If you want to pursue a research career in academia or industry, our MSc Cancer Biology will provide you with the essential advanced skills and knowledge for a role in biopharma, healthcare or cancer research. We offer many opportunities for you to explore medically relevant research in the School of Life Sciences including hospital-based sessions through our collaboration with local cancer specialists and clinicians.
An important and exciting part of your programme is an extensive independent research project, based in one of our academic research groups using advanced laboratories facilities and bioinformatics tools. There are also opportunities for research projects to take place within an industrial or clinical setting.
Throughout the course, you develop your knowledge in the essential areas of molecular and cellular biology which complement your specialist modules in cancer biology. You gain expertise in areas including:
You are also trained in modern research methods and approaches which will develop your skills in complex biological data analysis and specific techniques in cancer research.
Within our School of Life Sciences, two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you will learn from and work alongside our expert staff as you undertake your own research.
We have a very strong research team in the area of cancer biology, who are well placed to deliver the specialist teaching on this course.
The team includes Dr Ralf Zwacka (apoptotic and survival signalling in cancer), Dr Greg Brooke (steroid hormone receptor signalling in cancer), Dr Metodi Metodiev (clinical proteomics and bioinformatics), Dr Vladimir Teif (computational and systems biology), Professor Nelson Fernandez (tumour immunology) and Dr Filippo Prischi (structural biology and biophysics of novel drug targets).
External experts also input to your teaching, including guest speakers from hospitals and research institutions, who deliver classes both on-campus and within the hospital environment.
As one of the largest schools at Essex, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high-quality teaching, and you benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research.
The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.
Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
Graduates who are skilled in the research methods embedded into your course are in demand from the biotechnology and biomedical research industries in this area of the UK and beyond.
Many of our Masters students progress to study for a PhD, and there are many opportunities within our school leading to a career in science.
We work with our University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
“The Department of Biological Sciences were brilliantly informative, supportive and organised. I was able to spend a lot of time in the laboratory, both during practical classes and whilst on placement at Cancer Research UK. As a direct result of this placement I was able to secure my current position as a Research Assistant at the institute.”
Marisa Di Monaco, MSc Molecular Medicine 2015
A degree with an overall 2.2 or equivalent in a relevant subject such as : Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Genetics, Pharmacology, Medicine, Chemistry.
Your Degree should contain some Biology/Medical components including Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, Drug Design, Immunology, Microbiology and Virology. We will consider applicants with an unrelated degree but with relevant work experience in Biology or Medicine.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.
Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
Please note, new structure for 2020 will be published soon.
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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