module specification

BM7046 - Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Cancer: Diagnosis and Therapy
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
156 hours Guided independent study
44 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Case Study Comprehension (1h)
Unseen Examination 60%   Unseen Exam (2h)
Running in 2017/18
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.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

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.


• 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; sarcomas.

Learning and teaching

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.

On completion of this module students provide an evaluation of how the module enabled them to develop skills such as using information technology, team building, communication, time management, and working under pressure.

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 studies;
3. put forward diagnoses on the basis of symptoms and signs in cancer patient case studies;
4. develop and demonstrate a deep and systematic understanding of key cancers and cancer therapies.

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
Case Study Comprehension  1,2,3,4
Exam                                            1,2,3,4


Cassidy,J. et al. (2010). Oxford Handbook of Oncology (Oxford Medical Handbooks) .  OUP.
Neal, A. Hoskin, P. (2009). Clinical Oncology (4e): Basic Principles and Practice. Hodder Arnold.
Rang, H.P. et al. (2011).  Rang and Dale's Pharmacology (7e). Churchill Livingstone.

Journals (E-Journals accessible via library)
British Journal of Cancer
European Journal of Cancer
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Cancer Research
Cancer Therapy


Examples of Reviews
Hatzinicolaou,S. and Gogas, H.  (2012). Melanoma: What Does it Mean in 2011 and Beyond?
European Journal of Clinical & Medical Oncology. 4:1-6.
Kim A. et al. (2012). Therapeutic strategies in epithelial ovarian cancer. Journal of Experimental Cancer Research, 31: 14-22.
Pui C. et al. (2011). Biology, risk stratification, and therapy of pediatric acute leukemias: an update. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 29:551-565