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Course overview

Join the fight against one of the UK's deadliest diseases.

Cancer Sciences at Nottingham will provide you with training in the biomedical sciences such as cell and molecular biology, immunology, and human physiology enabling you to help tackle cancer.

You'll work with internationally recognised researchers and clinicians to help advance the understanding, treatment, prevention of cancers and the care of patients.

Choosing between the BSc and the MSci

Students have the choice between the three year Bachelor of Science degree or the four year Master in Science degree. The MSci provides you with additional teaching and experience including a placement.

BSc students can transfer to the MSci at the end of their second year if they are meeting the requirements and a placement is available (though this is not guaranteed).

Equally, students on the MSci can transfer to the BSc. 

Why choose this course?

  • Be part of ground-breaking cancer research, helping to find new treatments for cancer
  • Take part in one of the only undergraduate cancer research degrees in the UK
  • Make use of our Centre for Cancer Sciences housed in a new cutting-edge facility
  • Opportunities to work in the Nottingham Breast Cancer Research Centre, our Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre, and our other research groups

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer AAA including at least two science subjects, one of which must be either biology or chemistry
IB score 36 (6, 6, 5 at Higher Level including two of biology, chemistry, physics or maths)

A Levels (or equivalent)

AAA

Must include two science subjects, one of which must be Biology or Chemistry. A pass is required in science practical tests, where these are assessed separately.

We will not accept Citizenship Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies, or Global Perspectives as your third A.

GCSEs (or equivalent)

Grade 4 (C) in English

Grade 5 (B) in Maths

Interview

If you apply to study the MSci you will be required to have an interview.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Case-based learning
  • eLearning
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Placements
  • Practical classes
  • Problem-based learning
  • Self-study
  • Seminars
  • Small group learning
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Case studies
  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Examinations
  • Lab reports
  • Literature review
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Poster presentation
  • Practical write-ups
  • Presentation

Contact time and study hours

Cancer Sciences students have around 10 hours contact time per week covering lectures, practicals, workshops, tutorials and seminars. 

Students are expected to spend around 20 to 30 hours per week on self-study.

Class sizes are one to two for tutorials, around 20 for seminars and workshops, and between 30 and 300 for lectures depending on the module.

Study abroad

Our MSci course offers the chance to travel abroad to complete a placement overseas in some of the world's most advanced cancer labs including in the USA, Australia, and Europe.

Placements

Students taking the Cancer Sciences MSci will join a research project as part of a nine to twelve month placement. This can take place in world renowned labs in academia, industry, or research institutes as part of teams publishing the latest cancer research.

The placement can be in Nottingham, elsewhere in the UK or even overseas including opportunities in the USA, Australia, and Europe.

Modules

In your first year, you will learn the characteristics of cancer, its causes, how it progresses, and how it affects a person's health.

Causes and consequences of cancer

What is cancer, what causes cancer, and what happens when someone gets cancer, from detection, through diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship.

Hallmarks of Cancer

A study of the ten fundamental processes that make cancers form, grow, invade and spread.

Essentials in Genes, Molecules and Cells

This module combines lectures and laboratory classes and introduces you to the structure and function of significant molecules in cells, and the important metabolic processes which occur inside them. You will study, amongst other topics, protein and enzyme structure and function, the biosynthesis of cell components, and the role of cell membranes in barrier and transport processes. You'll examine how information in DNA is used to determine the structure of gene products. Topics include DNA structure, transcription and translation and mutation and recombinant DNA technology.

Human Physiology
In this module, you will be introduced to the physiology of major systems such as cardiovascular, nervous, and musculoskeletal, including some aspects of drug action. This module will allow you to understand your biochemical and genetics knowledge in the context of the intact organism. This module includes lectures and laboratory classes.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Your second year examines what contributes to cancer, and how different cancers form, grow, and spread in more depth. Different types of cancer including lung, breast, bowel, and ovarian cancer are used to illustrate specific mechanisms and biological systems. A case study will allow a more in-depth look at a cancer of your choosing.

Lung and Breast Cancer (highlighting tumour suppressors and growth factor biology)

A more detailed look at what causes cancers; the mutations that cause cancer, and the cell signalling abnormalities that make cancers grow, using breast cancer and lung cancers as examples.

Angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and tumour-host interactions

How cancers grow, how the cells divide, mutate, generate their own blood supply, and use energy. How cancers interact with their host, co-opt and corrupt normal cell processes, and evade detection by the immune system. Includes kidney, brain, blood, skin, prostate and pancreatic cancer.

Bowel Cancer and Ovarian Cancer (understanding cancer spread and the importance of DNA repair)

How do cancers become genetically unstable, so that they can spread around the body (metastaisize), using bowel and ovarian cancer as examples.

Cancer cell genetics

How cancer cells acquire mutations and how these mutations alter cell behaviour.

Epidemiology of cancer, population genetics and public health

Who gets cancer and why, how do we find out what causes cancer and what makes people susceptible to cancer.

Patient-centred Library Project (cause, diagnosis and treatments)

Find out what happens to someone when they get cancer, the journey they go through, and what doctors, nurses, scientists and other health care professionals do to treat the patient.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Your third year focuses on advanced study of the biology of cancer cells, how they interact with their environment, the role of the immune system in the spread of cancer, and how new cancer therapies are developed. You will also complete a research project to make new discoveries as part of a research group.

Cancer Biology and Molecular Therapeutics

The latest research in cancer cell biology, and how it is being harnessed to find new treatments for cancer.

Tumour Microenvironment

How the cancer cell shapes its environment, and how the environment affects the cancer cell, from blood vessel growth and drainage by lymphatics to the host cells that interact with the cancer cells.

Cancer Immunology and Novel Therapies

What makes a cancer evade the immune system, and how can this be overcome. A look at the latest drugs that harness the body’s own defences to fight cancer.

Current Oncology Research Seminars

Research breakthroughs in cancer delivered by visiting experts from the medical and pharmaceutical industries, and by visiting researchers.

Patient Portfolio (cause, diagnosis and treatments)

What is the future of cancer therapy? Take a specific patient and investigate at how detection, diagnosis, surgery, medicine and care of that cancer patient could change over the next decade

Groundbreaking Research Projects

Cutting edge, hands on research project in one of the research teams in the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Cancer Sciences. A 12 week placement at the bench or in the clinic (or both!) undertaking new research and discovering new parts of the cancer puzzle.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

In your final year, you will experience a placement in an industrial or academic setting, with the opportunity to study abroad. You’ll enhance your already established research skills which will prepare you well for further study and show employers you have the work experience they’re looking for.

Current Advances in Oncology

Hear from experts in cancer research on cutting edge technologies.

Groundbreaking Research as Part of an Industrial or Academic Research Placement

A 9-12 month placement in a world renowned laboratory getting your teeth into a research project and being part of a team publishing the latest research into cancer biology and/or therapy. This could be in academia, in industry or in a research institute, in Nottingham, elsewhere in the UK, or overseas, including opportunities in the USA, Australia and continental Europe. 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses such as travel and accommodation.

Extra costs include £20 for a lab coat.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need for the course through our libraries, however you may wish to buy your own copies or get more specific titles which may cost up to £80 each.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

Studying Cancer Sciences at Nottingham gives you the perfect grounding to pursue further research through studying a masters or a PhD.

The course also provides you with broader knowledge of biochemistry, immunology, genetics, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and more. These skills could lead you into jobs in biotechnology, pharmaceutical industries, and other biomedical areas.

Average starting salary and career progression

96.6% of undergraduates from the School of Medicine secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £33,695.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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" I was looking for a very specific course and knew I wanted to go into either genetics or cancer, and this course is everything in one that I was looking at doing so it seemed like a no brainer. On the course, it’s professionals in the field giving you the information on the topics we’re learning and you always come out of lectures and seminars with something. Plus, the uni campus is definitely up there with my favourite campuses too. "
Rowan Hill, first year student

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.