pete Abel
The module aims to develop the students’ understanding of the molecular and cellular processes underlying normal cell growth, and the how these may be disrupted, leading to oncological disease.

BL4013   Research Methods
This module will enable students to develop an appreciation and understanding of current analytical technologies used in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of neoplastic disease and cancer research. The module also aims to provide students with transferable career skills relevant to clinical sciences including the communication, planning and management of scientific ideas and data presentation.

BL4014   Research Proposal  Dr Lisa Shaw
The aim of this module is to enable the students to design an independent research project to be undertaken within a defined time and with a controlled budget.

BL4015   Cancer Therapies Dr Izabela Stasik
This module aims to develop a critical awareness and understanding of the clinical management of cancer across a range of malignancy types and tumour sites.

BL4017   MSc Research Project
The module aims to further develop the student’s ability to formulate hypotheses and through the process of effective decision making, employ relevant experimental strategies. It will expand the student’s ability to critically evaluate experimental methods, analyse data and provide the means whereby students can present research data both orally and in the form of a written scientific report in the style of a scientific journal article.

Student Testimonials

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 MSc 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


The MSc (by Research) is very similar to a PhD, but with a research project designed to take 12 months. It is not intended as a first step towards a PhD, but rather as an alternative to a PhD. There are no associated lectures, classes or written examinations. Find out more at our Faculty research website :

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, 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 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information


You will have the opportunity to attend the annual Brain Tumour North West meeting, held in Preston in December each year.

Graduate careers

Graduates of the MSc Cancer Biology and Therapy course have gone on to PhD research; working in industry; and further postgraduate study.


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.

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