Cancer Sciences MRes

The Cancer Sciences MRes is a one year, full time programme introduced to offer postgraduate training to suitably qualified science students who are interested in research careers in cancer. It is a stand-alone programme that would be of particular interest to students who wish to apply for further training at PhD level.

Why study this course

Designed to offer life and biomedical science graduates the opportunity to gain research training through practical experience in a leading cancer research centre.

The programme consists of three introductory taught modules and an extensive project within a research group in the School of Cancer Sciences. The lecture modules will be taught by leading cancer experts and will cover such topics as the cellular and molecular basis of cancer, the pathology of selected cancers and how translational research is applied to diagnosis and treatment of cancers. The projects will generally be laboratory-based and will provide skills in designing and implementing research strategies to answer fundamental questions relating to cancer causes, diagnosis and/or treatment.

The skills and experience gained will be of particular benefit when applying to PhD programmes in cancer studies and related cell and molecular biology subjects.


You will study the introductory Cellular and Molecular Basis of Cancer module in association with MSc Clinical Oncology students; this will broaden your perspectives as you will be learning alongside students with clinical experience. You can then select two additional modules from four options (two of these are also offered to MSc Clinical Oncology students, whilst the other two are unique to the MRes Cancer Sciences programme). Each module is followed up with tutorials, and you will further develop your skills in critical analysis and presentation of research data through a Journal Club.

The optional taught modules are:

After consulting with potential supervisors you will select a 30 week research project. The project will generally be laboratory-based within one of the research groups in the School of Cancer Sciences.

Being an integral member of an active research group will give you the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to ongoing cancer research in Birmingham, and provide you with a real insight into how this research is conducted.

Related staff

Fees and funding


Home/EU £8140
International £18,450

Self funding students can choose to pay in instalments by direct debit.

Learn more about fees and funding.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Visit our website for information about scholarships for international students.

For information about all Home/EU and International funding opportunities please visit the Postgraduate Funding Database.

For other funding queries contact the School directly or get in touch with the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in the life sciences or biomedical sciences. We normally expect this to be at the 2(i) level or higher, but will also consider promising students who have not quite achieved this level.

Candidates from overseas for whom English is not their first language must meet the University’s English Language requirement e.g. IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in any band). Full information on EU/International student entry.

International students:

Academic requirements
We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

 English to IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Our facilities

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences houses state-of-the art facilities to support a range of teaching, learning and research activity. 

Our facilities ensure that students receive the best possible learning experience by working in a modern environment. Among our most recent developments include a refurbishment of the Medical School foyer, Barnes library and Wolfson Centre for Medical Education.

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Assessment methods

Assessment of the taught modules is either by a written essay or MCQ exam. The research project is assessed on the basis of a written dissertation that describes and analyses the work done.

Related research

On completion of the MRes Cancer Sciences programme, students will have developed key research and presentation skills that are sought by many recruiters into further postgraduate study at PhD level. These skills will also be applicable to other career pathways in the biomedical and health sciences sectors.

Careers Support for Postgraduates

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career 
We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market.

Here are just a few ways in which we can help postgraduates to get ahead:

  • Careers Networking opportunities
  • Effective careers strategy toolkit
  • Year planner for all postgraduate students
  • Masters Career Coaching Workshops
  • One to one careers guidance

The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information.

For more information visit the Careers Network website.

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University accommodation for postgraduates is located across the University's three student villages, all of which are within walking distance of the main campus. We have a range of accommodation types, including flats with study bedrooms, sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities; flats with ensuite study bedrooms; and studio apartments where you have exclusive use of both kitchen and bathroom facilities.

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