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

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.

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 Cancer Research - Functional screening for novel therapies in high-risk childhood cancers

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,171.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU and international 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
Doctoral Training Studentships (MRes plus PhD) in Cloud Computing for Big Data

12

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual tax free stipend (or living allowance) of £14,296. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

IAPETUS NERC PhD Studentships - Biology, Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Geography, Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

12 PhD studentships offered across all partner institutions.

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual tax-free stipend (or living expenses) of £14,296 (pending confirmation). Extensive research support funding is also offered.

PhD Studentships in the Arts and Humanities - AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership

50 PhD studentships offered across Newcastle University, Durham University and Queen's University Belfast.

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend (living expenses) at the Research Councils' UK (RCUK) postgraduate rate, currently £14,296. Also, additional funding to cover other study related costs (ie study abroad, conference attendance etc).

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

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 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.

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

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

Marie Curie PhD Fellowship on mammalian mitochondrial gene expression

1

An annual stipend will be paid to cover fees at the Home rate and living expenses.  The amount of stipend will vary depending on where the students appointed are from and their current circumstances.

Marie Curie PhD Fellowship on the regulation of human mitochondrial expression

1

An annual stipend will be paid to cover fees at the Home rate and living expenses.  The amount of stipend will vary depending on where the students appointed are from and their current circumstances.

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). 

PhD Studentship in Synthetic Biology – Modelling Genetic Circuits in Space-Time

1

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

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

One

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.

BBSRC PhD studentships – Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership in Biosciences

22 studentships across the partnership

100% of UK/EU fees paid and a tax-free stipend (living expenses) at the Research Council UK rate (indicative amount in Year 1, £14,296). Some students will be eligible for a fee-only award (no stipend)

International (Non EU) students Number of awards Value of awards
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.

Newcastle University International Postgraduate Scholarship (NUIPS)

Partial scholarship payable towards tuition fees

Country-specific Scholarships

Varies.

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.

All students Number of awards Value of awards
MSc Funding - 1st Class Scholarship (School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences)

Not specified

£2,000

ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership PhD Studentships in the Social Sciences

50 PhD studentships across the Universities of:

  • Newcastle
  • Durham
  • Queen's Belfast
  • Ulster
  • Northumbria 
  • Teesside 
  • Sunderland

100% tuition fees plus an annual stipend at the RCUK postgraduate rate, currently £14,296. Additional funding is available to cover costs of study abroad, conference attendance, fieldwork, attendance at NINE DTP cohort-building events, short-term placements and specialist skills training.

David Goldman PhD studentship in Innovation and Enterprise

1

100% tuition fees paid at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend (living expenses) equal to that provided by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (estimated rate of £13,590 in 2016/17). 

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.

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

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

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

1

£2500

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.

Sport Scholarships

Varies

£500 - £10,000

Santander Mobility Awards for 2016/17

10 minimum

Maximum value of £1,400

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.

Activia Training UK Scholarship Award

2

£500 for college and university students in the UK.

Research Excellence Academy Scholarship in the Constructions and uses of the European past in heritage and political discourse

1

The scholarship includes the UK/EU rate of tuition fee and £14,296 living expenses per year (2016-17 Research Council UK rate).

Research Excellence Academy Studentship in Prehistoric fuel use in the archaeological record: developing the potential of ash through integrating microfossil analysis and geochemistry

1

100% of tuition fees and £14,296 living expenses per year (2016-17 Research Council UK rate).

Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentship in Linguistics

1

The studentship includes the UK/EU rate of tuition fee and £14,296 living expenses per year (2016-17 Research Councils UK rate).

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Understanding Biological Pathways for Nanoparticle Synthesis

1

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

PhD Studentships in Chemistry - Developing New Materials for Tandem Dye-sensitized Solar Cells

3

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK 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.

PhD School of Chemistry Newcastle University: Advanced Materials for Redox Flow Batteries

1

100% tuition fees plus an annual stipend of £14,057 (based on RCUK stipend levels).  Overseas applicants should be aware that the overseas fees are not covered by the studentship, and would need to be self-funded.  The fees and stipend cover UK/EU applicants only.

PhD Studentship in Cancer Research - Functional screening for novel therapies in high-risk childhood cancers

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,171.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU and international fee.

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 Marine Transport – Market innovations and shipping economics

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend of £14,296.  International students may apply, however tuition fees will only be covered at the UK/EU rate.  Limited financial support may be available for research and fieldwork costs.

PhD Studentship in Diagnostic Test Evaluation Methodology - Evaluations of diagnostic tests in the presence of an imperfect reference standard and the health economic considerations

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and annual living expenses of £14,296.  Also additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD project in Statistics

1

100% tuition fees plus a tax-free stipend of (up to) £14,296 (16/17 level), a desktop computer, and £1500 travel allowance.

PhD project in Pure Mathematics

1

100% tuition fees plus a tax-free stipend of (up to) £14,296 (16/17 level), a desktop computer, and £1500 travel allowance.

PhD project in Applied Mathematics

1

100% tuition fees plus a tax-free stipend of (up to) £14,296 (16/17 level), a desktop computer, and £1500 travel allowance.

PhD Studentship in School of Chemistry - Quantum Mechanical Simulations for the Development of Novel Cancer Therapies

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK 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.

PhD project in Physics

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees plus a tax-free stipend of (up to) £14,296 (16/17 level), a desktop computer, and £1500 travel allowance.

Practice-led PhD in Fine Art, in partnership with Helix Arts: Power, voice and decision-making in participative arts practice

1

100% UK/EU rate of tuition fees and £14,296 living expenses per year (2016 - 17 Research Council UK rate).

PhD Studentship in Institute for Agri-Food Research and Innovation (IAFRI) - Stakeholder involvement in policy evaluation within the Institute and linked to the ESRC CECAN Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity across the Nexus

1

Award is worth £16,805 per year, contributing towards your PhD tuition fees and living costs.  Non-EU nationals can apply but will need to fund the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Developing Stable Functional Head Group for Anion Exchange Membranes

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, 100%  tuition fees at the international students fees (if applicable otherwise UK/EU) and an annual stipend of £14,296 (2016/17). 

PhD Studentship in School of Biology – Slug Physiology

1

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

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 (£14,296 2016/17).  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 Sociology - asylum seekers and refugees in peripheral urban areas in the north of England and the Italian South

1

100% of UK/EU fees and an annual stipend at RCUK rates (rate for 2016-2017 was £14,296 per year).  Also included is a research training and support grant of £750 per year and an overseas fieldwork support grant of £450 per year.

Physical Geography Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentships

Two Physical Geography Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentship awards are available, with five potential projects to choose from.

100% of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate will be paid and an annual maintenance grant equivalent to the RCUK rate (current stipend for 2016/17 is £14,296). Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Synthetic Biology – Modelling Genetic Circuits in Space-Time

1

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