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Cancer Immunotherapy - MSc

Why study this course?

Our Cancer Immunotherapy master's will teach you about conventional cancer therapies including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. You’ll have access to highly qualified researchers and teachers in pharmacology and immunology, as well as those from our Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Centre. We’ll encourage you to join professional societies so you can improve your CV and build upon the impressive skills you’ll already have developed from research projects on the course. By the end of this postgraduate course, you’ll come to understand why investigators and oncologists now believe immunotherapy combined with pharmacological treatments will soon provide curative therapies that can give patients a new lease of life.

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The Cancer Immunotherapy MSc will introduce you to the advancement of treatments that are fighting to prolong the lives of cancer patients. Cancer is increasing worldwide, and by 2030 there are expected to be 22 million new cases per year. By the end of this course, you’ll be ready for employment as a professional who can help to tackle this global challenge.

We’ll provide you with an in-depth understanding of the molecular targets at which the different classes of anticancer drugs are aimed, as well as the current evolution of drug therapies. This will help you review the biology of cancer, taking pathological considerations into account, and the molecular changes within cells which are associated with the progression of the disease.

You’ll enhance your intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of scientific data. This means you’ll cover new areas in immunotherapy as well as existing pharmacological therapies including (but not limited to) monoclonal antibodies in cancer therapy and prevention; DNA vaccines against cancer; adoptive T cell therapy; dendritic cell vaccines; microbial causes of cancer; adjuvant development for vaccines; epigenetics and cancer; immuno-chemotherapy; dendritic cell vaccine development; the ageing immune system and immunotherapy; natural killer cells/tumour-associated macrophages and cancer immunotherapy and Exosomes and Microvesicles (EMVs) in cancer therapy and diagnosis.

The teaching is delivered by highly-qualified researchers and teachers in pharmacology and immunology, including those from our Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Centre. Skills gained from research projects will be highly marketable in industry, academia and the National Health Service (NHS), and you’ll also be encouraged to join the British Society of Immunology and the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles.

Assessment

Assessment is a combination of coursework, which includes tests and essays, the research project and its oral defence and examination.

You will be required to have:

  • at least a lower second (2.2) UK first degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, for example pharmacology, biomedical science, biological science or medical genetics (these will be considered on an individual basis)

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    The module focuses on the development and operation of the immune system in both health and disease and explores current research in immunopathology, stem cells and immunotherapy.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module explains the existing cancer therapies, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery and expands into growing fields in cancer biology and oncology of the role of the immune system in cancer development, especially the roles of inflammation and immunoevasion. Cancer Immunotherapy will enable an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer growth and enable these concepts to expand into an understanding of the concepts behind developing targeted cancer immunotherapies.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module provides an advanced understanding of the pharmacodynamics of therapeutic agents in the treatment of cancer.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module provides an understanding of the clinical aspects of oncology, focusing on diagnosis and staging of different cancers, and the range of options open for therapy.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module provides an advanced understanding of cancer at the molecular level.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester
    • summer studies
    • spring semester

    This module provides an opportunity for student-lead problem solving applying knowledge acquired to a specific research question.
    Teaching period: Autumn, Spring, or Summer

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    The module is designed to provide students with an understanding of skills needed for the planning, organisation and practice of research in science. Different analytical approaches to problems will be reviewed together with the need to consider statistics and quality control in the design of projects. Students will consider the impact of appropriate safety, ethical and resourcing implications in the design and operation of a project.

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Modules include:

  • Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy
  • Molecular Oncology 
  • Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Cancer Pharmacology
  • Advanced Immunology
  • Scientific Frameworks for Research
  • Research Project

As a graduate of this course, you’ll be well prepared to work for companies that are developing cancer immunotherapies. Such companies include global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibbs, MERCK, AstraZeneca and Roche. There are also an an ever-growing number of start-up companies that are tackling cancer, including Vyriad, UNUM Therapeutics and Alpine Immune Sciences.

You’ll also have ample opportunity for future postgraduate study within the School of Human Sciences and the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Centre at the MPhil/PhD level, as well as research opportunities with partners within the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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