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You will be trained in science research methods and learn the techniques used in molecular biology. You will study the biology of disease, tumour biology, immunology, molecular oncology, haematological malignancy, plus diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for cancer.
In addition to an understanding of the principles and practice of core topics in medical science, you will gain in-depth knowledge of oncology topics and their relationship to other medical disciplines. Your research project can be carried out with one of our life science research groups or in your workplace if you study full time or part time. It can be an excellent selling point when seeking a job or promotion.
|Full time||1 year||2 days a week||
|Full time||2 years including professional placement||2 days a week plus placement year||
|Part time||2 years||1 day a week||
You will be trained in science research methods and learn about the techniques used in molecular biology. You will study the biology of disease, tumour biology, immunology, molecular oncology, haematological malignancy, plus diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for cancer.
In addition to developing a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practice of core topics in current areas of medical science, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of oncology topics and their relationship to other medical disciplines. You will also learn how to plan, carry out and report on a piece of independent scientific research.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.
For a student to go on placement they are required to pass every module first time with no reassessments. It is the responsibility of individual students to find a suitable paid placement. Students will be supported by our dedicated placement team in securing this opportunity.
The module allows students to develop and extend skills required to research and communicate in biosciences, and the principles and practice of laboratory techniques, research planning, management, data handling and presentation. The material is contextualised by lectures, practicals, workshops and directed reading around the planning and execution of experiments and interpretation of the data in a clinical setting or in clinically based studies.
This is a core module for students studying for the MSc in Cancer Biology. The module introduces you to the methodologies and clinical rationale of diagnosis and therapy for solid tumours and haematological malignancy. Topics covered include cancer epidemiology, risk factors and symptoms, imaging, biopsy and laboratory investigations, tumour markers (e.g. diagnostic, prognostic and predictive biomarkers), staging and prognosis of tumours and various therapeutic options including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy of cancer. The module is delivered through a variety of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and practical laboratory sessions. Additional support materials will be provided on StudySpace highlighting the most recent advances on the diagnosis and treatment of human cancers.
It provides students with an introduction to the concepts of immunity and pathobiology. Students will become familiar with the different cells and organs of the immune system and how these function and interact to protect the body from infection. In addition, the module introduces students to the cellular mechanisms and genetic causes of disease considering both the physiological manifestations and the public health implications. The module also introduces some of the molecular processes and signalling events that are important in communication between cells of the immune system. It goes on to consider the role of cellular pathology in the context of other pathology disciplines such as clinical chemistry. Practical classes are used to allow students the opportunity to apply their basic knowledge of immunology to interpret the significance of laboratory data and the role of the immune system in disease.
This module introduces biological interactions between tumour cells and the host and how these interactions affect tumour progression. The module is designed to provide a more detailed understanding of the hallmarks of cancer and the molecular processes and changes (ie genetic and epigenetic alterations) that underlie the generation of malignancies. Processes to be studied include carcinogenesis, angiogenesis and metastasis. Tumour responses to therapeutic approaches such as the development of drug resistance, as well as some of the mechanisms by which tumours may escape immune destruction, are also covered.
On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
This module culminates from knowledge gained throughout the course, in particular, the Research Techniques and Scientific Communication module in order to present work in formats appropriate to wider professional audiences, practising new and/or improved laboratory skills, as well as demonstrate the ability to independently solve complex problems. The research proposal assessment will usually be based on the research area that has been allocated for the research project or alternatively an external laboratory placement. The project results should be statistically analysed and scientifically presented and discussed within a 9,000-word thesis and scientific poster.
On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.
It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.
Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.
Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.
Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.
In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.
For this course you must pass IELTS academic test in English with an overall score of 6.5, with no element below 6.0, or meet the scores listed on the alternative online tests. Please note that we do not accept Standard XII as proof of Academic English.
Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.
Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.
* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.
You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.
Find your country:
Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to take the option of a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. You may find securing a professional placement difficult as they are highly competitive and challenging, but they are also incredibly rewarding. So it is very important to prepare and apply yourself if this is the route you wish to take. Employers look for great written and oral communication skills; and an excellent CV/portfolio. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Student Route visa.
Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.
When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.
As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services.
31% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity. Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation).
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes, therefore you may be taught alongside postgraduates from other courses.
This course is delivered by the School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry.
The School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry offers an outstanding and diverse portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in biological and biomedical sciences, chemistry, forensic science, pharmacy, pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences, and sport science and nutrition.
We've invested heavily in the development of new facilities including laboratories for teaching and research to provide students with access to ultra-modern equipment in a wide range of teaching facilities.
Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.
Having completed my BSc degree at Kingston University, I was eager to further my studies with the Cancer Biology MSc. 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.
Throughout my time here I have become part of the Kingston University family and the faculty staff have helped me with their guidance and feedback. I really enjoyed modules like Molecular Oncology and Cancer Diagnosis & Therapy which focused on the molecular aspects of cancer.
A very important aspect of the course was the 10-week research project. This focused on basic cell culture techniques and has equipped me with the skills and confidence needed in the professional world as well as giving me the opportunity to pursue a PhD at Kingston. I would strongly recommend Kingston University.
Elena Polycarpou – Cancer Biology MSc
Cancer Biology MSc students have access to a range of laboratory facilities at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. These include tissue culture laboratories, molecular biology laboratories and cell biology laboratories. In addition to the subject specific laboratories, students also have the opportunity to use faculty-based laboratories, including analytical chemistry facilities and instrumentation, computing and data analysis resources.
Specialist equipment includes:
Being part of a large, broad-based University means students will also get the chance to use facilities from other faculties. For example, our students visit the virtual radiotherapy facilities in the School of Radiography. Links with industry and research institutes afford further opportunities to become familiar with specialist equipment.
Access to this type of highly specialised scientific equipment ensures that students get practical, hands-on-experience of current research techniques, which equips them for further study or for work in cancer-related fields. All of the facilities are supported by dedicated technicians and experienced staff.
In addition, the Learning Resource Centre offers:
If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.
If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.
Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:
If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.
We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost between £100 and £3,000 depending on your course requirements.
In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.
All field trips that are compulsory to attend to complete your course are paid for by the University. There may be small fees incurred for optional field trips such as travel costs and refreshments.
Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.
If the placement year option is chosen, during this year travel costs will vary according to the location of the placement, and could be from £0 to £2,000.
Graduates have gone on to roles in a wide variety of careers in hospital laboratories, commercial laboratories and cancer research.
Many of our staff are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.
Science research is organised into several research areas. The Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Group is an interdisciplinary group.
Research focuses on the interaction of chemistry and life sciences with medicine. It is divided into three main sub-areas;
We work with a variety of employers such as hospitals, community health care, NHS foundation trusts, academic publishers, and pharmaceutical companies, many of which also offer professional experience opportunities for our Cancer Biology MSc students.
Competition to gain professional experience is fierce and places are not guaranteed. During Induction Week, you will be introduced to the scheme and the Kingston University Careers and Employability Centre resources where you will find a CV and covering letter template.
All applications must use these CV and covering letter templates, which are accessed via your KU account. Therefore, to apply for the Professional Experience opportunities, you must first be a student enrolled on an eligible MSc programme.
The KU Careers and Employability Centre will help you to complete your CV and covering letter, so that you can make your best application for the scheme. CVs and covering letters are reviewed by employers and students chosen for interview are supported to prepare by the Careers and Employability Centre.
Please email Lori Snyder for any general information you need about the professional experience scheme.
Up until 31st July 2022 this course was taught in the Faculty of Science Engineering and Computing. For students enrolling from September 2022, the course will be delivered by the Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education. There will be no impact on the teaching or the award of the degree.
The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.
Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.
Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.