Cancer Biology MRes

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • School: Medicine
  • Study Mode: Full Time

The University of Dundee has an international reputation for the quality of its cancer research. There are over 50 cancer research groups within the university and current funding is about £40 million. This research-centred taught Masters programme covers the fundamental and translational science of carcinogenesis, cancer biology, diagnosis and therapy. Dundee is a friendly and vibrant city and hosts students from all over the world.

MRes Cancer Biology

This research-centred taught Masters programme covers the fundamental and translational science of carcinogenesis, cancer biology, diagnosis and therapy.

MRes Cancer Biology

Why study this course at Dundee?

  • The MRes Cancer Biology covers the fundamental and translational of carcinogenesis, cancer biology, diagnosis and therapy.
  • This research-centred taught masters course provides specialized training in cutting-edge molecular cancer research.
  • Our teaching team includes renowned scientists and clinicians from around the world.
  • Dundee University Medical School is ranked 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK for medicine (Guardian University League Table 2015).
  • University of Dundee ranked No 1 in Scotland for the past 6 years (The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015).
MRes Cancer Biology

3 great reasons to study the MRes Cancer Biology at the University of Dundee

What is so good about this course?

The MRes Cancer Biology course brings together both basic and translational aspects of Cancer Biology to provide a comprehensive, in depth coverage of our current knowledge of the mechanisms underpinning cancer development, the key challenges that lie ahead, and the recent innovations for improving existing, and developing novel, rational-based therapeutic approaches.

The course combines a semester of lectures, tutorials and discussion groups led by internationally renowned scientists and clinicians, followed by a 6-month laboratory-based research project in the Division of Cancer Research. Students gain an in-depth training in the molecular biology of cancer, critical analysis and cutting edge research techniques. This training, coupled with the extended research project, provides students with an excellent foundation for further postgraduate study at PhD level and for subsequent academic or industrial research careers.


Areas of particular clinical strength at the University of Dundee include:

  • surgical oncology
  • breast cancer
  • colon cancer
  • skin cancer


Areas of strength in basic cancer biology include:

  • DNA replication
  • chromosome biology
  • the cell cycle
  • cell signalling
  • pharmacogenomics 
  • targets for drug discovery

What do our graduates think? 

“My decision to join the University of Dundee was based on its well-known international reputation, for the good profile of the researchers here and the well designed and structured programme. In a short time you gain a very solid background in cancer biology and meanwhile you have sufficient time to improve your skills. Finishing the course in Dundee University shaped my future career and shaped my scientific approach.”
Mahmood Yaseen Hachim


“My decision to come to Dundee to do the MRes Cancer Biology course was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has been a career directing, life changing experience for me. Dundee is a wonderful place with lovely people. Even though I came from a different background, I found it very comfortable to fit in. I am so glad to be back in Dundee, having recently started my PhD; I would highly recommend students to come here and get a similar experience of a lifetime.”
Aparajitha Vaidyanathan

How you will be taught

The course will be taught through a combination of face-to-face lectures, tutorials, discussion group work and journal clubs, self-directed study and supervised laboratory research.

How you will be assessed

Exams on the taught element of the programme will be held at the end of semester one. Essays and assignments will also contribute to the final mark, and the research project will be assessed through the production of a thesis and a viva exam.

What you will study

The MRes degree course is taught full-time over two semesters.

The first semester provides in-depth teaching and directed study on the molecular biology of cancer, and covers:

  • Basic cell and molecular biology, and introduction to cancer biology
  • Cell proliferation, cell signalling and cancer
  • Cancer cell biology
  • Carcinogenesis, cancer treatment and prevention
  • Specific training in research methodology and critical analysis. 

Students will also be required to take part in a journal club to further develop their critical review skills.

In the second semester students will be individually guided to focus on a specific cancer research topic, which will be the subject of a literature review and associated 6-month laboratory research project. The research project is based in laboratories with state-of-the-art facilities, and under the leadership of world-class researchers.

The MRes Cancer Biology is designed to prepare students for academic or industrial research careers. Graduates will be ideally-positioned to pursue further postgraduate study at PhD level.

Year of Entry: 2016

A First or Upper Second class Honours degree (lower second class Honours, in exceptional circumstances) or an equivalent qualification in a scientific discipline in the field of biological, biochemical or biomedical sciences.

EU and International students

For entry requirements tailored to your home country visit the Your Country pages.

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

Please check our English language requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English language courses.


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee statusFees for students starting 2016/17
Scottish, Rest of UK and EU students £7,500 per year of study
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

Please read the Postgraduate "How to Apply" section for information on how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Apply online via UKPASS

Course Contact

Ms Rosalyn Taylor
+44 (0)1382 383266