Cancer Biology

Access advanced technology and approaches being used in cancer biology.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2019
Campus: Hammersmith
ECTS: 90 credits

Course overview
Register your interest2018 entry


Our Cancer Biology stream provides broad training in research and prepares you for a research career in the fight against cancer.

The course embraces cutting-edge developments in the field: you will experience some of the most technologically advanced approaches currently being applied to the broad field of cancer research in a teaching programme that comprises both theoretical and practical elements.

Choosing a stream

We offer two streams in Cancer Biology:

  • Cancer Biology
    MRes Cancer Biology

This page is primarily for the Cancer Biology stream of the MRes Cancer Biology. For information on the Cancer Informatics stream, please follow the link above.

Your choice of stream will inform the modules you study and your choice of research projects.

The structure of the course and assessment methods are similar for both streams.

Study programme

The Cancer Biology stream comprises an initial 4/5-week taught component. This covers the cellular and molecular basis of cancer biology, plus an introduction to the clinical and pathological aspects of carcinogenesis.

This information is covered through a series of lectures. It will be partly based on the lecturer's own research, making use of the excellent researchers we have at Imperial.

Alongside lectures, there are a series of workshops covering key transferable skills such as the oral presentation of scientific data and grant writing.

You will get an insight into the excellent project opportunities we have at Imperial, as well as those of our partner institutions (Crick Institute and Institute of Cancer Research).

To facilitate your learning, we will provide you with a textbook and you will present assigned chapters and additional research in small groups to the rest of the cohort. These book chapter presentations will be spread out over the taught component of the course.

You will then begin the first of two research placements of approximately 20 weeks each.


This MRes is designed for aspiring researchers – 75% of the 2015-16 cohort are currently studying for a PhD.

Those in employment have entered into roles such as Research Scientist, Research Assistant, and Scientific Officer.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.


Core modules

You take all of the core modules below:

  • Grant Writing Exercise
  • Poster presentation
  • Project 1 – Cancer Biology
  • Project 2
  • Statistics

Research projects

You choose from a list of projects offered by researchers at Imperial College Cancer Research UK Centre and our partner institutions (Crick Institute and Institute of Cancer Research).

These projects will immerse you in a multidisciplinary research environment that will promote your understanding of modern cancer research.

Through continuous interaction with research staff, you will be exposed to state-of-the-art research methodologies and a broad knowledge base, offering a stimulating learning environment.

By undertaking two separate research projects, you will be trained in a range of biological techniques, both from a theoretical and practical standpoint, while further developing your data analysis skills.

You will also further your ability to communicate scientific findings to your peers, both in writing and through oral presentations.

You will apply some of the most technologically advanced approaches in the field of cancer research to your own projects and gain transferable skills through a series of short courses offered by the College.

Teaching and assessment


  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Seminars
  • Student-led presentations


  • Mock Grant Proposal
  • Poster Presentation
  • Projects (Thesis and Viva)
  • Statistics

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in an appropriate subject.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

You can submit one application form per year of entry, and usually choose up to two courses.

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants to our Master's courses must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

Application deadlines (2018 entry)

Applications to this course are considered in batches. Applications received by the deadlines below will be considered in those batches, if at least one academic reference has also been received. Note that it is your responsibility as an applicant to contact your referees and ensure that they have submitted your reference.

  • 31 January 2018
  • 23 April 2018
  • 29 June 2018

Should all spaces on this course be filled prior to the deadline dates the Department will close to applications early.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Cancer Biology Alumni Bursary

You can check your eligibility and apply to our Alumni Bursary if you're applying to Cancer Biology or Cancer Informatics.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2019 entry

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,280 from the UK government. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information


Got a question?


Read more about the School and our research on the Department of Surgery and Cancer website.

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