Cancer Studies PhD/MD/MSc by Research

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Cancer Sciences remains a major research strength within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, as evidenced by the fact that 80% of our RAE 2008 submission in the area of Cancer Studies was considered internationally excellent or world leading. Particular strengths include cancer cell signalling, the DNA damage response, gene and immunotherapy and cancer viruses.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Doctoral research

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: PhD – 3 or 4 years full-time, 6 years part-time; MSc by Research – 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time; MD – 2 years minimum part-time

Start date: Research degrees may start at any time of the year, though for most this will be September

Contact

College of Medical and Dental Sciences Graduate School: mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005

Details

We offer a range of postgraduate education opportunities including both research and taught programmes. Opportunities are available on a full- or part-time basis leading to the qualifications of MD, PhD, MPhil, MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate. Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities are also available as short study programmes.

Cancer Sciences remains a major research strength within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, as evidenced by the fact that 80% of our RAE 2008 submission in the area of Cancer Studies was considered internationally excellent or world leading. Following the RAE 2008 results, in The Research Fortnight’s University Power Ranking, Birmingham is named as the leading Cancer Studies centre outside London (only topped by the Institute of Cancer Research). Particular strengths include cancer cell signalling, the DNA damage response, gene and immunotherapy and cancer viruses.

The School of Cancer Sciences incorporates the following basic and translational research themes:

  • Structural Biology and Biomarkers
  • Cancer Cell Biology
  • Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics
  • Cancer Clinical Trials (CRCTU)/Clinical Trials (BCTU)
  • Tumour Immunology and Immune Gene Therapy
  • Viral Oncology

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply, although in some projects a bench fee is also payable. 
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
A number of studentships are available for PhD students each year, funded by major sponsors including Cancer Research UK (through the CRUK Cancer Centre), the MRC and the Leukaemia Research Fund, as well as national and local charities; home/EU students should contact the School directly for further information. For general scholarship enquiries email sfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk  

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements   

International students
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements

Standard English language requirements apply

How to apply

Learn more about applying

  • Apply for the PhD full-time or part-time
  • Apply for the MSc by Research full-time or part-time
  • Apply for the MD part-time

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

Research interests of staff

Before submitting an application to the University, you will need to identify potential supervisors in your desired field of research in order that you can indicate this in your application. There will be a delay in processing your application if this information is not provided. To do this, you can browse the “research interests” tab on the course finder pages which identifies research leads by subject area.

Alternatively you can:

  • Search for an advertised postgraduate research opportunity via our Doctoral Researchers search engine
  • Browse the school websites. Most schools provide a list of research active staff and their research interests on their website.
  • Integrins; tetraspan proteins and cell signalling
    Contact: Dr Fedor Berditchevski
  • Biochemical studies of adenovirus transforming proteins; post-translational modification of proteins; apoptosis
    Contact: Dr Roger Grand
  • Urological malignancies; boron neutron capture therapy
    Contact: Professor Nicholas James
  • Cancer clinical trials and biomarkers
    Contact: Professor Philip Johnson
  • T cell responses and haematological malignancies; viral infections of the immunocompromised host; graft-versus-leukaemia
    Contact: Professor Paul Moss
  • NMR and cell signalling
    Contact: Professor Michael Overduin
  • Metabolomics; NMR
    Contact: Dr. Ulrich Günther
  • Biology and immunology of Epstein-Barr virus
    Contact: Professor Martin Rowe
    Contact: Professor Alan Rickinson 
  • Human papillomaviruses; epithelial cell biology
    Contact: Dr Sally Roberts
  • Oncogenic viruses; Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus; virus immune modulation
    Contact: Professor David Blackbourn 
  • Viral vectors; gene therapy of cancer
    Contact: Dr Peter Searle
  • Genetic predisposition to cancer in man; ataxia telangiectasia; DNA damage response genes
    Contact: Professor Malcolm Taylor
  • Molecular basis of T cell and NK cell receptor recognition
    Contact: Dr Ben Willcox
  • Adenovirus gene regulation of tumour suppressors
    Contact: Dr Andy Turnell
  • Regulating the cellular response to DNA damage
    Contact: Dr Grant Stewart
  • DNA damage response genes in lymphoid malignancies
    Contact: Professor Tatjana Stankovic
  • Signalling events in oesophageal carcinogenesis
    Contact: Dr Chris Tselepis
  • Epigenetics, HPV and EBV
    Contact: Professor Paul Murray
    Contact: Professor Ciaran Woodman
  • Brain tumours and metabolomics
    Contact: Dr Andrew Peet
  • Neuroblastoma and genomics
    Contact: Dr Carmel McConville
  • Leukaemia – phase l and ll studies
    Contact: Dr Pamela Kearns
  • Gynaecological oncology and minimal invasive radical surgery
    Contact: Dr Sudha Sundar
  • Liver transplant pathology; hepatobiliary pathology. Mechanisms of immune damage and growth factors in liver disease
    Contact: Professor Stefan Hubscher
  • Lymphoma biology; oncogenic herpes viruses
    Contact: Professor Paul Murray
  • Transplantation pathology
    Contact: Dr Desley Neil
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4003
    Email: d.a.h.neil@bham.ac.uk
  • Surgery
    Contact:
    Professor Derek Alderson 
    Professor Dion Morton
    Mrs Olga Tucker
    Mr Simon Bach
    Dr Glenn Matthews 
    Dr Martin Chidgey

Related research

Contact

College of Medical and Dental Sciences Graduate School: mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005

Employability

Following graduation, Postgraduate Researchers in the College MDS gain employment in a variety of areas though with a majority continuing in research, mostly in Academia but also in the Health,  Pharmaceutical, and Biotechnology sectors.  Others pursue careers in Education, Publishing, Intellectual Property Protection, Technology Innovation, Business, and more besides.

Find out more about where our postgraduate students go

Contact

College of Medical and Dental Sciences Graduate School: mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk

You can contact us on +44 (0)121 414 5005