Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology

Key Information

  • Award: MSc / PG Diploma
  • Lab-based Programme
  • Modes of Study: Full Time / Part Time / Full Time - Distance Learning / Part Time - Distance Learning
  • Programme Director: Professor Richard Grose
  • Start Date: September 2022
  • Application Deadline: 31 July 2022

For more information and to apply, please visit the Queen Mary University of London website:


The Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology programme is designed to give you a detailed and thorough understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of cancer and its treatments. In addition to developing a deep knowledge of cancer biology, pathology, pharmacology and drug development, you will study research methodologies and techniques, enabling you to make the most of the laboratory-based project, which forms a key component of the programme.

During this period, onsite students will be fully integrated into one of the Institute's Research Centres, with the opportunity for Distance Learning students to undertake research at their workplace or an appropriate local research laboratory. The programme is particularly suited to students who aspire to a career in research, although a wide range of career opportunities exist.

Compulsory modules

Cancer Biology
Cancer Pharmacology
Molecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Research Methods
Drug Development
Biological Therapies
Research Lab Skllls
Genomic Approaches to Cancer

Optional modules

Pathology of Cancer & Imaging
Paediatric and Adolescent Oncology
Cancer Prevention and Screening

Students will choose 15 credits of optional modules - this is likely to be either one 15 credit module or two 7.5 credit modules, depending on the programme structure. For more detailed module information, visit the module details page.

Full Time

Semester 1: September - December (67.5 credits, taught modules)
Semester 2: January - March (52.5 credits, taught modules)
Semester 3: May - August (60 credit Lab Project, MSc only)

Part Time

Year 1

Semester 1: September - December (30 credits, taught modules)
Semester 2: January - March (30 credits, taught modules)

Year 2

Semester 1: September - December (37.5 credits, taught modules)
Semester 2: January - March (22.5 credits, taught modules)
Semester 3: May - August (60 credit Lab Project, MSc only)


Semester 1: January      Semester 2: March/April       Semester 3: August resits

Each 15 credit module involves approximately 30 hours contact time and 120 hours of self-study.

Each 7.5 credit module involves approximately 15 hours contact time and 60 hours of self-study.

The Lab Project involves 10.5 weeks full time in one of the Institute’s Research Centres. There may be some flexibility to arrange part-time projects for part-time students who are unable to commit to a full-time project. These are arranged on a case by case basis in consultation with the Programme Director.

Modes of study
Award and structure

MSc: 120 taught credits + 60 credit Lab Project
PG Diploma: 120 taught credits

A variety of study options are available, these include Full Time (1 year) and Part Time (2 years), on-site or by Distance Learning.

Distance Learning

Distance learning is delivered via the University’s online learning platform - QMplus. Onsite lectures are recorded and made available to Distance Learning students, together with copies of the slides and other supporting teaching materials.
Lab-based elements of the programme are taught through video tutorials.

Distance Learners usually carry out their Lab Project at an External organisation (whether this be their place of work or a place they have other links with). All External projects will be approved by the Programme Director. In some circumstances, Distance Learners may be able to carry out their lab project in one of our Research Centres, but priority for places is given to onsite students.


Posters and oral presentations will be delivered via Skype.
Examinations can be at Queen Mary University of London or at an approved local venue (usually a British Council or a local Academic Institution).

Entry Requirements
Academic Entry Requirements
  • A medical degree; or
  • a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject from a recognised institution with 2:1 or better. Applicants with a 2:2 and strong supporting evidence will also be considered; or
  • an appropriate professional qualification; or
  • Successful completion of at least 3 years of MBBS studies (including the equivalent of one year of patient-based teaching)*

*Intercalating students must pass exams taken prior to commencing the MSc at first attempt and confirm that the beginning of their following year of MBBS studies start after all assessment for the MSc has been completed.

For more information on intercalated degrees please see here.

For international equivalencies please see the QMUL International Office.

English Language Requirements

Applicants for whom English is not a first language will also require a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with 6.5 in writing) or equivalent unless your undergraduate degree was studied in English. For more information on English language requirements, and acceptable qualifications, please visit the Queen Mary English Language Requirements webpage.

How to Apply

All applications must be completed online.

As part of your application you will be required to provide the following documents:

  • Personal Statement
  • CV
  • 2 references (at least one of these must be an academic reference)
  • Copies of degree transcripts
  • English language results and certificate (if applicable)
Intercalating Applicants

Intercalating students must also apply via the Intercalated Degrees Admissions team. Please visit the Queen Mary website for more detailed information about the application process.

Fees & Funding
Full-time study - September 2022 | 1 year
Part-time study - September 2022 | 2 years

Note that fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis - see details on our tuition fees page.

Funding and scholarships

Numerous funding options are available to Postgraduate students. For more information, visit the Queen Mary Funding a Masters webpage.


Due to receiving large volumes of successful applications, it is our department policy to request a deposit of £2000 from overseas students and £1000 from home/EU students in order to secure your place on the course. This will be payable on acceptance of an offer.

Career Prospects

The Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology programme will provide you with the skills and experience necessary to pursue further academic research at PhD/MD level. It will also provide a strong foundation for those working in a clinical, pharmaceutical or diagnostic setting.

Each year we retain a proportion of our graduates within the Institute as PhD students, research assistants or clinical trials co-ordinators.

Find out about the types of projects available

For most of our MSc students, the research project / dissertation is the most exciting part of the programme. Find out more about the research within each of our Centres and the kinds of projects on offer as part of the MSc Programme...

Find out more about studying at BCI

Click below to hear from some of our former and current MSc students and get a feel for what it is like to study at the BCI.

Alex, MSc Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology

"One thing that I really enjoyed about the course were the lectures. They were well structured and easy to follow, with the lecturers really keen to answer any questions along the way. Additionally, I really enjoyed the practical sessions. These sessions were my first proper hands-on experience in a laboratory and helped me to develop an understanding of different experimental techniques and why they are used."

Read Alex's full alumni profile

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