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Cancer Biology and Therapeutics (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Graduates from this course will have a breadth and depth of cancer-focused training that will make them credible candidates to start or further a career within the health sector or research establishments.


Developed by leading researchers and clinicians

A course developed in collaboration with researchers, academics and clinicians and delivered by leading academic cancer researchers with key lecturers and study workshops from oncologists and cancer clinicians.


Broad ranging course

A broad ranging course that covers basic molecular cancer cell biology through to translational research and therapeutics.


Internationally recognised cancer research groups

Opportunity to undertake a research project in one of the internationally recognised cancer research groups at Cardiff.


First rate academic support

Close academic support from an experienced personal tutor.


Study at one of the UK’s major teaching and research university

Opportunity to study at one of the UK’s major teaching and research universities.

This one year, full-time MSc course is designed to provide you with advanced knowledge, understanding and skills in the rapidly advancing field of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics.

Our aim is to provide you with a breadth and depth of cancer-focused training that will make you a highly attractive candidate to start or continue a career within the healthcare sector and public/private sector research establishments.

Throughout the course, you’ll gain from advanced teaching in the cellular aspects of cancer biology together with the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer development and progression. Through this programme you’ll also receive in-depth training in cancer therapeutics, encompassing biomarkers and diagnosis, therapeutic targets, drug discovery and clinical trials and chemo/radio therapy. 

The course offers research skills training and a laboratory-based research project that helps you to develop research hypotheses and critically evaluate translational approaches with respect to the development of contemporary cancer therapeutics.

So, whether you’re looking to better prepare yourself for doctoral research or to achieve a self-contained advanced qualification in its own right, this postgraduate programme will give you a balanced combination of theory and practice to suit your needs and set you in excellent stead for your future career.

Profile image of Lauren
“This truly integrated course delves deeper into the science behind cancer and has also given me the opportunity to see the disease and its treatment from the clinical side as well. Whether you’re a Pharmacist or Biomedic or Medic, you’ll find something in this course that you’ll enjoy and can relate to. And, like me, you’ll be in better stead for your future too.”
Lauren, MSc Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Student

Where you'll study

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

We are a leader in clinical skills development with an international reputation for teaching and research.

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  • MarkerKing Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB

Admissions criteria

Students wishing to enrol on this programme will normally possess an initial degree in the biological sciences or a healthcare-related subject awarded by a recognised Institution, at or above the 2.2 level or its equivalent (or higher)

Graduates from the following areas of study would also be considered: Chemistry, radiology.

At the discretion of the University, non-graduates may also be admitted on to the module provided:

  • You have held, for a minimum period of two years, a position of responsibility relevant to the course.


  • In exceptional circumstances, you are deemed to be able to demonstrate equivalent skills that are sufficient to meet the demands of the course.

English language requirement: IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 in all subskills.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

This is a full-time course over one academic year. You will study 180 credits: 120 of taught material, followed by a 60 credit project.

Academic stages

The full-time MSc lasts for a total of 50 weeks over one academic year and consists of two ‘stages’ – one taught stage and a research project.

Stage 1

This stage consists of two 30-credit modules and three 20-credit modules giving a total of 120 credits at Level 7 in stage 1.

Stage 2

The research project of the programme represents stage 2 and lasts for three months. You will complete a period of laboratory-based research to produce a dissertation worth 60 credits at level 7.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Research ProjectPHT80560 credits
Cellular and Molecular Biology of CancerPHT80130 credits
Translational Oncology and TherapeuticsPHT80230 credits
Academic Research SkillsPHT80320 credits
Research MethodologyPHT80420 credits
Data Analysis and BioinformaticsPHT80620 credits

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The programme will provide advanced teaching in the cellular aspects of cancer biology together with the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer development and progression. In-depth training will be provided in the area of cancer therapeutics, encompassing biomarkers and diagnosis, therapeutic targets, drug discovery and clinical trials and chemo/radio therapy, in addition to developing the student’s theoretical and practical research skills.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment for the course will comprise a combination of exams, written essays, posters, laboratory coursework and case studies.

How will I be supported?

What skills will I practise and develop?

After fully engaging in this course, you should have developed skills and abilities which you can apply to any professional setting and enhance your future employability.

In addition to greater conceptual understanding of current knowledge, issues and methods, you will have the opportunity to practise and develop abilities in critical analysis, the application of evidence-based medicine and in dealing with complex issues systematically and creatively. Your studies should also help you develop your problem-solving and decision-making abilities by enabling you to utilise evidence effectively and communicate important concepts to colleagues and others. Through the research focused elements you will have the opportunity to develop and enhance skills in literature review, critical evaluation, research design, research methodologies, data collection, data analysis and research principles.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2021/22)

Fees for entry 2021/22 are not yet available.

Students from outside the EU (2021/22)

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year.

Career prospects

Once you graduate from this course, you’ll gain a breadth and depth of cancer-focused training that could make you a highly attractive candidate to start or continue a career within the healthcare sector and research establishments.

Potential employment opportunities include studying for a PhD, becoming a medical laboratory science officer or research technician, clinical trials co-ordinator, medical writer or scientific liaison officer.


Master's Excellence Scholarship

This award worth £3000 is open to UK and EU students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate Master’s Finance

If you’re starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for postgraduate student finance to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2020 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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