Postgraduate

Cancer MPhil, PhD, MD

Cancer MPhil, PhD, MD

MPhil - full time: minimum 12 months, part time: minimum 24 months
PhD - full time: minimum 36 months, part time: minimum 72 months
MD - full time: 24 months, part time 48 months

Profile

Clinicians, scientists and students engaged in cancer research at Newcastle share a common purpose: to improve treatment outcomes for patients with cancer. Work covers a broad spectrum - understanding the biological and molecular differences between normal and malignant cells and using this knowledge to develop new anti-cancer drugs.

Our staff and postgraduate students are based in the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR) or the School of Chemistry. The NICR incorporates the Newcastle Cancer Centre, a unique collaboration between Cancer Research UK and the North of England Children's Cancer Research Fund. 

We are a major training base for the next generation of cancer researchers. Our Institute covers many areas of cancer research, including:

  • solid tumours and leukaemias
  • childhood and adult cancers
  • drug discovery and early phase clinical trials

We offer approximately 15 MD, PhD and integrated MRes/PhD studentships each year, including the Newcastle Cancer Centre training programme. Projects in all research areas are available to fully-funded international students. 

Members of our postgraduate community come from a variety of subject backgrounds including biological and biomedical sciences, chemistry, genetics, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine.

We hold regular postgraduate seminars which you will be required to attend and where you will deliver presentations. You will also attend and present your data annually at national cancer research meetings and at least one international meeting.

MPhil, PhD and MD supervision is normally available in the following research areas:

Exploratory biology, target and biomarker discovery

Molecular genetic and mechanistic studies are used to identify critical molecular changes in cancer and their relevance to disease development and progression, and to validate these as biomarkers and targets for therapeutic intervention. A wide range of contemporary genomic, bioinformatic, molecular biology, biochemical and cell biology techniques are used. 

Studies focus on haematological malignancies (leukaemia and lymphoma), paediatric solid tumours (neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma), and adult solid tumours (eg breast, ovarian, prostate, bladder and liver cancers).

Biomarker development

We exploit critical molecular defects as biomarkers to enhance disease detection and diagnosis, prediction of disease course, sensitivity to specific drugs and therapeutic monitoring.  We play leading roles in molecular diagnostics, biomarker assessment and therapeutic monitoring for national and international clinical trials.

Drug development

The exploitation of novel targets is achieved by the use of rational drug design, notably the use of structure-based design, in conjunction with medium-throughput screening. Target molecule synthesis and multiple parallel synthesis approaches are used for lead optimisation, and candidate drugs are evaluated in cell-free and whole cell target-based assays.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials (Phase I/II/III) are undertaken in both adults and children. Trials have a strong hypothesis-testing translational research component and are performed under the auspices of national or international research networks (eg CR–UK, Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer), as well as directly in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry.

We are one of the few academic centres in the UK able to undertake this specialist cancer research. Our expert staff, facilities and our close working relationships with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, and with clinical trials networks, helps us achieve this.

Read more about staff specialisms.

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.

We will be offering the following PhD projects:

A sample of job titles our graduates now hold

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Surgical Registrar

A sample of employers our graduates now work for

Cancer Research, Fagron UK, Medical Research Council

Data based on responses from 19 UK, EU and International postgraduate leavers (2011/12, 2012/13) studying in the Northern Institute for Cancer Research. See more about what our graduates do.

Related Degrees

  • Cancer MRes

    Our Cancer MRes is a research-based course with a taught component that is equivalent to an MSc. It provides a springboard into a career that involves a working knowledge of scientific research.

  • Cancer Studies PGCert

    Our part time, online course covers all aspects of delivering care to patients. You will study treatment modalities, biological, psychosocial and ethical perspectives.

All related programmes

Training & Skills

As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and support elements to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.

Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership

The Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and offers:

  • researchers the opportunity to address scientific biosciences questions
  • an exceptional programme of research training, emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of modern biology
  • the latest technologies and facilities to deliver world-class results

Each year we award around 22 fully-funded studentships across the partnership on the following research themes:

  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
  • Bioscience for Health
  • World Class Underpinning Bioscience

Fees & Funding

2017-2018 fees

The fees displayed here are per year.

MPhil, PhD, MD

UK/EU

Full time: £4,540 - £14,665 
Part time: £2,270 - £7,330

International

Full time: £16,585 - £26,710

You can read more about our tuition fees and discounts available.

Tuition fees for 2018-19 have not yet been confirmed.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2017 and 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Fee ranges

Our fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.

Your research topic is unique and as such will have unique resource requirements. Resources could include specialist equipment, such as laboratory/workshop access, or technical staff.

If your research involves accessing specialist resources then you're likely to pay a higher fee. You'll discuss the exact nature of your research project with your supervisor(s). You'll find out the fee in your offer letter.

Funding opportunities

Funding for UK/EU students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD studentship in Northern Institute for Cancer Research: Investigation of the effects of DNA repair inhibitors in pre-clinical models of neuroblastomas with ATM, MYCN and TP53 abnormalities

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,683 in the first year rising to £14,958 in year 3. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges). Total value of award is £99,999.53.

Non EU students Number of awards Value of awards
Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS)

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,800 - £11,700 per year. The award covers the difference between fees for UK/EU students and international students.

Our students/graduates Number of awards Value of awards
20% Alumni Tuition Fee Discount

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

All Students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD studentship in Biochemistry and Structural Biology – The Molecular Structure of Meiotic Chromosomes

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £14,553.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Our students/graduates Number of awards Value of awards
20% Alumni Tuition Fee Discount

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

UK/EU students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD Studentship in Epidemiology and Public Health using Population-based Cohorts of Ageing in the UK and USA

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual stipend of £14,553. Additional funding is available for research costs and national and international travel (conferences and exchanges)

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Next generation of composite molten salt-ceramic membranes for selective separation of NOx, SO2 and CO2

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,553 (2017/18).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: The Use of Perovskite-type Oxygen-carriers for Hydrogen Production via Chemical Looping

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,553 (2017/18).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship: Health monitoring for wide-bandgap power modules

1

£56,244 in total (over 3 years). Funding covers the cost of annual fees at £4,250 and provides annual maintenance of £14,553 (2017/18 figure). UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except where UK residency has been established for more than 3 years.

PhD studentship – underwater sensor networks

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees
UK students – annual tax-free stipend (living allowances) of £20,000.
Non-UK EU students - annual tax-free stipend (living allowances) of £15,000.

Postgraduate Master’s Loan Scheme (students from England and non-UK countries)

Maximum of £10,280 (2017 entry)

Two PhD Studentships in Environmental/Animal Science/Clean Technology - Assessment of Environmental Impact of European Pig Systems

2

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend of £14,533  

Disabled Students' Allowances

Varies

Professional and Career Development Loans

Varies

Industrial CASE PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Data-driven modelling of glass durability and glass pouring rate in nuclear waste vitrification process

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

EPSRC Studentship – Electrical and Electronic Engineering

1

100% tuition fees and UK/EU rate for 4 years of study (MSc year + 3 years PhD), plus an annual stipend of £14,533.

PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Virulence factors of human and bird Trichomonad parasites targeting host proteoglycans: integrating evolutionary genomics and molecular cell biology

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only. 

BBSRC CASE PhD Studentship in Cellular Medicine - Investigating the impact of insulin resistance on ageing, appearance and wellbeing using sleep as a model system

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Development of novel proton – oxygen ion – electron conducting ceramics

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for a three year duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,533 (2017/18).

The Elsie Jeffery Memorial Bursary

1

£1,000

Subsea UK Subsea Engineering MSc Scholarship

1

£8,000

EPSRC CASE PhD Studentship: Next generation loop heat pipe wick technology for thermal management of Space and Terrestrial applications

1

This award will cover a full PhD studentship of £18,748 per year. This includes RCUK standard UK/EU tuition fees, and a stipend of at least £14,553 per year. Additional funding will be provided by the Industry sponsor to support the placement position. 

PhD Studentship - Systems and Methods for Foot Drop Correction

1

The successful candidate will receive a generous studentship of £20,000 per annum for three years (tax-free). The student will also benefit from additional allowance for attendance at conferences and training workshops. 

PhD studentship in Northern Institute for Cancer Research: Investigation of the effects of DNA repair inhibitors in pre-clinical models of neuroblastomas with ATM, MYCN and TP53 abnormalities

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,683 in the first year rising to £14,958 in year 3. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges). Total value of award is £99,999.53.

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Verification of Portable Synthetic Biocircuits (EPSRC Portabolomics)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).

PhD studentship - Use of cell based therapy in ex-vivo reconditioning of donor organs prior to transplantation

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553.  Also significant additional funding to cover research costs.

International (Non EU) students Number of awards Value of awards
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape - Postgraduate International Scholarship Scheme (2017)

Not specified

£2,000 tuition fee scholarships

Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships

255

£3,000

International Family Discounts (IFD)

10% of the tuition fee per year.

Fulbright Scholarships

Varies

British Marshall Scholarships

40

Varies

Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS)

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,800 - £11,700 per year. The award covers the difference between fees for UK/EU students and international students.

Chinese Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £5,000 for a range of Business School postgraduate courses.

Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP)

Not specified.

The scholarship covers tuition fees and living expenses.

USA Athlete Scholarship

10

£5000- £8000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees and a comprehensive support package (see Overview for further details).

All students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD Studentship - Tracked Electric Vehicles

1

£56,244 in total (over 3 years). Funding covers the cost of fees and provides an annual maintenance of £14,553 (2017/18 figures).  UK, EU and international applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance.

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - A Computational Systems Biology Approach to Psoriasis Treatment (Rosetrees Trust)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

MSc Funding - 1st Class Scholarship (School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences)

Not specified

£2,000

Clinical Research Funding - various

Varies

Health Education England Bursaries (Physician Associate Studies, PGDip)

20 awards for 2017 entry

£18,000 bursary (£9,000 per year) and a contribution towards travel costs. The Bursary is paid as a tuition fee discount direct to the University.

School and Research Institute Studentships, Bursaries and Scholarships

Varies

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Instalments
2% Tuition Fee Discount

2% off annual tuition fee

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

Varies

Varies.

Sir Mark Waller Postgraduate Law Scholarships

6 for international students, 2 for home/EU students.

Full and partial (£2,500-£3,000) tuition fee scholarships.

Charities and Trusts

Varies

Allergy Module Funding

Varies

Employer Sponsorship

Varies

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com Postgraduate Scholarships

Not specified.

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com are offering £12,000 in scholarships for postgraduate study.

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

15

£500 payable towards tuition fees.

Teacher Training (PGCE programmes)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PGDip Bursaries

£2,000

The North of England P and I Association Limited (NEPIA) Studentship

1

£2500

Sport Scholarships

Varies

£500 - £10,000

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Mathematical modelling studies of rhythmic hydrogels for medical applications

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, 100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £2,000 - £5,000 for a range of Business School Master’s courses.

MBA Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £6,000 will be awarded to high achieving MBA candidates.

MBA Leadership Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £10,000 will be awarded to high achieving MBA candidates.

Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation MLitt/PhD Studentships for Studies Relating to Japan

Up to 3 (MLitt or PhD)

£10,000,contributing towards your MLitt/PhD tuition fees and living costs. 

MastersCompare Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£5,000

PhD studentship in Biochemistry and Structural Biology – The Molecular Structure of Meiotic Chromosomes

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £14,553.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD studentship - Long-term training load management and recovery strategies in elite rugby union players (Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club and Newcastle University)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,533. Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Data Driven Computer Modelling of Brain Injury Recovery

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Hodcroft Larsen Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£3,000

NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre - Biomedical Scientist PhD Studentship

1

The award is available to UK/EU and non-EU international students, however the award only covers fees at the UK/EU rate and international students will need to fund the difference between UK/EU and international fees. Support includes a stipend of £14,553 per year (equivalent to the Research Council rate), and funds for travel and conference attendance (£5,000 per year).

Entry Requirements

MPhil

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a science or medicine related subject.

PhD

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent. Further research experience or a master’s degree would be advantageous.

MD

A MBBS, or an equivalent medical degree.

International Students

International Students

To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

You may need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate. You'll need to get this before you can get your visa or study on this programme. We'll let you know about the ATAS requirement in your offer letter.

How to Apply

Use our Applicant Portal to apply for your course. We have a step-by-step guide to help you.

Before you apply you need to find and contact a research supervisor from the Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School Office.

Start dates

There are usually three possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:

  • January
  • April
  • September

There is no application closing date for this course, but  specific deadlines for funding may apply.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.

Deposit

If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.

Contact

Pauline Stephenson
Postgraduate secretary
Northern Institute for Cancer Research
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 246 4300
Email: pauline.stephenson@ncl.ac.uk