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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

About the course

This programme aims to train the next generation of leaders in translational oncology research by applying state-of-the-art techniques to address fundamental biology of cancer and how to optimise treatments for patients.

The Department of Oncology employs multidisciplinary approaches from physics, biology, chemistry and mathematical modelling to investigate DNA biology and epigenetics, cell and environmental biology of tumour tissue and both systemic and local immunological responses in cancer. The programme focuses on expanding scientific knowledge with a particular focus on therapies involving drug discovery or action and combination therapies with radiotherapy.

The MSc by Research in Oncology course accepts students for one to three years of study, however, the majority of students in this department complete their project in one year. Applications are accepted from both basic scientists and clinicians.

In the first instance interested applicants are advised to review the department’s website to identify potential supervisors based on their research area of interest. Selecting the correct research projects is a hugely important first step so it is recommended that you contact a potential supervisor directly to discuss possibilities. Each researcher has their own profile page with their contact details listed.

Pattern of teaching and learning

This course does not include a timetable of lectures but there is a wide range of courses and workshops you will be able to attend to acquire skills that will be necessary for the pursuance and presentation of your research, as well as your professional development as a research scientist.

You will be encouraged to make the most of the doctoral training and research methods provision available across the Medical Sciences Division and to attend departmental and divisional seminars. As an MSc by Research student you will be given the opportunity to present your work at a variety of seminars and sessions in the department.


You will be admitted directly to a particular research area led by a Principal Investigator who will be appointed your supervisor. You will be based in a research lab and undertake research on a subject agreed with your supervisor. All MSc candidates are assigned two supervisors in total, one acting as the main day-to-day research supervisor and the second as an additional academic mentor.

The allocation of graduate supervision is the responsibility of the Department of Oncology and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff.

Students can expect to meet with their supervisors several times each month, depending upon the requirements of their research project.


Assessment for this masters degree course is by submission of a thesis of up to 30,000 words and a viva with two examiners.

You will begin your course as a probationary research student. Towards the end of your first year you will apply to transfer to “MSc by Research” status. To transfer your status, you must apply formally, submit a research report and statement of future research plans, and take an independent assessment by two assessors. Progression on the course is dependent upon passing the Transfer of Status assessment.

Following successful completion of the transfer assessment then candidates will progress and are able to submit their thesis prior to examination by viva.

Graduate destinations

Many graduates have progressed to PhD/DPhil positions either at Oxford or at other UK or international universities.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,460per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    3rd out of 35 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 239
    214 88%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    97 97%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.42 88%



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