2020 start

Translational Oncology

The Medical School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

Our MSc(Res) gives you training in the theory and practice of translational oncology. The course starts with a solid grounding in the subject, and progresses to more advanced research modules, while allowing you to experience research at all stages of drug discovery and development. Recent graduates have gone on to work in academic research, pharmaceuticals, medical writing, the biotech industry and the NHS.
Image of postgraduate student working with medical equipment (pipette)

Course description

Lead academic: Dr Carolyn Staton

Translational oncology is the process by which laboratory research informs the development of new treatments for cancer. It’s a rapidly advancing field with massive therapeutic and commercial potential, and recent graduates have gone on to work in academic research science, pharmaceuticals, medical writing, the biotech industry and the NHS among others.

Our MSc(Res) is taught by leading research scientists and clinicians. The course offers training in the theory and practice of translational oncology and provides you with transferable skills for your future career.

The course is designed so that students progressively achieve more advanced levels of learning and practice by giving a thorough grounding in the subject matter through five taught modules before leading you into the advanced research modules, namely the literature review and the six-month research project, for which you’ll work as part of a team within the oncology research community at Sheffield.

Translational oncology research in Sheffield is well-established, spanning several faculties and departments. We hold Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) status in recognition of our clinical trials expertise, so you'll study in a world-class research environment with a multidisciplinary research team of basic and clinical scientists.

We'll give you the opportunity to experience research at all stages of drug discovery and development, from basic research to molecular mechanisms and their implementation in new therapies and offer career development tutorials, including CV writing, career tracking and critical appraisal.

Teaching and learning changes for 2020-21

Due to the coronavirus pandemic we have made some changes to teaching and learning for this course in the 2020-21 academic year.


We accept medical students who wish to intercalate their studies. Find out more on the Medical School's website.

Apply now


Core modules

Explore core modules


The taught component – the first five months of the course – integrates a range of teaching styles including lectures, seminars, class discussions/workshops, practical demonstration classes and interactive tutorials.

You'll take part in student-centred learning, such as workshops, group debates, self-study units, individual presentations and interactive tutorials. You'll work independently during the research and literature review projects under the guidance of an academic supervisor.

During the Cancer Technologies and Clinical Research module, there is the opportunity to select either the Home Office Licence Induction Course or Cancer Systems Biology Course. In the summer, the 25-week continuous research project gives you the practical experience of performing hypothesis-led translational research, which culminates in an oral presentation, written dissertation and a viva.


Assessment is by a combination of written seen exams, oral and poster presentations, and written assignments. The research project is assessed by an oral presentation and a written dissertation.


  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Your career

After successfully completing your course, you can pursue further training via a PhD. Alternatively past students have secured roles in medicine, medical writing, as a Research Assistant or Lab technician, as well as other roles within the healthcare industry. Graduates have also secured places on the NHS Scientist Training Programme.

Within 6 months of completing the course, over 30% of our students have taken on a PhD, and over 10% have pursued a career in medicine; nearly 15% have secured roles within a lab setting.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 in a relevant science-related subject. We also welcome medical graduates, and UK medical undergraduates wishing to intercalate.

Medical students can intercalate after completing three years of their medical degree.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Dr Carolyn Staton


+44 114 215 9063

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.