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Cancer Pharmacology

Duration: 1 year
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: MSc
Suitable for international students
Start date: September
Faculty of Life Sciences
Apply Download course booklet


This is an exciting time to be involved in cancer therapeutics. Based upon a greater understanding of the molecular aspects of cancer, new opportunities for therapeutic intervention have emerged that are effectively 'target orientated'. These new therapeutics are quite distinct from the classical chemotherapeutic agents and they offer the prospect of truly selective cancer therapies that are tailored towards the individual patient's tumour. Cancer pharmacology plays a key role in drug development. In both the laboratory and the clinic, cancer pharmacology has had to adapt to the changing face of drug development by establishing experimental models and target orientated approaches.

The programme is designed to provide you with a 'state-of-the-art' course in modern cancer pharmacology that meets the demand of employers and provides an expert view of the available cancer medicines and the development of new cancer therapies.

It promotes advanced scholarship within specialised areas at the same time as the development of key transferable skills (in IT, communication, and time management) and research techniques. The taught component of the course provides the in depth knowledge and skills necessary to work in cancer research, and is delivered across 2 semesters through lectures, workshops, practicals and 1-to-1 tutorials with ICT staff. You will then join one of our research teams to complete the MSc research project.

Find out more about the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences.

QS World University Rankings 2017


"I've had a really good time at Bradford. It has taught me a lot and provided me with a lot of good skills so that I am best prepared for the future.  I have already got a job as a Physician Associate and I believe doing my Masters here helped me get this job."

Harpreet Singh Bains
MSc Cancer Pharmacology, 2015

Why Bradford?

  • The course is hosted by the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, which has an international reputation as a centre of excellence in Cancer Pharmacology
  • It benefits from the multidisciplinary team of researchers in the field of anti-cancer drug design, synthesis, screening and pharmacology both at the University and through our extensive links with experts at other universities and industry
  • You will also benefit from working in excellent research laboratories in a research-focused environment


QS World University Rankings 2016

Entry requirements

  • 2:2 in biological or medical sciences or other areas related to cancer pharmacology
  • Applications are welcome from candidates with non-standard qualifications, who have significant relevant experience

English language requirements:

IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

The Cancer Pharmacology programme is designed to provide you with ‘state of the art’ learning opportunities in modern cancer pharmacology, focussed on the cancer biology of target and biomarker identification and validation, development of preclinical screening programmes in silico, in vitro and in vivo, mechanisms of anticancer drug action, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.

It meets the demands of employers and students at taught postgraduate level, and has a strong track record in graduates progressing to employment in the field or PhD study.

Core Modules

Preclinical Models for Drug Evaluation (Semester 1)

This module will help you develop a critical appreciation of the range of in vitro and in vivo experimental models which play a key role in the screening and progression of new therapies.

Molecular Basis of Cancer and Cancer Therapy (Semester 1)

An overview of molecular mechanisms and cellular pathways leading to cancer and their application to the discovery of new therapies.

Cancer Pharmacology (Semester 2)

In this module you will develop a critical, evaluative understanding of the role that cancer pharmacology plays in the development and evaluation of anti-cancer drugs in both the pre-clinical and clinical settings. Emphasis is placed on emerging concepts that reflect the changing nature of modern drug development. 

Critical Appraisal of a Current Topic in Cancer Therapeutics and Toxicology (Semesters 1&2)

In this module, you will choose from a range of cutting edge topics, and will conduct independent literature research and analysis to write a critical appraisal of your selected topic. Support is provided in academic skills, professional development planning, and time management.

Practical Skills for Research (Semesters 1&2)

Overview of some of the most important experimental techniques used in drug discovery.

Research Project in Cancer Therapeutics and Toxicology (Semester 3)

10-week laboratory-based, individual, original scientific research project carried out in the under direct supervision of a member of drug discovery team.

Your Optional Modules Include

Case Studies in Drug Discovery (Semester 2)

Overview of the discovery and development process for specific medicines currently on the market or soon to be introduced.

Experimental Design (Semester 2)

This module provides a comprehensive understanding of experimental research planning and design and helps you develop autonomy in design, planning and execution of experiments.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Career prospects

Many students go on to study for PhDs either at Bradford or elsewhere. Recent graduates are studying at Dundee, Newcastle and Glasgow universities, and at medical schools in the UK and abroad.

Those in employment are in R&D, clinical research and teaching roles.


Celebrating 50 Years: 50 Stories

Professor Laurence Patterson talks about Bradford’s longstanding expertise in cancer medicines discovery and development, and explains how researchers are working hard to find novel cancer treatments:

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU - £7,960
  • International - £18,480

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

You may be eligible to apply for the government's new Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to put towards your fees and living costs. Find out more on our Fees and Financial Support website.

How do I find out more?

Contact the Faculty

Student profiles

Hear what our students have to say about the course:

Shruti Iyer, from India, says: "My course has been very hands on and meets industry requirements. It has given me the skills I need for certain jobs. I was also taught research training methods and how to write a thesis - something I will never forget." Read more from Shruti here.

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

International students

If you applying from outside the UK and require additional support you may apply through your country representative.

They can help you at every stage and communicate with the University on your behalf. They often provide additional services to ensure your smooth arrival to the UK such as visa application support and assistance with your travel arrangements.

Further information is available on our International Office website.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.