School of Molecular Medical Sciences
MSc in Cancer Immunology
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Aims of the Course
The biggest modern breakthrough for cancer treatment has been antibody
therapies. An increasing number of biotechnology companies have antibody- or
vaccine-based cancer therapies in development. This course aims to attract
students interested in tumour immunology who wish to pursue a career either in
industry (biotechnology) or academia. The course covers both antibody and
vaccine, cancer therapies and explores the immunology of the tumour host
interface. In addition, students will learn about intellectual property and how to
exploit scientific research in scientific writings, patents and in development of
business plans applicable to the biotechnology industry. To gain practical
experience in research students will carry out a research project in the field of
Aims and Objectives
Acquire a specialised knowledge in tumour immunology with particular
reference to monoclonal antibody and cancer vaccines
Develop the critical and analytical power to evaluate scientific literature
Perform a scientific research project
Acquire the ability to communicate scientific results orally and in writing
Learn about business exploitation of cancer therapy
Why choose this course?
If you are interested in learning about cancer immunotherapy then this is the only
MSc course in the country to specialise entirely on this subject.
“A course in Cancer Immunotherapy would provide valuable training for
people wanting to seek a career in the biopharmaceutical industry where
much of the research and development effort is focused on targeted
biological therapies for cancer.” (Quote from Biotech company)
Students from this course have gone on to study for a PhD, work in industry and
Students should hold a good honours degree in a biological science, medical science
or related subject. Exceptionally, students without a first degree but with at least a
Higher National Diploma plus Accredited Prior Experiential Learning in the form of a
minimum of 2 years training in a statutory approved laboratory may be admitted.
Applicants whose first language is not English must normally achieve an overall score
of 6.5 on the IELTS test (no less than 6 in any element), 573 on paper based TOEFL
with 4.5 in written English, or 230 on the computer based TOEFL with 4.5 in the essay
element. Tests must have been taken within the last 2 years.
What do we offer?
Support: Stimulating Environment: First-class facilities:
Each student is allocated a The School of Molecular Medical The University library service
personal tutor at the beginning of Sciences is a lively and varied provides access to more than a
the course, and regular meetings school, carrying out research into a million books and journals and
are scheduled throughout the variety of topics. The MSc is offered extensive IT facilities are available
year. The University provides in a Division that has a very sound across all campuses. Postgraduate
many other sources of support teaching and research base as well students have their own Graduate
including the Counselling Service, as experience in biotechnology. We Centre and social space within the
Office for Disability Issues, Study have consulted biotechnology Medical School. This all helps to
Support Centre, Student Advice companies in designing this course maintain our reputation for
Centre, International Office plus and individuals from industry will excellence.
many more. lecture on the course.
The MSc is available as a one-year full-time course or a two-year part-time course for people in appropriate full-
The majority of modules are assessed by both written examinations and a combination of oral presentations, a
practical and essays. The exceptions to this are the library dissertation, the research project and the scientific
writing and business development modules.
Immunity & the immune system (10 credits) Monoclonal antibodies (20 credits)
An overview of the mechanisms and concepts This module will provide information on the generation
underpinning the science of immunology. of monoclonal antibodies, clinical trials involving
antibodies and the future uses of antibody therapy in
Molecular basis of cancer (20 credits) cancer prevention.
A series of lectures giving students an in-depth
understanding of normal cell regulatory mechanism and Host-tumour interface (20 credits)
how these are altered during the carcinogenic process. This module highlights the current understanding of the
immunobiology of tumours. This will include the
Tumour immunology (10 credits) following topics: immunosurveillance, tumour
An overview of immunological approaches to cancer resistance, regulatory T cells, antigenic targets,
immunotherapy and immunological mechanisms and cytokine therapy, non-specific immunity and animal
how these may be used to optimise therapeutic models.
Library dissertation (10 credits)
Cancer vaccines (10 credits) Students will write a dissertation of approximately
A series of lectures and discussion groups providing 4,000 words on a cancer immunotherapy topic. The
information on cancer vaccines: what makes a good primary aim of the module is the development of the
vaccine, different vaccine designs, animal models and students’ ability to research a subject in depth and
immunological techniques. This module will cover produce a written and oral presentation.
subjects that have been introduced on the tumour
immunology module in more depth. Research project (60 credits)
The research project will be undertaken on a tumour
Scientific writing and business development Immunology related subject and will allow the student
(20 credits) to learn the practical and intellectual skills necessary
A series of lectures and workshops giving information for scientific investigation. The student will also gain
on writing and applications for patents, writing grants/ experience in project management and acquire more
papers and making posters. Invited speakers from specialised skills related to the project. Students may
industry will contribute to this module. In addition be able to perform their projects in industrial
students will learn how to write a business plan on a placements. This module is assessed on progress
cancer immunotherapy concept. Students will write a reports (practical skills), a seminar presentation and a
grant proposal on their intended research project and in scientific paper. Examples of project titles can be found
groups students will generate a business plan. on our website.
‘This subject is currently undergoing massive expansion and yet qualified graduates
are difficult to find. The industry as a whole would benefit from having a source of
students with this qualification and from our point of view, such a course may
provide candidates that are potentially useful to our company’.
What are the costs?
Fees for students who are British/EU citizens or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, together with
three years residency in the UK/EU prior to the start of the course will be set at approximately £4480 per
year. Fees for International students will be around £14,260 per year. Costs are subject to increase each
academic year, so please check prices at the time of application.
Details of available studentships are available on our web site:
The University estimates that a figure of approximately £7,200 will be required for a single student spending
twelve months at Nottingham. This figure includes accommodation, subsistence, purchase of clothing and
books, some entertainment and internal travel. It does not cover the international airfare or the University
The University of Nottingham main campus is situated within 330 acres
of landscaped parkland, and is just a short bus ride away from
Nottingham city centre. The most recent research assessment exercise
(RAE) confirmed The University of Nottingham's position as a world
class research-led institution. Over 60% of the University's RAE scores
identified research as being of a level of international excellence.
With over 100,000 students at the city's universities and colleges,
Nottingham is a vibrant city with plenty to keep its youthful population
busy. Its compact city centre, only ten minutes away from the
Nottingham campuses by bus or bike, combines heritage and history
with contemporary culture.
The University of Nottingham is a popular choice for international
students, with over 6000 students coming from more than 130 different
countries. The International Office provides support and information
right through from the time of application to when you graduate. A
welcome week is provided prior to the start of the academic term.
They can be contacted at: International Office, University of
Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK. Tel: +44
(0)115 951 5247; Fax: +44 (0)115 951 5155;
Molecular Medical Sciences is a lively and diverse school, with ongoing
research in Molecular and Cellular Bacteriology, Virology, Immunology,
Human Genetics and Translational Cancer Research.
We have around 40 members of academic staff and more than 60
research and support staff. This fosters an exciting and active
environment for all of our postgraduate students - there are
approximately 80 MSc students and 75 research students within our
school alone. The School attracts funding from a variety of sources,
including the Research Councils, European Union, Medical Charities and
The MSc course is co-ordinated by staff within the Academic Unit of
Clinical Oncology. The Department is based at the City Hospital, a short
distance from the University of Nottingham campus and centre of
Nottingham. A regular bus and shuttle service operates between the
City Hospital and the University Medical School.
Applying for a place
MSc Course Enquiries
School of Molecular Medical Sciences If you would like to apply for this course, please
A Floor, West Block apply on-line at:
The on-line application process is quick, and allows
Tel: +44 (0)115 823 0775 you to track the progress of your application at any
Fax: +44 (0)115 823 0759 time.