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Educating the Next Generation of Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research

In the ICR’s mission to relieve suffering due to cancer, major strategies include both education and the furthering of knowledge through scientific advancement. The programme of postgraduate research and taught training at the ICR both reflects these strategies and forms part of a commitment to the current and future pursuit of excellence in the fight against cancer.


The ICR has always been committed to educating the next generation of scientists. In 1927, The Cancer Hospital Research Institute (later to become the ICR), became a postgraduate school of the University of London and the first PhD students began to submit their work.


After establishing a long-standing successful PhD programme, the ICR went on to become an independent College of the University of London in 2003, and introduced its first taught-course in 2006, which enables students to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or MSc in Oncology. Aimed at specialist postgraduate students in the field of Clinical and Medical Oncology, the MSc course provides a theoretical background to cancer biology and encourages students to problem solve – also giving students the opportunity to carry out a laboratory, or clinical-based project. Upon graduation, the students will have the specialised theoretical, clinical and medical skills necessary for leadership careers in twenty-first century oncology.


Outside of lectures and laboratories students can access course information from a distance with a Virtual Learning Environment (the ‘cancer.ed’ website), which is run by our Academic Services Department. The students also have further support from the Study Skills website, and can gain an overview of the field of cancer science with the comprehensive Perspectives in Oncology website – both award-winning sites were developed by our Interactive Education Unit (IEU). The IEU has also developed education and training resources for other healthcare professionals, including the Breaking Barriers CD ROM for the management of cancer-related pain, and RT Plan which is a radiotherapy training website.


By providing world class expertise and support to students at the ICR, we hope to advance cancer research and clinical practice not only within our organisation, but throughout the field. Our alumni continue to follow successful careers across the globe, many being world leaders in their discipline.


During our 2009–2010 academic year, we have 142 full-time and 36 part-time research students. The taught MSc in Oncology currently has 114 students.

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