Cancer Biology and Therapy MSc

Year of entry

Masters Study and Funding online event

Join us online on Wednesday 5 June to receive expert advice on how to make your Masters a reality with funding. Book your place

Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in writing and 6.5 in all other components
UK fees
£13,500 (Total)
International fees
£29,500 (Total)

Course overview

Students in a laboratory undertaking cancer biology research

Cancer is one of the biggest health challenges facing the world today, accounting for nearly one in six deaths. Our innovative MSc in Cancer Biology and Therapy gives you the opportunity to kick start a career in research and stand at the forefront of the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer. With us, you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to make an impact and improve patient outcomes.

Our course is suited to clinicians and academics interested in a career in Cancer Biology and Research, and science graduates looking to further their studies via doctoral research, enter academic medicine or pursue a career in industry, clinical service (NHS trust diagnostic departments) or a related discipline (become a technician developing assays and reagents for cancer research in industry).

Change the future of cancer

  • Join a network of leading experts and prepare for a career as a leading researcher.
  • Develop and study in an internationally renowned research centre, making significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of cancer.
  • Build a solid understanding of the application of molecular approaches to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancers.
  • Undertake a research project, targeting a specific area of cancer biology alongside our team of leading experts.

Course details

Founded in applied biomedical science theory, explore the molecular mechanisms of cancer and how these apply in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disease.

Gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principles and application of cancer research
  • the basis of cancer therapy
  • the method by which new treatments are developed

This is an exciting opportunity to:

  • Gain an advanced understanding of cancer biology and therapy underpinned by cutting edge research.
  • Apply the latest techniques in molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and chemistry applicable to cancer biology and therapy.
  • Undertake your own research project within one of our internationally renowned institutes.
  • Generate results with scientific impact and have the potential to improve cancer outcomes.
  • Evaluate some of the toughest challenges in cancer research and translate research findings into therapeutic applications.

Our teaching is research-led and delivered by cancer research academics, oncologists and clinicians at the University of Leeds.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Cancer Biology and Therapy MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Research Informatics and Dissemination 15
The Molecular Biology of Cancer 15
Methods in Biomedical Research 15
Preparing for the Research Project 15
Stem Cell Biology: A Genomics and Systems Biology Approach to Haematopoiesis 15
Cancer Drug Development 15
Research Project 75

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught by practising research scientists and clinicians who are pioneering in their research fields. Teaching will be split across a variety of formats:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • laboratory practicals
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • research project

Teaching is mainly based at St James's University Hospital - a hub of research activity with working and teaching laboratories, a computer cluster, library and meeting rooms.

The taught components of the course provide a solid knowledge base and research training foundation to excel in your research project.

We encourage you to get involved in the research Institutes’ activities, such as the invited speaker seminar series and research in progress meetings. You may get the opportunity to present your work at lab meetings

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


A key objective of the course is formulating your own ideas and logically expressing them. These components will be assessed within each module.

A typical module will be assessed by two assignments. Assessments include written assignments, as well as delivering presentations and posters, and leading discussions.

The MSc course comprises 180 credits. You may choose to exit the programme at an earlier stage, with a PG Certificate (60 credits).


Entry requirements

BSc 1st class or 2i, or equivalent in a relevant scientific discipline which would normally be one of the biological sciences but a natural sciences graduate will be considered.

This course is also available as an intercalated programme to students who have completed three years of a UK medical degree and are normally ranked in the top 50% of their year of study. Read more at Intercalation.

Students taking this course as an intercalated degree are subject to different deadlines of application.

Find out more about applying to intercalate.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in writing and 6.5 in all other components.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Applications are considered on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications and experience. Applications may close before the deadline date if numbers accepted reach capacity.

Application deadlines: 31st July 2024 (international students), 25th August 2024 (UK students).

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you’ll need

  • One reference is required at the point of application from a discipline related to the course you are applying to. If you are a recent graduate, the reference should be an academic referee. The reference should be provided on a headed document with either a stamp from the institution or an electronic signature.

  • A CV or supporting personal statement, including the list of research projects you have undertaken to date.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

School of Medicine Taught Postgraduate Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Medicine

Contact us

School of Medicine Postgraduate Admissions



UK: £13,500 (Total)

International: £29,500 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

This exciting course provides exceptional training for:

  • Science graduates looking to pursue doctoral research, enter academic medicine or follow a career in industry, clinical service or a related discipline.
  • Clinicians interested in a clinical academia career in the fields of Cancer Biology and Research.
  • Individuals intending to secure clinical fellowships.

Many of our graduates, who studied with us at St James’s University Hospital, are undertaking PhDs both within the UK or internationally. Some are working in NGOs or in the industry. Talented graduates from the MSc will be strongly supported to join PhD programmes in the institutes here at the University.

At Leeds, we also offer dedicated career support through our Leeds for Life initiative. You’ll receive support from a personal tutor, who’ll offer specialist guidance to make sure your hard work during your studies translates into career success.

Alumni profile: Hannah Burgess

I really enjoyed my time on this MSc course. I was able to specialise my studies in cancer biology, learning a vast range of approaches to cancer therapy, which reinforced my passion for the subject.
Find out more about Hannah Burgess's time at Leeds