MSc Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology

CCMB Banner

The MSc in Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology is designed to provide you with a unique opportunity to learn about the contemporary approaches to cancer research from some of the leading researchers in the country within the newly designated Cancer Research UK centre at Leicester.

CRUK web banner.

This is a practically-orientated, full-time Masters programme comprising four months of intensive, taught laboratory work that is supplemented with lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars. This is followed by a six-month, independent laboratory research project. Students choose a cancer or molecular-cell biology project in an area that they find most interesting. During the project you will have the opportunity to apply the theory and practical training acquired in the taught phase of the course. As well as developing your understanding of the cellular and molecular processes and techniques in cancer research, you will learn how to critically analyse research data and articles and to communicate complex scientific concepts and processes.

This training will provide you with an ideal platform for pursuing further research at PhD level or for a career in medical biosciences or a related field. Many of our graduates (between 30-50% each year) go on to a PhD programme in the UK (with several opting to stay in Leicester) or abroad. Others find employment in industrial or academic research laboratories, research institutes, NHS hospitals or pursue further academic programmes such as medicine or teaching.


Course Structure and Assessment

The MSc in Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology is a practical, laboratory-based course. If you have any concerns about working safely in a laboratory, handling pipettes, performing biochemical calculations or writing practical reports then we will aim to remedy this. During induction week you will perform a short practical exercise (not assessed), in small groups of 4-6 students, that will familiarise you with the basic practical, writing and numerical skills before you begin formal coursework.

The material for the assessed course is organised into 5 modules which are taken in order as follows:

MB7001 (Introduction to Molecular Techniques) - 15 credits 

MB7002 (Research Methods in Cell Biology) - 15 credits

MB7003 (Research Methods in Cancer Biology) – 15 credits

MB7004 (Advanced Topics in Cancer Biology) - 15 credit

MB7006 (Independent Laboratory Research project) – 120 credits

Further details of individual modules can be found at:

The teaching for the taught phase of the course (Modules MB7001-MB7004, 60 credits) takes place in the first semester (September to December) and includes a lecture programme, tutorials, demonstrations and intensive laboratory classes comprising 6 distinct practicals of either 4 or 8-days duration. Successful completion of the taught phase is required to proceed to the project stage. The second semester (January to August) comprises a 120 credit laboratory project placement (MB7006) in a research laboratory either at the University of Leicester, an industrial research laboratory or a cancer research institute. Students select a project according to their interest, from a wide range of cancer-related topics, and work full-time in the laboratory for 6 months as part of a research team. The remaining time is spent on writing the dissertation and preparing the presentation.

For the taught modules students are assessed using a combination of written laboratory reports, a 3000-word course essay and three formal examinations. Assessment of the independent laboratory research project is based on the students’ laboratory performance, the written dissertation and the project presentation.

Application Procedure

To apply on-line see:

For further information, e-mail the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology or call +44 116 229 7021


Image: HeLa cervical cancer cells, Thomas J. Deerinck (University of California)

Share this page:

Contact Details

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

T: +44(0)116 229 7038

Map with link to google maps geotag of Henry Wellcome

Henry Wellcome Building - University of Leicester, Lancaster Rd, LE1 7HB

Postal: Henry Wellcome Building, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH


DisabledGo logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for the Henry Wellcome Building.

Redfearn Lecture 2017

To Be Confirmed