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

MRes Cancer Biology

  • Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Study Abroad: No
  • Study mode: Full Time
  • UCAS: P043571
Image of a student working in a lab
TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

The University of Dundee has an international reputation for the quality of its cancer research. 

Our 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 and treatment.

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.

During this time, you will gain an in-depth training in the molecular biology of cancer, while learning cutting edge research techniques. Our experienced staff will guide you through the key challenges that cancer biologists face today, and prompt you to explore innovative means of both improving existing, and developing new, personalised therapeutic approaches.

Areas of particular interest at the University of Dundee include, but are not limited to: GI cancers, breast cancer, prostrate cancer, and ovarium cancer. In basic Cancer Biology, we are particularly strong in the areas of: DNA replication, chromosome biology, the cell cycle, cell signalling, pharmacogenomics, and targets for drug discovery.

Through the expert guidance of our dedicated Cancer Biology team, and the academic freedom of the research project, Dundee is the ideal place to begin making valued contributions to the growing field of cancer research.

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

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

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

  • face-to-face lectures
  • tutorials
  • discussion group work
  • journal clubs
  • self-directed study
  • supervised laboratory research

How you will be assessed

  • End of semester examinations
  • Written essays/assignments
  • Thesis
  • Viva exam

After completing a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, I was interested in pursuing a career in scientific research. I choose the MRes programme as it offered an extensive knowledge of the mechanisms involved in cancer development and the developing techniques for diagnosis and therapy, including immunotherapy, a field that fascinated me. Moreover, the six – month laboratory – based research project made me learn new techniques, to design experiments and to be critical about my own work.

This year in The University of Dundee made me become confident and independent in the lab. For this reason, I would highly recommend the course to everyone aiming to pursue a career in this field.


What you will study

The Masters is taught over three semesters with four modules, the first three of which providing a comprehensive education in the fundamentals of cancer biology, with the final being the substantive research project. You will need to attain 180 credits over these four modules:

Semester 1 modules

This module will give you knowledge and understanding of the research techniques used to study cancer biology, as well as analytical and communication skills in the context of cancer biology as a whole.

20 Credits

In this module you will gain a systematic understanding of the concepts of cell proliferation, cell survival, and cell death in relation to cancer, as well as the signal transduction pathways involved in these processes.

20 Credits

In this module we will teach you the basis of cancer development, progression, and prevention, as well as help you to understand and interpret complex scientific concepts pertaining to molecular carcinogenesis, diagnosis, and therapy.

20 Credits

Semester 2 & 3 modules

This module provides the research element of the course, and will take place from January-August. During this time, you will design and execute a substantive laboratory-based research project in the field of cancer biology. You will be supported in project development and project execution through close liaison with a designated supervisor.

120 Credits

Throughout our MRes Cancer Biology course you will gain comprehensive training in the molecular biology of cancer, critical analysis, and cutting edge research techniques. This training, coupled with the extended research project, will provide you with an excellent foundation for further postgraduate study at the PhD level, or for a subsequent career in academic or industrial research.

Many of our graduates have accepted fully-funded PhD opportunities across Europe.


Student working in Cancer Biology lab

MRes Cancer Biology

  • The University of Dundee's Medical School is consistently ranked as one of the best in the UK
  • The MRes Cancer Biology covers 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.

After completing my MRes in 2017, I have started my PhD project working on Small Cell Lung Cancer at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.

I wouldn't be in the position that I am now without the MRes as a stepping stone. Not only did it give me a firm grasp on the biology of cancer, with a chance to ask questions to field leading scientists, but it also gave me an opportunity to work in a true laboratory setting. Participating in a research team was an invaluable experience, and a lot of fun to boot. I learned a number of new techniques, but also a lot about how the research sector works.

The research that I started in Dundee acted as a direct springboard into my PhD, and I am very happy with my time there.

Callum Hall

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 qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


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

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 academic year 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £7,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £7,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £19,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants
Fee statusFees for students starting academic year 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £8,350 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £8,350 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £19,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the how to apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

  Degree Course Code
Apply nowCancer Biology MResP043571

Course Contact

Ms Rosalyn Taylor
+44 (0)1382 383653