module specification

BM7046 - Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
44 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
24 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
132 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Essay
Unseen Examination 60%   Unseen Exam
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides an understanding of the clinical aspects of oncology, focusing on diagnosis and staging of different cancers, and the range of options open for therapy.

The aim of this module is to give a synopsis of the major cancers from the perspective of a diagnostician, thus providing a background to other modules on this course which focus on molecular and pharmacological aspects of the disease.


LO 1 - 4

• Cancer – an overview
• Staging and grading of malignancies
• Principles of cancer therapy (radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, endocrine, biologic therapies)
• Biomarkers
• Cancers of the head and neck, lung, gastrointestinal tract, breast, reproductive organs, central nervous system, endocrine system, skin, blood; sarcomas.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be guided in their learning using a combination of private study (132 hours), interactive lectures (22 hours) and small group tutorials exploring realistic problems/case studies (22 hours). Preparation for assignments (24 h) will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge base and develop subject skills and competences. They will be able to assess and reflect upon their understanding of the material through the completion on-line quizzes.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. demonstrate a critical awareness of the general principles of cancer diagnosis;
2. differentiate between available treatment options open to clinicians in patient case
3. develop and demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding of key cancers and
    cancer therapies.
4. evaluate published relevant research material and put together a balanced review of a
    selected topic; relating to cancer diagnosis and therapy using up-to-date primary

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by the analysis of a case study (40%), and by an end of module test (60%) comprising short answer questions.

To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%.

Component     Learning outcomes
Essay               4
Exam               1,2,3,4



Core Text:
Hoskin,P., Ostler, P., Glynne-Jones,R. (2021). Clinical oncology: basic principles and practice. 5th ed. CRC.

Other Texts:
Perry, M.C. (2012). Perry's The Chemotherapy Source Book (5e). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Cassidy,J., Bissett,D., Spence,R. (2015). Oxford handbook of oncology. OUP.

British Journal of Cancer
European Journal of Cancer
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Cancer Research
Cancer Therapy


Examples of review papers
• Tremont, A et al (2017). Endocrine Therapy for Early Breast Cancer: Updated Review. Ochsner J., 17(4), 405
• Nigro, C. et al. (2017). Head and neck cancer: improving outcomes with a multidisciplinary approach. Cancer Management and Research 2017:9 363–371
• Grover, N. and Park, S. (2015). Novel Targeted Agents in Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Therapy. Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8, 607-636.
• Shah, K et al. (2016). Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in Ph+ Chronic Myeloid LeukemiaTherapy: A Review. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 17 (7), 3025-3033