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.

Newcastle University has guaranteed that EU students entering our University in 2017 will pay the UK (Home) rate of 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

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

15

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.

PhD studentship in the Institute of Cellular Medicine - Uncovering the role of neutrophils as drivers of hepatocellular carcinoma

1

100% UK/EU tuition fees and annual living expenses of £19,000.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Cancer Research – Characterising Gene Expression Profiles in B-cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia to inform Treatment Options

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Cancer Research - Molecular Characterisation of Primary Uterine Leiomyosarcoma and Preclinical Investigation of Response to Non-genotoxic Activators of p53 via the MDM2/p53/PPM1D Signalling Network

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses 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
Postgraduate Opportunity Scholarships 2017/18

40

£5,000

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  

Architecture, Planning and Landscape - Postgraduate Taught Home and EU Scholarship Scheme 2017

Not specified.

£2,000 scholarships (which will be deducted from your tuition fees) and full fees scholarships.

Humanities and Social Science Postgraduate Excellence Scholarships

Up to 18 scholarships

£2,000 scholarships, awarded as a tuition fee discount.

Postgraduate Master’s Loan Scheme

Maximum of £10,000 (2016 entry) or £10,280 (2017 entry)

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

Professional and Career Development Loans

Varies

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 in Civil Engineering Discrete Element Method modelling of non-spherical particles: application to geomaterials, process and mining engineering

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296 (full award). 

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 CASE PhD Studentship in Nanoscale Tomography and Chemical Analysis of Soft Materials in 3D

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award).  Additional contribution from Proctor and Gamble to be confirmed before commencement.  Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

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 Agricultural Biochemistry - Safener activity and metabolic resistance to herbicides in dicots

1

Depending on how you meet the BBSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the four-year duration of your PhD and an annual stipend of £14,701 (2016-2017). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

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. 

PhD in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering: High-fidelity simulations of turbulent reacting flows involving localised ignition and flame-wall interaction

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend according to the EPSRC minimum rate (~ £14,000 per annum).  Also additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

PhD in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering: Computational analysis of ignition probability in biogas-air mixtures

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend according to the EPSRC minimum rate (~ £14k per annum). Also additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

PhD in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences - Investigating Cooperative - ITS to deliver Infrastructure as a Service

1

UK: 100% of tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057. EPSRC full award, plus an Industrial Case top up from Siemens of £20,000.  EU: fees 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.

STREAM PhD in Civil Engineering – Performance monitoring and full-scale cost of manufactured SUDS components to manage urban runoff

1

Stipend of £17,000 per annum with an additional EPSRC fixed travel and subsistence budget.  Fees paid at the UK/EU rate depending upon EPSRC.  This award is only available to UK/EU students.

STREAM EngD in Civil Engineering – Understanding and communicating impacts of water resource infrastructure removal

1

Stipend of £19,000 rising to £20,000 with an additional EPSRC fixed travel and subsistence budget.  Fees paid at the UK/EU Rate depending upon EPSRC

STREAM EngD in Civil Engineering – Advancing the use of Flow Cytometry (FCM) in the water sector

1

Stipend of £19,000 rising to £20,000 with an additional EPSRC fixed travel and subsistence budget.  Fees paid at the UK/EU Rate depending upon EPSRC.

Five EPSRC DTA PhD Studentships - School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

5

Funding for up to 5 PhD studentships:
UK citizens are eligible for 100% tuition fees being paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award)
EU citizens are eligible for a fees only award (partial award)
International citizens are not eligible to apply for this funding.

PhD studentship in Computational Visual Neuroscience – How Specific Classes of Retinal Cells Contribute to Vision: a Computational Model

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,283 (full award). Additional funding is available for international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Newcastle University Business School Enterprise and Innovation Scholarship 2017-18

1

£3,000 payable towards tuition fees.

International (Non EU) students Number of awards Value of awards
Faculty of Medical Sciences International Masters Excellence Scholarship

£1,500

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)

15

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.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships Scheme

6

Tuition fees, living expenses, return economy air fare, study travel grant towards the costs of study-related travel within the UK or overseas plus a warm clothing allowance.

Newcastle Santander Scholarships

10

£5,000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees.

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
Florence Hilda Yates Music Scholarships

2

100% of UK/EU tuition fees for the MMus or MLitt in Music. Successful international candidates will be required to fund the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees. 

Postgraduate Masters Scholarships in Geography, Sociology and Politics

up to 12

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

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.

PhD Studentship in Cancer Research – Characterising Gene Expression Profiles in B-cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia to inform Treatment Options

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Mechanistic understanding of cell wall biosynthesis to combat antimicrobial resistance

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,525.   Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

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. 

Masters by Research (MLitt) Scholarships in the School of Modern Languages

1

The Scholarship includes the UK/EU rate of tuition fee and £7,500 living expenses.

MA Scholarships in the School of Modern Languages

Scholarships are available up to the value of £5,000, awarded as a tuition fee discount.

PhD Studentship in Cancer Research - Molecular Characterisation of Primary Uterine Leiomyosarcoma and Preclinical Investigation of Response to Non-genotoxic Activators of p53 via the MDM2/p53/PPM1D Signalling Network

1

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

Eleanor Pinkney Oddie Postgraduate Scholarship for Latin

2

£1000

PhD Studentships in Neuroscience - Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research Studentship

4

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

Six PhD Studentships- Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI)

6

100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend of £14,553.  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

MastersCompare Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£5,000

PhD Studentship in cutaneous medicine and systems biology: Biomarker discovery and integration with computational modelling to predict psoriatic plaque resolution in response to UVB therapy

1

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

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.

NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre - 14 Biomedical Scientist PhD Studentships

14

The funding covers a three year PhD. 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).

PhD in the School of Chemistry - Photo-activated switchable systems in the solid state

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK rate (£14,553 - 2017/18).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentship in Linguistics

1

100% UK/EU rate of tuition fee and £14,553 living expenses per year (2017-18 Research Councils UK rate).

Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentship - Designing dynamic models to understand and predict the responses of complex ecological networks to environmental perturbations

1

100% tuition fees, a tax-free stipend of (up to) is £14,553 pa (17/18), a desktop computer, and £1,500 travel allowance. 

Kidney Research UK PhD Studentship in Immuno-nephrology: Investigating the trigger events in atypical haemolytic ureamic syndrome using comparative models

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD studentship in the Institute of Cellular Medicine - Uncovering the role of neutrophils as drivers of hepatocellular carcinoma

1

100% UK/EU tuition fees and annual living expenses of £19,000.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Development of Novel PET-MRI methodologies for Dementia Research

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,282Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

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