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Clinical Oncology MSc/PGDip - Full-time

Start date
1 year, full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

Annual tuition fee for 2024/25:
UK: £12,030
International: £30,840
More details

MSc Clinical Oncology - Fatim Bandali

For health care professionals from diverse backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of oncology, this full-time programme is particularly suitable for medical professionals with an interest in clinical, medical, surgical and translational oncology. Unique to this programme is the exciting opportunity to gain clinical observership status and log your hours observing in a UK based hospital. Our network of University Hospitals provides state-of-the-art oncology treatments driven by innovative trials, multidisciplinary approach and molecular stratification.

We also offer a part-time version of this programme.

Scholarships for 2024 entry

The University of Birmingham is proud to offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate programmes. With a scholarship pot worth over £2 million, we are committed to alleviating financial barriers to support you in taking your next steps.

Each scholarship has its own specific deadlines and eligibility criteria. Please familiarise yourself with the information on individual scholarship webpages prior to submitting an application.

Explore our scholarships

Aiming to allow you to understand the research process, this programme draws on examples from within this renowned research Institute and its associated Clinical Trials Unit, one of the largest trial units in the country. A key part of the Masters programme is the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study leading to submission of a dissertation under the supervision of leading clinicians and scientists..

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 be encouraged to consider some of the philosophical challenges which underlie the treatment of cancer. The programme includes a variety of teaching formats including small workshops, group discussions and problem-based learning. 

You can opt for a Postgraduate Diploma on completion of the core modules and 30 credits of optional modules, or a Masters on successful completion of the taught programme and an independently researched dissertation. We are always open to discuss specific training needs, please discuss with the programme lead Dr Gianmarco Contino.

Why study this course?

Birmingham is a major centre for cancer treatment, both adult and paediatric. It is also home to the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre, part of the 100,000 genomes project, led from University Hospital Birmingham.

The aim of this programme is to give you a scientific understanding of the cellular basis of cancer. We then discuss how understanding the molecular pathology of the disease can help in stratifying patients to personalised cancer therapeutic approaches and disease management. 

The programme can be tailored to suit your own interests by selecting your own choice of modules. Our programme has helped many students and professional to advance their career trough a solid training, incentive to publish research and the support of our scientific network.

This course:

  • draws on expertise from staff within the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and clinical staff from Birmingham Hospitals plus invited speakers from across the country
  • will provide overseas full time students with a unique opportunity to gain clinical observership status and log your hours observing in a UK based hospital
  • can contribute towards career development and open up further career progression opportunities
  • has part-time or full-time versions available
  • meets the training requirements of the FRCR part I exams
  • will increase your personal knowledge of the practices and principles of clinical oncology and will give you the ability to improve the standards of clinical oncology practiced at your institute or place of work.


This one year Masters programme includes 7 taught modules plus a 6-month research project and clinical observer status in a local hospital. The Postgraduate Diploma programme consists of the 7 taught modules spread over 9 months. 

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. 

Compulsory Modules

Optional Modules

*These modules are available on a stand-alone basis. For more details click on the module title.




  • UK: £12,030
  • International: £30,840


  • UK: £7,020
  • International: £19,560

Please note that the MSc fee includes the clinical observership, but the PGDip does not, hence the difference in fee levels.

If you are a international student working in a UK hospital you may be eligible for the part-time programme.

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

Learn more about fees and funding

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.


Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

As a UK resident you can apply for a government loan 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

How To Apply

How to apply for our taught postgraduate programmes

Application deadlines

The deadline for international students (including EU) to apply is 7 May 2024. The deadline for UK students is 30 August 2024.

Making your application

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

As this programme is 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, surgery, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry, nursing, radiography, clinical trials, 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: medicine, radiography, pharmacy, or relevant and equivalent experience/professional qualifications.

The University accepts Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). For further details see

Learn more about entry requirements

International Requirements

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 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component).

If you need help with your English language skills then support is available.

The English for Academic Purposes Presessional course is for international students who have a conditional offer to study at the University, but who do not currently meet the English language requirements. The course is tailored to your level of English and allows you to meet the English language requirements for your programme without retaking IELTS. The EAP programme runs throughout the year and offers different programme lengths ranging from 42 weeks to 6 weeks. The length of course you need depends on your future course, your existing IELTS score and the English level you need for your university degree.

Find out more about the English for Academic Purposes Presessional course.

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, 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.


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.

If you are thinking about a career in Clinical Oncology you'll find the Royal College of Radiologists web pages a useful source of information with videos and case studies.

Several MSc Clinical Oncology students have gone on to have papers published based on their dissertations (examples can be fund in the links below):

A Systematic Review of Treatments for Relapsed/Refractory Mantle Cell Lymphoma
Madeliene Parrott, Prof Simon Rule, Dr Michael Kelleher, Jayne Wilson

Myeloproliferative Neoplasia associated with Splanchnic Vein Thrombosis is correlated with distinct clinical features and low JAK2 V617F Allele Burden Author(s): Wanda Toscano, Jane Bryon, Tamara Khaguli, Stephen Jenkins, Mike Griffiths, Dhiraj Tripathi, Frederick Chen

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.