Queen’s University Belfast

The MSc(Res) in Cancer Medicine will provide students with new knowledge of how precision medicine can improve and shape future healthcare. Students will gain hands-on experience of molecular techniques and the equipment/devices used in a modern molecular laboratory; the course will provide training in laboratory and research skills that are applicable across multiple scientific disciplines in a supportive learning environment. Central to this research-intensive programme is a 24-week Research Project (which runs throughout both semesters) where students undertake hands-on research training within active research teams. Through taught modules students will be able to evaluate how novel therapeutic approaches can be used to stratify patients into treatment groups for better clinical management (stratified / precision medicine). They will observe the delivery of precision medicine through tours of the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre.

There are optional modules in the second semester allowing students to explore the fundamental principles of carcinogenesis and the translational approaches (including cutting edge technologies) which allow cancer scientists and clinicians to advance our understanding and treatment of cancers.

The Precision Cancer Medicine stream provides a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the hallmarks of cancer from the role of genetic/epigenetic alterations, cell cycle control and metastases/angiogenesis to the development of applications to help diagnose cancers earlier, improve treatments, rationally design clinical trials and reduce chemotherapy drug resistance.

The Radiation Oncology stream will develop skills in understanding the biological principles of radiotherapy and its clinical applications in the treatment of cancer. This will include the physical and chemical basis of radiation interactions and the biological consequences of radiation exposures. Clinical aspects of Radiation Oncology will be covered including principle of advanced radiotherapy delivery, cancer imaging techniques and biomarker discovery.

The Oncology Drug Discovery stream will give an insight into both academic and biotech drug development. The course will provide an understanding of what makes an interesting anti-cancer drug target and how, as researchers, we validate this target for clinical use. In addition, you will also gain an understanding of the different drug development platforms that are currently employed for hit identification, hit to lead development and pre-clinical candidate selection.

Importantly, all streams show how our improved understanding of the molecular processes driving cancer growth and spread can be ‘translated’ through research-intensive MSc projects to improve the treatment and survival of cancer patients.

Entry requirements

An external medical or dental student wishing to intercalate must have successfully completed the third or fourth year of their course and passed all assessments in the year in which they are applying. External intercalating applicants should also ensure they have the permission of the Head of Undergraduate Medical/Dental Education or equivalent from their home University, which should be submitted to QUB Admissions Office.

Closing date

To be confirmed. Early application is advised.