Fundamentals of Cancer Cell Biology (817C8)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

On this module, cancer is presented as a disease of genetic origin in which the normal homeostatic processes of the cell become misregulated.

The structure of the module is founded on the concept of progressive acquisitions of 'hallmark' traits as expounded by Hanahan and Weinberg. This model is used to relate to the various regulatory pathways that become mutated and/or misregulated as cells progress from normality to the ultimately lethal invasive metatastatic phenotype.

These general principles which will form the first part of the module are expanded and illustrated by in-depth case studies of major forms of human cancer and familial cancer predispostion syndromes.

You also get involved in discussions of existing therapies and the prospects for novel therapies that come from an understanding of the molecular basis of the individual cancer types.


56%: Lecture
44%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Presentation)
70%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.