Taught component - Formal teaching will extend over two semesters.
All candidates will undertake traditional 'face to face' teaching for the three modules in Semester 1. This will be timetabled teaching. Some of the teaching sessions within the modules also form aspects of formal teaching for other PG programmes, providing the students with the opportunity to interact with other Masters students from different disciplines, which we feel enhances the student experience. Collectively, the modules would be sufficient for a Certificate in Molecular Pathology.
(1) Cancer Biology, Immunology and Genomics (15 CATS)
The main objective of this module is to develop students who will have acquired the knowledge and skills to understand basic cancer biology, cancer genomics, cancer immunology and cancer molecular epidemiology as they develop skills for self-directed and life-long learning.
(2) Molecular Diagnostics (25 CATS)
This module will increase the student's knowledge of the principles of targeted therapy and the tests that are currently in practice. To do so, the student will acquire key knowledge on the main aspects of a molecular diagnostic test from beginning to end.
(3) Translational Research (20 CATS)
The module will introduce the students to new products (biomarkers, medicines) and processes (medical devices, technologies) which are developed and utilised in translational medicine. Additionally students learn about clinical trials and biobanking and how these support the introduction of novel personalised approaches to the management of patients with cancer.
Through out Semester 1 students are also introduced to basic processed processes to support learning bioinformatics but this is not formally assessed in semester 1.
Candidates will complete three modules which will be available 'online' as digital learning modules.
(1) Digital Pathology (20 CATS)
This module will discuss modern aspects of digital pathology in education, research and diagnostic practice. The module will also appraise the students of the full spectrum of image analysis techniques ranging from morphological analysis, pattern recognition, machine vision, quantitative IHC and FISH analysis. Students will be introduced to key concepts regarding deep learning algorithms and artificial intelligence in digital pathology.
(2) Biostatistical Informatics (20 CATS)
In this module students will be introduced to data types, data distributions, and hypothesis testing. In addition they will learn about and be able to evaluate testing for statistical associations and differences between data types including parametric/non-parametric tests.
(3) The Academic-Industry Intersect (20 CATS)
During this module students will be provided with a clear understanding of the academia-industry intersect. Students will develop skill sets to enable them to foster collaborative interactions with biotech and biopharmaceutical sectors.
Note: Successful completion of Semester 1 modules plus Semester 2 modules without the research dissertation would be sufficient for a Diploma in Molecular Pathology. Collectively, the modules in Semester 2 without the Semester 1 modules would be sufficient for a Certificate in Pathology Informatics and Business Application.
Molecular Pathology of Cancer Research Project
Students will be able to plan their research project and start work on their literature review during semester 1. Depending on the type of research project practical work may start in early Semester 2.
Students work full time on their research from the end of Semester 2 teaching.
Research projects will be available across a variety of subjects. Potential project areas include – Image analysis of immuno-oncology biomarkers; Application of liquid biopsies in Molecular Diagnostics and Research; Digital Molecular Pathology analysis of the tumour microenvironment; Biobanking and quality assurance metrics; Bioinformatics and Molecular Neuropathology. Some projects will be put forward from through the network of CRUK Accelerator Partners for those students with CRUK Accelerator bursaries who may wish to undertake their research as a placement at one of the partner sites.