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Cancer Studies (Research Division) MPhil/PhD



  • REF2014: Ranked first in the United Kingdom for Clinical Medicine, in terms of the proportion of our overall submission that was ranked 4* or 3* (Unit of Assessment 1 – Clinical Medicine).
  • Research income: over £10 million in 2012-13
  • Current number of academic staff: 40
  • Current number of research students: PhD 36 FT, 21 PT

Recent publications:

  • Philippe Riou; Svend Kjaer; Ritu Garg; Andrew Purkiss; Roger George; Robert J Cain; Ganka Bineva; Nicolas Reymond; Brad McColl; Andrew J Thompson; Nicola O'Reilly; Neil Q McDonald; Peter J Parker*; Anne J Ridley*. 14-3-3 proteins interact with a hybrid prenyl-phosphorylation motif to regulate Rnd proteins (2013) Cell Volume 153, Issue 3, 25 April 2013, Pages 640-653 *Joint corresponding authors
  • Audeh MW, Carmichael J, Penson RT, Friedlander M, Powell B, Bell-McGuinn KM, Scott C, Weitzel JN, Oaknin A, Loman N, Lu K, Schmutzler RK, Matulonis U, Wickens M, Tutt A (2010) Oral PARP inhibitor olaparib (AZD2281; KU-0059436) in patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers with recurrent ovarian cancer: a proof of concept trial. The Lancet 376(9737):245-51.
  • Yeung J, Esposito MT, Gandillet A, Zeisig BB, Griessinger E, Bonnet D, So CW (2010). β-catenin mediates the establishment and drug resistance of MLL leukemic stem cells. Cancer Cell Vol. 18 (6): 606-18.
  • Makani J*, Menzel S*, Nkya S, Cox SE, Drasar E, Soka D, Komba AN, Mgaya J, Rooks H, Vasavda N, Fegan G, Newton CR, Farrall M, Thein SL. Genetics of fetal hemoglobin in Tanzanian and British patients with sickle cell anemia. Blood. 2011 Jan 27;117(4):1390-2
  • Lüchtenborg M, Riaz S, Coupland V, Lim E, Jakobsen E, Krasnik M, Page R, Lind M, Peake M, and Møller H (2013). High Procedure Volume Is Strongly Associated With Improved Survival After Lung Cancer Surgery. JCO. JCO.2013.49.0219; published online on July 29, 2013;

Key information

Duration Expected to be usually three years full-time or up to six years part-time. Enrolment is available in October, January, April and July each year.

Study mode Full-time,Part-time

Awarding institution King's College London/King's

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine



Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

General entry advice

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject (or overseas equivalent). A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters degree with Merit or above. 

Applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors prior completing the online application form. For further information please contact the Admissions Office Postgraduate (Health) team at


Enhanced criminal conviction check Please note that research programmes within the School of Medicine may sometimes require a criminal conviction check depending on the particular topic/method of research.

Application procedure

Studentships may be advertised in publications such as They are also posted on the College’s Health Schools Studentships website. Please note that most funding bodies will only support home/EU fees.

Self-funded applicants (through an awarded scholarship or private means) should submit a prospective application using the College online application form. It is recommended that self-funded applicants contact the Division and/or Research Section that they wish to apply to before making a formal application online.

If you are applying for a King's College London award such as the Graduate School International Research Awards, please make contact with the Divisional Manager in addition to submitting your application.


Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by at least two academics from the Division. Proposed research projects must be approved before an offer to the student can be made (this is done via the completion of a Project Approval Form in collaboration with the proposed supervisors and is in addition to the online application).

Personal statement and supporting information

Please provide information on the research project you wish to undertake, your motivation to undertake postgraduate research and information about your research experience. If you are applying for a specific named project/studentship please include the reference number and project title.

Self-funded applicants (through an awarded scholarship or private means) should provide details of how they will fund their studies and state the supervisor(s) to whom they wish to apply. As such it is advised that self-funded applicants contact the Division and/or Research Section that they wish to apply to before making a formal application online.

Course intake

No set number.

Application closing date

There is no specific deadline for applications. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note funding applications may be subject to specific deadlines.


Course detail


The Division of Cancer Studies has a multidisciplinary research portfolio that maps onto and spans the entire patient journey. We bring together and are underpinned by core strengths in haematology, haemato-oncology, breast cancer biology, epidemiology, cancer cell biology, gastro-intestinal cancer and oncopolicy.  We are fortunate to have access to unique resources such as our Bio-Bank.

The strategic objective of the Division is to foster a culture of innovation in patient care through research excellence. To achieve this we are working towards fully integrated research pathways, breaking down traditional clinical/academic boundaries and drawing together members of the Division and colleagues from our associated Hospital Trusts. This is reflected in the coordinated strategic planning that has laid the foundations for our Integrated Cancer Centre.

There are six Research Sections within the Division:

  • Cancer Epidemiology and Population Health

  • Cell Biology and Imaging

  • GI Cancer

  • Haemato-oncology

  • Molecular Haematology

  • Research Oncology

Course study environment

Research Sections within the Division encourage their students to take an active part in their internal seminar programme and students are expected to present at least twice yearly to fellow students and staff. Individual Sections provide specific health and safety, and induction sessions.

All graduate students within the Division are also encouraged to attend the wide variety of courses offered by the College. Tailored courses, such as those on thesis writing and citation management, are available. First year students are encouraged, where beneficial, to attend selected undergraduate or MRes/MSc courses pertinent to cancer studies.

Graduate student progress is monitored initially at the three-month stage and thereafter at six monthly intervals by both supervisors and an assessor from within the Division. This allows both students and supervisors to air any concerns and also promotes regular contact between those involved. Upgrade from MPhil to PhD status is dependent on successful presentation of progress by the student, and is usually expected to occur within the first year of commencement of full-time PhD study.

Postgraduate training

Centrally coordinated training in transferable skills is provided by the College. For further information about training and development for researchers please view the Graduate School webpages:

Head of group/division

Professor Peter Parker FRS

Contact for information

Division Manager, tel +44 (0)20 7848 8300, fax +44 (0)20 7848 6220.

Contact email,

Course website

Career prospects

Career destinations

Over 85 per cent of students under the primary supervision of Divisional staff continued in academic and medical research taking Post-Doctoral or more senior positions. The remaining students have taken commercial positions.


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Fees and funding

A small number of studentships, for specific projects, funded by external funding agencies such as the research councils (eg MRC), or charitable bodies are available each year (these are advertised on the Health Schools' Studentship page and/or These typically provide a stipend and the payment of tuition fees at the home/EU rate.

Other applicants may be self-funded through a personal scholarship or private means. If you are self-funded please contact the Division or Research Section that you wish to apply to before submitting an online application.

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£4,600 (2016)

Full time tuition fees - Overseas 
£20,000 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU
£4,600 (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Overseas
£10,000 (2016)

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


Next steps

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