Molecular Pathology of Cancer (MSc) (Blended Learning)

Talk to us

Get in touch

Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length *

1 year(s)

Places available



Full-Time, Part-Time


Medicine, Health and Life Sciences


Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

* This programme is delivered by blended learning and can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. See programme content for details.


Molecular Pathology (MP) is a rapidly growing discipline in 21st century medicine.  It integrates genomics and bioinformatics with modern pathology to underpin molecular diagnostics, theranostics  and clinical trials delivery within the academic, health services and industry sectors in an era of precision medicine. 

These exciting, innovative blended and distance learning programmes are aimed to enhance the participant’s theoretical knowledge and practical skills in MP and to empower them to pursue a career in academia, healthcare or industry. The programmes have a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The programmes have been developed with a number of options in order to provide maximum flexibility of training. PgCert Molecular Pathology of Cancer candidates take the three modules delivered between September and January. PgDip candidates can take the Diploma in Molecular Pathology of Cancer and if successful can chose to progress to Masters level instead of graduating with the award.  MSc candidates can take the Certificate/Diploma/MSc in Molecular Pathology of Cancer, which will provide a solid foundation for those wishing to study MP at PhD level. The full-time MSc is also available as an intercalated degree for Medical and Dental students.

In additional to the Molecular Pathology programmes, the three modules which are offered by Distance Learning are available as a ‘stand-alone’ Certificate in Pathology Informatics and Business Application.


Why Queen's?

Queens University Belfast (QUB) has an international reputation for the application of MP in high quality translational research.  An integrated MP research environment has been established within the QUB Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) through the creation of the Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Laboratory (NIMPL) and the Northern Ireland Biobank (NIB).  This enhanced research infrastructure also hosts a regional NHS Molecular Diagnostics service for solid tumours.

The MSc in Molecular Pathology of Cancer has a clear resonance with the Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Cancer Medicine in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology; it also complements the School of Medicine Dentistry and Biomedical Science’s MRes in Translational Medicine (with which it shares teaching) and the MSc in Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics.

Did you know?

Queen's is a partner of Cancer Research UK Centre. Bringing together scientists and doctors who develop lab-based discoveries into treatments, benefiting patients globally



Course Details

Taught component - Formal teaching will extend over two semesters. 

Semester 1

All candidates will undertake traditional ‘face to face’ teaching for the three modules in Semester 1.   This will be timetabled teaching.  Some of the teaching sessions within the modules also form aspects of formal teaching for other PG programmes, providing the students with the opportunity to interact with other Masters students from different disciplines, which we feel enhances the student experience.  Collectively, the modules would be sufficient for a Certificate in Molecular Pathology

(1) Cancer Biology, Immunology and Genomics (15 CATs)

(2) Molecular Pathology – Diagnostics and Technologies (25 CATs)

(3) Translational Research (20 CATs)

Semester 2 

Candidates will complete three modules which will be available ‘online’ as distance learning modules.  Successful completion of Semester 1 modules plus Semester 2 modules without the research dissertation would be sufficient for a Diploma in Molecular Pathology.  Collectively, the modules in Semester 2 without the Semester 1 modules would be sufficient for a Certificate in Pathology Informatics and Business Application.

(1) Digital Pathology (20 CATs)

(2)  Biostatistical Informatics (20 CATs)

(3)  The Academic-Industry Intersect (20 CATs)


Molecular Pathology of Cancer Dissertation 

Students will be able to plan their research project and work on their literature review during semester 1; beginning the practical work for their research project in Semester 2, as they wish.  Research projects will be available across a variety of subjects. Potential project areas for the MSc will include – Molecular Neuropathology; Cancer Immunology; Liquid Biopsies; Digital Pathology; Biobanking; Molecular Diagnostics; Bioinformatics.  A number of projects will be put forward from the network of CRUK Accelerator Partners for those students with CRUK Accelerator bursaries who may wish to undertake their research as a placement at one of the partner sites. 


Course Modules

Three Modules will be delivered in each of Semester 1 and 2

Semester 1

(1) Cancer Biology, Immunology and Genomics (15 CATs)

(2) Molecular Pathology – Diagnostics and Technologies (25 CATs)

(3) Translational Research (20 CATs)

Semester 2 Delivery online as distance learning modules

(1) Digital Molecular Pathology (20 CATs)

(2) Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (20 CATs)

(3) Academia/Industry Interface (20 CATs)


This programme is delivered by blended learning and can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Full-time option: Candidates are required to attend classes in Belfast for the first semester and the second semester modules are delivered on-line. The Dissertation is completed over the Summer.

Part-time option: taken over a 3 year period. Year 1 would include attendance in Belfast for the first three modules which are taught as a block in the Autumn semester. The second three modules are delivered by Distance Learning in the second semester of Year 2 and the Dissertation completed in Year 3.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment is by a combination of oral presentations and written assignments. The research project is written up as a dissertation (20,000 words).

Learning and Teaching

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.

The  MSc and Postgraduate Diploma programmes are delivered via blended learning. During the first semester, students are required to attend three modules in Belfast, the mode of teaching delivery is more traditional and is a combination of course lectures, seminars, practical experiences and self-directed learning.  The classes vary in timing throughout the morning and afternoon.  In the second semester, this includes the teaching for the Postgraduate Certifice in Pathology Informatics & Business Application,the teaching is delivered online as distance learning modules utilising a bespoke virtual learning environment. For those candidates undertaking the MSc  a research project will be undertaken  and potential project areas include molecular neuropathology, cancer immunology, liquid biopsies and cancer, digital molecular pathology, biobanking, molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics.

Examples of the learning opportunities on this course include; lectures, practical experiences, using E-Learning technologies, Self-directed study  all of which give experiences  to enhance employability.

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a relevant biological subject is required. Evidence of equivalent professional qualifications (MBBS, BDS or BVSc) or experience will be considered on an individual basis. Intercalating students are encouraged, visited our Intercalated section for more information. Applicants may be required to undertake an interview.


For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.



International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last 2 years).

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

Please click the links below for more information:

English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Postgraduate and Professional Development

Whitla Medical Building

97 Lisburn Road   Belfast BT9 7BL

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9097 2615


How To Apply

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

The main objective of this MSc will be to produce high calibre candidates who can thrive in the academic, health care delivery or bio-industry sectors.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Find out more

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see

Postgraduate loans
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

Tuition Fees for 2017/18


Home/EU Fees:   

Molecular Pathology of Cancer     Total Fees
MSc £29 Per CAT 180 CATS  £              5,220
PgDip £29 Per CAT 120 CATS  £              3,480
PgCert £29 Per CAT 60 CATS  £              1,740


International Fees: 

 Molecular Pathology of Cancer     Total Fees
MSc £100.56 Per CAT 180 CATS  £              18,101
PgDip £100.56 Per CAT 120 CATS  £              12,067
PgCert £100.56 Per CAT 60 CATS  £              6,034

For more information please see Tuition Fees


Fees and Funding

There will be four bursaries available for candidates taking this course in the first four years (2016-2020) to cover salaries and fees.  Award of the bursaries will be competitive; and shall be between the collaborating CRUK Centres who are part of the CRUK Accelerator Network for Digital Molecular Pathology.  Potential candidates from the various centres may be considered on the basis of experiential learning       

Funding information for the MSc can be found here.

Some funding may be available from County Councils (Republic of Ireland).

For fees and funding information please see the University's Graduate School website:



Talk to us

Get in touch

Applications open

Apply Now

Scholarships and funding

Help fund your study

Studying at Queen's

University Life

Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
Whitla Medical Building
97 Lisburn Road Belfast

Visit Website

Get Directions

grad school interior 2H

Postgraduate Experience

The Graduate School

Our dedicated hub for postgraduate students, providing state-of-the-art facilities for study, and high-quality training and development programmes within a diverse interdisciplinary community.

The gateway to your postgraduate experience

Discover more

MBA 1600x767px


Queen’s launch MBA programme to enhance career progression

11/12/2017 - Queen’s University has launched a new MBA programme in response to the increasing demand from employers for MBA and business school graduates.



Queen’s researchers find that asylum seekers and refugees in NI need better support

7/12/2017 - Researchers from Queen’s University have launched findings from a research study examining the everyday life experiences of asylum seekers and refugees in Northern Ireland.