University of Essex

University of Essex

Cancer Biology

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 Biological Sciences including hospital-based sessions through our collaboration with local cancer specialists and clinicians. An important 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: Specific cancer types (including breast, prostate, pancreatic and colon cancer), clinical aspects of cancer, emerging trends in cancer research. 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.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 2nd Class Honours degree, or equivalent, preferably supported by relevant work experience. Many subjects will be considered but a life science, sports and exercise science, or an allied health care science degree would be preferable. Professional qualifications may also be acceptable. If English is not your first language, then we require IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Course modules

Core modules: gene technology and synthetic biology; genomics; professional skills and the business of molecular medicine; protein technologies. Research project: MSc molecular medicine. Optional modules: cancer biology; creating and growing a new business venture; human molecular genetics; molecular and developmental immunology.

Assessment methods

Your assessment is a combination of written coursework, end-of-term tests, practical and laboratory work (where appropriate) and end-of-year exams. During the summer, you will work on a dissertation or individual project included in your final grade.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time GBP 5,950 per Year 1 (England) 12 months
MSc Full-time GBP 15,500 per Year 1 (International) 12 months
MSc Full-time GBP 5,950 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 12 months
MSc Full-time GBP 5,950 per Year 1 (Scotland) 12 months
MSc Full-time GBP 5,950 per Year 1 (Wales) 12 months

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