Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

PMCAPHIM - MSc Cancer Immunotherapy

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Science Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Biosciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time Day 2 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MSc course is designed to promote a deep understanding of Cancer Immunotherapy. Students will develop knowledge and skills which will empower them to be autonomous professional practitioners. The course will foster high level reasoning skills and promote lifelong learning and continuous professional development (CPD).

Emphasis will be placed on self-directed and problem-based learning within a lecture/tutorial/ practical framework. Students will explore case studies to promote high level reasoning in a professional context. They will compare laboratory diagnostic methods, consider new methodologies and examine the research literature.

Tutorial exercises and short phase tests will be used to provide students with feedback on their progress. Summative assessment of students’ knowledge base and their understanding will be incorporated into formal in-course tests/exercises
Students have access to the Graduate centre to meet and discuss their courses. The Holloway campus library offers specialised group study areas as well as access to a comprehensive range of textbooks, journals and online learning resources. There are also open areas on the ground floor of the Tower building and the green lounge at Benwell Road offering open study areas. These areas all have access to IT facilities with several terminals at each one.

Practical skills are an essential part of the MSc course and students have access to the unparalleled facilities in the Science Centre Laboratory. Practical classes are designed to reinforce the knowledge from the lectures and tutorials. The course aims to promote a good knowledge-skills balance enhancing the professional practice of the students. The science centre also provides an excellent facility to carry out the final research project. MSc project assessment will culminate in the presentation of a dissertation and a viva exam, which also explores knowledge and understanding.

Course aims

The Postgraduate taught Cancer Immunotherapy programme aims to:

i) provide a programme of advanced study for graduates that will equip them for future careers in the area of cancer pharmacology and immunotherapy;
ii) ii) foster a comprehensive and critical understanding of the existing state of knowledge in the fields of cancer, traditional cancer therapies and cancer immunotherapy;
iii) iii) enhance intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of scientific data, culminating in an independent research project;
iv) iv) provide practical opportunities in a multidisciplinary environment;
v) v) enable students to become effective learners/practitioners by developing a variety of personal skills and capabilities;

In addition to the general programme aims above, the individual modules provide CPD opportunities for extending knowledge, updating skills, or gaining new skills in specialist areas at postgraduate level.

Course learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate

1. knowledge and understanding of Cancer Immunotherapy consistent with consolidation of advances in the subject within an existing knowledge framework;
2. knowledge and understanding of technical developments, their advantages, limitations and implications and how research impacts on oncology, pharmacology and immunology and immunotherapy
3. cognitive (thinking) skills by assimilating information and developing ideas on issues, methodologies or pathogenic processes and by explaining how a working hypothesis may be devised and tested within the constraints of a cancer immunotherapy context;
4. cognitive (thinking) skills by critically evaluating material on a complex cancer immunotherapy topic in order to present a balanced review;
5. effective communication verbally, in writing, and by electronic means;
6. the ability to implement an advanced information search and extract relevant information;
7. the capacity for rational and balanced debate of complex cancer immunotherapy issues including ethical issues as well as individual initiative, organisation and the capacity for independent learning and effective team-working
8. increased awareness of how changes in knowledge and technology may impact on professional practice in the subject area and require adaptability
9. practical skills, through experience of advanced or novel practical methodologies;
10. practical skills, through the application of knowledge to practical problems, including test selection and the design of appropriate experimental protocols with due regard to safety and quality control issues;
11. practical skills, through experience of IT software and data bases e.g. in bioinformatics, epidemiology and in searching the cancer Immunotherapy literature and application of statistical analyses where appropriate.
12. Demonstrate confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity and will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible professionals in their discipline

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Although there are no QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) benchmark statements for Biomedical Science at Postgraduate level, course outcomes are in line with Generic QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) guidelines on Masters level qualifications.

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including problem solving exercises, in-class test, data analysis, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, extended essays, examinations, oral examination and dissertation. The choice of assessment instrument chosen to test the specified learning outcomes and to support students’ different learning styles. These methods are aligned with the School assessment strategy and the assessment is the responsibility of the academic staff delivering the module. Assessment is part of the learning process and confirms the outcomes of the learning process. The types of assessment are varied and include problem-solving exercises, in-class tests, data analysis, online quizzes and exams, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, group work, extended essays, examinations, a research project, interim reports, oral examinations and a final dissertation It also provides formative feedback on curriculum design and delivery and, via the on-going iterative process of module monitoring, makes a significant contribution to the continued development and improvement of the courses that links in with the School learning and teaching strategy. In light of this a variety of assessment methods will be used (see syllabi) including unseen written examinations, individual and group assignments.

Practical skills are summatively assessed through coursework assignments, including those in the project module. Data handling skills are summatively assessed by practical reports, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and examinations.

Formative assessments include group activities in tutorial classes, mini-tests and project workshops. Laboratory and computer-based investigations, poster and oral presentations and a MSc dissertation giving students the opportunity to show the knowledge understanding and skills they have developed.

Course specific regulations

Students choose 1 or 2 modules each semester from the Course Structure.

BM7P05 cannot be taken until all other modules completed.

Modules required for interim awards

PGDip award cannot include BM7P05

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

It is anticipated students will have chosen to study the MSc in Cancer Immunotherapy as part of their ongoing personal development plan. During the induction phase of the programme students will be introduced to structured reflection on their development of Postgraduate Skills which constitute much as the substance of personal development planning. Progress with Postgraduate Skills will be articulated to students as the programme progresses through feedback from tutors and peers enabling them to reflect on their progress based on the evidence available. Other activities outside of the academic aspect of university life will also contribute to aspects of Postgraduate Skills. Students will be encouraged to develop their personal portfolio to critically review their learning experiences, set their future personal and academic goals and evaluate their progress towards these goals. Students will be encouraged to join relevant professional bodies, e.g. Royal Society of Biology etc and take advantage of their continuing professional development (CPD) schemes.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

FHEQ level descriptors and characteristics

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Postgraduates in Cancer Immunotherapy are primarily equipped to take up employment in cancer research, especially in the pharmaceutical industry and the increasing number of start-up companies focusing on cancer immunotherapy. They could also pursue careers more generally in medical research, in hospital and public health laboratories. The analytical, numerical and communication skills developed on the course are also in demand in non-science based careers such as journalism and marketing.

Career opportunities

As a graduate of this course, you’ll be well prepared to work for companies that are developing cancer immunotherapies. Such companies include global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibbs, MERCK, AstraZeneca and Roche. There are also an an ever-growing number of start-up companies that are tackling cancer, including Vyriad, UNUM Therapeutics and Alpine Immune Sciences.

You’ll also have ample opportunity for future postgraduate study within the School of Human Sciences and the Cellular and Molecular Immunology Research Centre at the MPhil/PhD level, as well as research opportunities with partners within the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • at least a lower second (2.2) UK first degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, for example pharmacology, biomedical science, biological science or medical genetics (these will be considered on an individual basis)

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2016/17 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 05 Sep 2016 Last validation date 05 Sep 2016  
JACS codes 100911 (immunology): 100%
Route code CAPHIM

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BM7001 Scientific Frameworks For Research Core 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
          NORTH AUT TUE AM
BM7004 Advanced Immunology Core 20 NORTH AUT WED AM
BM7045 Cancer Pharmacology Core 20 NORTH SPR WED PM
BM7046 Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy Core 20 NORTH AUT WED PM
BM7047 Molecular Oncology Core 20 NORTH AUT TUE PM
BM7048 Cancer Immunotherapy Core 20 NORTH SPR TUE PM
BM7P05 Research Project Core 60 NORTH AUT NA  
          NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH SUM NA  

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BM7001 Scientific Frameworks For Research Core 20 NORTH SPR WED AM
BM7004 Advanced Immunology Core 20        
BM7045 Cancer Pharmacology Core 20 NORTH SPR WED PM
BM7046 Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy Core 20        
BM7047 Molecular Oncology Core 20        
BM7048 Cancer Immunotherapy Core 20 NORTH SPR TUE PM
BM7P05 Research Project Core 60 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH SUM NA