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.

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 30 fully-funded studentships across the partnership on the following research themes:

  • food security
  • bioenergy and industrial biotechnology
  • basic bioscience underpinning health – lifelong age and wellbeing
  • other world-class bioscience

Fees & Funding

2016-2017 fees

The fees displayed here are per year.

MPhil, PhD, MD

UK/EU

Full time: £4,495 - £14,325
Part time: £2,250 - £7,165

International

Full time: £16,100 - £25,930

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

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

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

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,500 - £11,500 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.

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 Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials - Developing Ionic Electrolytes for Electrochemical Energy Storage Application

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,296.  Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteriaa full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

Humanities and Social Science Postgraduate Excellence Scholarships

Up to 35 scholarships

£2,000 tuition fee discount

Postgraduate Master’s Loan Scheme

Maximum of £10,000

PhD in Marine Science and Technology - Shipping Exhaust Gas Emission Modelling, Indexing and Regulation

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid. £13,726 living expenses per year.

Disabled Students' Allowances

Varies

PhD Studentship in Marine Science & technology - Modelling and Simulation for Sustainable Marine Engineering Systems

1

Home Tuition Fees will be covered plus you will receive an annual stipend of £14,057 for 3.5 years.

Professional and Career Development Loans

Varies

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - iBUILD: Innovative business models from smart infrastructure systems

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid.  £13,863 living expenses per year.

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - Understanding the relationship between value, business model and the engineering of infrastructure projects

1

You may be entitled to a full or partial award.  A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,863. A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - iBUILD: Valuing Infrastructure Resilience

1

Candidates need to meet EPSRC eligibility criteria for EPSRC DTA awards.  A full award includes an annual stipend of £13,863 (2015-16).

PhD in School of Chemistry - Imaging and electrochemical investigation of biomolecules using scanning probe microscopy

1

100% tuition fees plus a £14,057 p.a. stipend (RCUK stipend level).

PhD in School of Chemistry - Advanced Materials for Redox Flow Batteries

1

100% tuition fees plus a £14,057 p.a. stipend (based on RCUK stipend levels).

PhD studentship: Mathematical modelling in Animal/Veterinary Science: Macro mineral digestion and metabolism in livestock

1

100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus £16,557 (with Industrial Enhancement)

NERC DREAM (Data, Risk and Environmental Analytical Methods) PhD CDT Studentship

2

100% tuition fees (UK/EU rate), plus an annual tax-free maintenance grant at UK Research Councils’ national minimum rate, which in 2015/16 is £14,057.

EPSRC PhD Studentships – Electrical and Electronic Engineering

UK students – 4 studentships
Non-UK EU students – 1 studentship

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.

PhD Studentship in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - New drilling methods for ground source heat pumps

1

An annual stipend is approximately £14,496 per year (depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria).  Funding is available for UK and EU citizens. 

Alzheimer’s Society PhD Studentship in Epidemiology or Medical Statistics: The impact of cognitive lifestyle on the ageing brain

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend of £15,000 (2016-17).

The Clyde Higgs Postgraduate Scholarship 2016/17

5

An award of £5,000 is available for home students.

Hodcroft Larsen Postgraduate Bursary for Female Engineers - 2016 Entry

Up to 2.

£3,000

The Elsie Jeffery Memorial Bursary 2016

1

£1,000

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences – Monitoring and Assessment of Masonry Arch Bridges

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award).

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

1

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

Subsea UK Award 2016 Entry

1

£8,000

The Iland Postgraduate Research Scholarship (for research relating to European Culture or Global Challenges)

1

£10,000 per year.  The scholarship is payable towards the UK/EU rate of tuition fee, with the remainder awarded as living expenses.

Konishi Foundation Scholarship in East Asian Studies

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend (living expenses) of £14,296

PhD studentship in Neuroscience - Exploring Chloride Regulation and its Consequences in Neuronal Networks using Novel Optogenetic Strategies

1

100% of UK/EU PhD tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296

PhD Studentship: Regulation of Vascular Permeability by Sphingosine 1 - Phosphate (NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation and Transplantation)

1

100% of tuition fees paid at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend (living expenses) of £14,296.

PhD Studentship: Modification of Leucocyte-Endothelial Interactions in Perfused Donor Organs (NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit in Organ Donation and Transplanation)

1

100% of tuition fees covered at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend (living expenses) of £14,296.

PhD Studentship in Primary Care

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £16,000 

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 £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

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 £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: State of the art novel catalysts for environmental reaction engineering

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.

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

Not specified

£2,000 tuition fee scholarships

International Family Discounts (IFD)

10% of the tuition fee per year.

Fulbright Scholarships

Varies

British Marshall Scholarships

40

Varies

Joint Newcastle University UKEAS Taiwan Postgraduate Scholarship

1

The scholarship will have a value of £2,000, payable towards tuition fees.

Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS)

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,500 - £11,500 per year. The award covers the difference between fees for UK/EU students and international students.

Newcastle University International Postgraduate Scholarship (NUIPS)

Partial scholarship payable towards tuition fees

Country-specific Scholarships

Varies.

International Masters' Excellence Scholarships (Medical Sciences)

£1,500

All students Number of awards Value of awards
MRC and EPSRC-funded Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node Bursaries

10

Tuition fee bursaries of £2,390 

PhD Studentship in Controlled Metal-ion Assembly Using Modified Nucleic Acids: Towards Designer Materials

1

100% tuition fees paid at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at Research Council UK rate (£14,296 2016/17).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Clinical Research Funding - various

Varies

Health Education England Bursaries (Physician Associate Studies, PGDip)

20 awards for 2016 entry

£15,000 bursary (£7,500 per year). The Bursary is paid as a tuition fee discount direct to the University.

MSc and MRes Urban Energy Technology and Policy - Full Fees Scholarship Awards

Urban Energy Technology and Policy, MSc - 1UK/EU fee paying student; 1non-EU international fee paying student. Urban Energy Technology and Policy, MRes - 1UK/EU fee paying student; 1non-EU international fee paying student.

100% of tuition fees paid.

School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - MSc Scholarships

Not specified

UK/EU students - £500 scholarship; non-EU international students - £1,500 scholarship 

School and Research Institute Studentships, Bursaries and Scholarships

Varies

Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £2,000 - £5,000.

MBA Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £6,000 - £10,0000.

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

The Crown Estate Bursaries - MSc Marine Technology Education Consortium (MTEC)

9

Partial tuition fee bursaries of £3,600.

Employer Sponsorship

Varies

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com Postgraduate Scholarships

1x £5,000 PhD scholarship
1x £5,000 Masters scholarship
4x £500 scholarships

£12,000 across six awards.

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

15

£500 payable towards tuition fees.

Teacher Training (PGCE programmes)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PGDip Bursaries

£2,000

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

1

£2500

Postgraduate Masters Scholarships in Geography, Sociology and Politics

up to 12

Full and partial tuition fee scholarships at the UK/EU rate.

PhD Studentship - Do age-associated B-cells contribute to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis?

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £14,296.  Also significant additional funding to cover research expenses, general training, travel and meeting costs.  

Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD School of Chemistry – Broadband Rotational Spectroscopy

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK rate (£14,057 2015/16).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in School of Chemistry – Probing Femtosecond Dynamics with Core Hole Spectroscopy: Theoretical Approach

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK rate (£14,057 2015/16).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Dyson PhD Studentship in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Newcastle University

2

100% tuition fees plus £19,500 per year tax-free stipend.

Charles Letts Memorial Postgraduate Scholarship 2016/17 entry

5

Up to £1,500

Sport Scholarships

Varies

£500 - £10,000

PhD Studentship in Electrical Power: Electrical Machine Topologies in Integrated Drives for Electric Vehicles

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend (living expenses) of up to £19,000 depending on experience (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Electrical Power: Integrated Drives for Electric Vehicles with Wide Bandgap Semiconductors

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend (living expenses) of up to £19,000 depending on experience (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Urban Studies

1

£15,000 per year for 3 years. The scholarship is payable towards 100% of tuition fees, with the remainder awarded as living expenses. 

Santander Mobility Awards for 2016/17

10 minimum

Maximum value of £1,400

PhD Studentship in Chemistry - Developing Advanced Computational Tools for Ultrafast X-ray Scattering

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296 (full award).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship - Prediction in brain-body interaction as a basis for emotions (and feelings)

1

The studentship carries an award of £14,296 per annum plus 100% of UK/EU tuition fees.

PhD Studentship in Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI) - Understanding the dynamics of metaldhyde in agricultural catchments

1

100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,296.  Non-EU nationals can apply but will need to fund the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI) - Stakeholder involvement in agri-food and environmental policy evaluation

1

100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,296.  Non-EU nationals can apply but will need to fund the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD School of Mathematics and Statistics – Single-electron sources and quantum electronics

1

The studentship includes tuition fees, a tax-free stipend of (up to) £14,057 per annum (2015/16 level), a desktop computer and £1,500 travel allowance.

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

If your first language is not English you need an overall IELTS score of 6.5.

You must also read our English language requirements, including:

  • all minimum sub scores you must have
  • other English language tests we accept
  • extra English language support

Academic qualifications that we accept from your country to meet our entry requirements are listed on your country page.

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