module specification

BM7047 - Molecular Oncology (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Molecular Oncology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
24 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
137 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Practical Report (2000 words)
Seen Examination 50%   Seen Online Exam 1.5hrs
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides an advanced understanding of cancer at the molecular level.

The key aim of this module is to inform students on sub-cellular aspects of cancer, focusing on molecular changes within cells which are associated with oncogenesis and the wide variety of different mechanisms within the cell which can be affected. Reference will be made to not only the understanding of key molecular mechanisms involved but also to identifying possible targets for diagnosis and therapy.

Prior learning requirements

Entry requirement only


DNA – mutations and repair mechanisms; carcinogens.
Cell cycle
Key intracellular signalling pathways
Oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes
Molecular aspects of apoptosis
Mitochondria and cancer
Telomerase and immortality
Cancer genomics and use of databases


Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be guided in their learning using a combination of private study, interactive lectures, investigative practicals and small group tutorials exploring realistic problems/case studies. Preparation for assignments 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 an in-depth understanding of key molecular mechanisms within the cell which are subverted in oncogenesis;
2. research and critically appraise existing and emerging aspects of this area;
3. collect, analyse and interpret relevant data from the laboratory or computer-based sources; and evaluate published relevant research material using up-to-date primary sources.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by an end of module exam (50%) comprising short answer questions, and a practical report (50%).

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

Component    Learning outcomes
Exam                1
Practical         1,2,3


Nature Reviews Cancer   
Cancer Letters
British Journal of Cancer
European Journal of Cancer
Cancer Research