Clinical Oncology MSc/Diploma - Part-time

For health care professionals from diverse backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of oncology, including:

  • medical and clinical oncology SpRs
  • nurses
  • pharmacists
  • radiographers
  • vets
  • clinical trial co-ordinators
  • dieticians

full-time programme is also available. 

This programme aims to give you a scientific understanding of the cellular and molecular biology of cancer, its epidemiology and pathology, and to place this in a clinical context. You will then address how this knowledge effects therapeutic approaches and disease management.

It aims to allow you to understand the research process by drawing on examples within the department and its associated clinical trials unit. A key part of this Masters programme is the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study leading to submission of a dissertation.

At all levels we aim to encourage interactive rather than didactic learning and lecturing. Therefore, in addition to  assembling and learning facts you will also to consider some of the philosophical challenges which underlie the treatment of cancer. 

The programme is studied part time over 2 years and includes a taught element plus a work place based dissertation. This is made up of  4 residential taught modules per year (8 in total). Taught modules consist of one or two 5 day blocks Monday to Friday approximately 9am - 5.30pm. The total taught element consists of 45-55 days of attendance over the whole programme depending on your choice of optional modules.

You can opt for a Postgraduate Diploma on completion of the core modules and 40 credits of optional modules, or an MSc on successful completion of the taught programme and an independently researched dissertation.

Why study this course

This course:

  • is run at the Birmingham Cancer Research UK Centre
  • draws on expertise from staff within the School and clinical staff from Birmingham Hospitals plus invited speakers from across the country
  • meets the training requirements of the FRCR part I exams  
  • can contribute towards career development and open up further career progression opportunities
  • can be tailored to suit your own interests by selecting from a choice of optional modules
  • has part-time or full-time versions available 
  • is taught in week long blocks of study for ease of travel and freedom from competing work commitments 
  • will increase your personal knowledge of the practices and principles of clinical oncology
  • will give you the ability to improve the standards of clinical oncology practiced at your institute or place of work

Modules

The content of the course is broadly divided into two components: the taught modules and the independent research project (dissertation).

Each taught module comprises 30-60 hours of taught classroom based learning, self directed learning and an assignment. 

You are expected to spend approximately 60 hours of self-directed study doing preparatory and follow-up reading, and completing coursework for each module. Woven throughout the programme will be instruction in Research Methods. This is not an accredited module but you must demonstrate a satisfactory standard of understanding for you to be allowed to enter the dissertation phase of the programme.

Compulsory Modules

Optional Modules 

Related staff

Fees and funding

Fees

2017/18

Home/EU
MSc - £7,020
PGDip - £4,680 
This fee is payable over two years (i.e. £3,510 each year for 2 years)

The difference between the MSc and PGDip is that for an MSc, you will undertake a 60 Credit dissertation. The fee reflects this.

International students

International students working in the NHS are eligible to apply but may be charged overseas tuition fees rather than UK/EU tuition fees. 

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

Learn more about fees and funding 

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

You can apply for a government loan of up to £10,280 (2017/18) per student for postgraduate Masters study. This is a contribution towards the costs of study and whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs will be at the discretion of the student. Find out more about the Postgraduate Loan.

Scholarships

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

As this is a course focused around professional practice it is essential that you have at least six months experience working in an oncology environment. This may include experience in medicine, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry, nursing, radiography, clinical trials, scientific research, veterinary medicine, biostatistics and other related disciplines.

You will also need an undergraduate degree in a suitable subject. This could include, but is not restricted to, the following fields: bioscience, medicine, radiography, veterinary medicine or relevant and equivalent experience/professional qualifications.

The University accepts Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

This programme is intended to be accessible and appropriate to people from a wide variety of backgrounds, reflecting the modern multidisciplinary constitution of cancer care professionals.

Learn more about entry requirements

How to apply

International students requiring visas

Monday 3 July 2017 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Applications will reopen for 2018 entry on 15 September 2017.

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

For the part-time programme the application deadline is 31st August or when the course is full.

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.

This programme is delivered via one or two 5 day blocks of teaching from Monday to Friday approx 9am-5.30pm. You will participate in a range of teaching styles such as lectures, eLectures (Surgical Oncology sample), small group tutorials, presentations, peer group learning, self-study etc.

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.

Assessment methods

Taught Modules
Modules are assessed either by means of 3,000 word assignment or by preparing and conducting a short presentation on a defined topic related to the module content, or by unseen written examination.   

Dissertation 
This is defined as a substantial body of work containing some new findings or thoughts. It is envisaged that this will be about 10 000 words in length. For part time students, the subject of the dissertation will be suggested by you and approved by the course leaders. Full time students will be assigned to a suitable supervisor and agree the nature of the research at the start of their programme. The dissertation will be assessed by 2 examiners and an oral presentation.

Related research

So you can get an idea of what some of our students have to say about the programmes we have been in touch with them and compiled some of their comments into student profiles for you to have a look at:

Gillian Hornzee - Graduate
Rachel Hoare - Graduate

Dr Selvi Radhakrishna, a recent graduate from the PG Diploma in Clinical Oncology programme here at the University of Birmingham, has written a book that presents the various cultural issues an Indian woman might face when diagnosed with breast cancer. This New Indian Express article tells the story.
 

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

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. 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. For more information visit the Careers Network website

Birmingham is one of Europe's most exciting cities. If you are already based here you know what this vibrant, forward-thinking, international city has to offer. If you are moving here you are going to have great fun finding out. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Living in Birmingham

Whether you are looking for university accommodation or a rented property in the private sector, our accommodation services team, 'Living', can help you find the right place.

Postgraduate and Mature Student Association (PGMSA)

If you are a mature student it's worth considering joining the Postgraduate and Mature Student Association (PGMSA). This voluntary, student-led group has an active Facebook group where you can keep up with all the events and activities on offer.

Are you an International Student?

The University of Birmingham has one of the largest international student communities within the UK. The mix of nationalities and cultures on campus greatly enriches our learning and teaching environment and will help you feel at home during your time with us. Find out more at our international student website

Accommodation

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.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.