2022 start September 

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 Helen Bryant

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.


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

Apply now


The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Explore core modules

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.


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


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.

Alongside the taught modules, students attend the Sheffield Cancer Research seminars which include question and answer sessions with the experts, and a series of professional skills development tutorials.


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, a written dissertation and a viva voce exam.

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.

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

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


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

Apply now


Dr Helen Bryant

+44 114 215 9063

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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