Allison Naugebauer profile photo

Programme: MSc Cancer & Therapeutics

Year of study: 2019-2021 (Part-time, distance learning)

Undergraduate education: BSc Medical Sciences, University of Leeds

Allison Neugebauer

Why did you choose to study the MSc Cancer & Therapeutics programme at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London?

My initial reason for seeking out the course was my desire to further my knowledge surrounding a subject I was working on in my professional life as a PR consultant. I had a good foundational understanding of cancer from my BSc in Medical Sciences, however, wanted to become a specialist in the subject area. When it came to choosing the institution at which to study, it was a no-brainer – Queen Mary and Barts Cancer Institute are renowned worldwide for their contributions to the field of cancer research. Furthermore, the part-time, distance learning option was perfect for someone like myself in full-time employment.

Which of the modules that you have studied have been your favourite?

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the modules. I found Research Methods particularly useful, as it has made me more of a critical reader of data and clinical trial design. The most interesting modules for me were the Clinical Cancer Therapy and Pathology of Cancer modules - there’s something special about working with real case studies and understanding how to diagnose and manage cancers in the real world. The course is structured so well, starting with the foundational biology and pharmacology modules, before progressing to these applicational modules.

What is a highlight from your time on the programme/at BCI so far?

After 2 years of study as a part-time distance learner, it’s hard to pinpoint specific highlights - there have been too many. I would say, generally, the quality of teaching staff has been a continuous highlight for me. Across all of the modules we have been taught by some of the best researchers and clinicians in their respective fields. They exude passion and expertise, sharing cutting edge research with us, and leaving no question unanswered.

Do you have any advice for prospective students who are considering this programme?

My advice would be: sign up today - you won’t regret it. Having been in full-time employment and unsure whether the course would fit in with my life, I had hesitated for a while before signing up (reading endless testimonials in the process). Without sounding cliché, it’s amazing what one can achieve if they are passionate about the task in hand. Here I am, almost two years later and about to undertake my final project, the dissertation. It’s a bittersweet time - I’ll be happy to have completed the course and am so grateful for how much I’ve learnt during it, but at the same time I’ll be a bit sad for it to be over.