Clinical Oncology MSc/Diploma - Part-time

Start date
February or October
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

Annual tuition fee for 2022/23:
UK: £4,905
International: £12,870
More details.


Part-time MSc in Clinical Oncology

A programme for health care professionals from diverse backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of oncology, including medical and oncology trainees, nurses, pharmacists, radiographers, vets, and clinical trial co-ordinators.

full-time programme is also available.

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. 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 be encouraged to consider some of the philosophical challenges which underlie the treatment of cancer.

The programme is studied part time over 2.5 years and includes a taught element plus a work place based dissertation. During the first year you normally study 4 taught modules (5 weeks of attendance), whilst in the second year you normally study 3 taught modules (3 weeks of attendance) plus start your dissertation. The programme however is intended to be flexible and other patterns of study are permitted (please discuss with the programme lead (Dr Jean Assender). In particular it is possible to just initially complete some of the modules as standalone CPD modules and then later decide to apply and covert these to a PG Diploma or MSc qualification on completion of the remaining requirements.

You can opt for a Postgraduate Diploma on completion of the core modules and 30 credits of optional modules, or an MSc on successful completion of the taught programme and an independently researched dissertation.

The taught clinical content is fantastic. Engaging, relevant and varied. This programme at University of Birmingham is well structured and contained everything I was looking to learn clinically

Lamia Samrin-Balch, Masters in Clinical Oncology student / Lead Pharmacist

Why study this course?

Birmingham is a major centre for cancer treatment, both adult and paediatric, is home to the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre, part of the 100,000 genomes project, led from University Hospital Birmingham and has a CRUK Cancer Centre which was re-established at the University of Birmingham in 2017.

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

This course:

  • is run at the Cancer Research UK Birmingham Centre
  • 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
  • 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

Postgraduate Open Day - Wednesday 16 March 2022


Our Postgraduate Open Day will give you the opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our taught and research opportunities within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.

Register now  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

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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. 

Please see the timetable for full details of module dates (PDF).

Compulsory Modules

Optional Modules

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




  • UK: £4,905
  • International: £12,870


  • UK: £3,270
  • International: £8,580

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

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 a Postgraduate Degree - Taught programmes

Application deadlines

The deadline for International students (including EU) to apply is Friday 1 July 2022. The deadline for UK students is Wednesday 31 August 2022.

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

Our Standard 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

International Requirements

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.


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.

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.

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