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Postgraduate Admissions

Course closed:

Cancer Biology (part-time) is no longer accepting new applications.

The MRes in Cancer Biology (part-time) is offered by the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre (CRUK CC) as a part-time course incorporating two long research placements with three short periods out of the lab;  an intense taught course in cancer genomics,  ‘Transferable Skills’ sessions and the third short period offering industry shadowing opportunities. There is also a 36 week course (1 lecture per week) covering general principles of cancer biology as well as insight into how cancers that arise at different sites differ.  

The programme aims to introduce clinicians  and non-clinicians to research skills and specialist knowledge as well as a more general grounding in cancer biology. Its main aims are:

  • to give students with relevant experience the opportunity to carry out focussed research in the discipline under close supervision; and
  • to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests; and
  • to give students a broad grounding in both the theory of cancer genomic medicine and also more insight into the practicalities of clinical cancer treatment and care. 

Learning Outcomes

Students should leave the MRes in Cancer Biology (part-time) course with an overview of the basic biology of cancer and of diagnosis, treatment and research frontiers across the range of different tumour types covered by the CRUK Cambridge Centre. Students should also obtain a better understanding of the relationship with industry for the treatment of cancer.

By the end of the MRes programme, students will have:

  • An understanding of the molecular basis of cancer formation.
  • Insight into clinical issues related to cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
  • Experience of research in two different cancer-related laboratories.
  • Written two research reports describing their research placements.
  • Written a PhD proposal that will form the basis of their PhD in the CRUK Cambridge Centre, the expected next destination for the vast majority of this MRes cohort.


The MRes is a part-time 24-month programme that, upon successfully completing to a satisfactory standard, including submission and examination of a suitable PhD proposal, leads directly on to a three-year PhD.

For continuation from the MRes to a probationary PhD, an overall mark of at least 70% is required across the three pieces of work: two research reports and a PhD proposal.  The PhD proposal and oral defence thereof must be at the level of distinction (75%).

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the beginning of November. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

Key Information

2 years part-time MRes + 3 years full-time PhD part-time

Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Research in the first instance

Department of Oncology

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Oct. 1, 2022
Application deadline
Nov. 15, 2022
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2023

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 12, 2022

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024.

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