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Clinical Oncology MSc/Diploma - Part-time

Start date
February or October
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

Annual tuition fee for 2024/25:
UK: £5,265
International: £14,670
More details


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. Our network of University Hospitals provides state-of-the-art oncology treatments driven by innovative trials, multidisciplinary approach and molecular stratification.

full-time programme is also available.

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. 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 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. 

The programme is studied part time over 2.5 years and includes a taught element plus a workplace 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 Gianmarco Contino). 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.

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:

  • 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.

    • 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

    •  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. It can contribute towards career development and open up further career progression opportunities.

    •  is taught in week-long blocks of study for ease of travel and freedom from competing work commitments


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.



Fees are per year for 2 years.


UK: £5,265
International: £14,670


  • UK: £3,510
  • International: £9,780

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 tuition fees.

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 our taught postgraduate programmes

Application deadlines

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

Making your application

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

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 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, small group tutorials, presentations, peer group learning, self-study etc.

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. 

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.

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.