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Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences MPhil/PhD MD/(Res)

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The School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences comprises of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) and the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (IPS).

Within the Comprehensive Cancer Centre there are thirteen research programmes and 20 research groups (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/cancer/research/index.aspx).

The Institute of Pharmaceutical Science has three main research themes of Drug Discovery; Medicines Development and Delivery; and Medicines Use (https://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/ips/research/index.aspx)

We collaborate extensively with scientists and clinicians across KCL and within King’s Health Partners (KHP).

  • REF2014: Clinical Medicine (which included the Cancer return) was ranked 3rd for quality and Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy (which included the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science return) was ranked 2nd for power.
  • Research income: £13.4m per year
  • Current number of academic staff: 75
  • Current number of graduate research students: 200
  • Current number of research staff: 130
  • Recent publictions include:

Repurposing tin mesoporphyrin as an immune checkpoint inhibitor shows therapeutic efficacy in preclinical models of cancer

Histological  scoring of immune and stromal features in breast and axillary lymph nodes is prognostic for distant metastasis in lymph node-positive breast cancers

Design and development of a biorelevant simulated human lung fluid

Topical delivery of anthramycin II: Influence of binary and ternary solvent systems

Current research projects: 

Comprehensive Cancer Centre Research Programmes

Institute of Pharmaceutical Science Research Programmes  

Key information

Duration 3-4 years Full time, 6-7 years part-time

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine



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Course detail


The overarching objective of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre is to combine research excellence with innovations in clinical practice to improve cancer patient care and therefore our research goes from basic biological research through to translational cancer research to clinical trials. We have a particular focus on tumour microenvironment, imaging and immunotherapy, which are the themes of our Cancer Research UK King's Health Partners'  Cancer Centre'.

Each of the three themes within IPS includes clusters of research activity, some of which have evolved during the past decade (e.g., drug delivery, chemical biology, pharmaceutical biophysics, pharmacology), and some of which have joined KCL more recently such as enhanced activity in anticancer and anti-infective drug discovery, nanomedicines, substance abuse, health psychology, and clinical pharmacy. Researchers within and across the three themes interact both informally and via joint initiatives to promote cross-disciplinary research.

For further information about the research within the School, please refer to the School website which can be found here:

Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Institute of Pharmaceutical Science

Course study environment

Students work alongside researchers and are supervised by two members of academic staff. Each student has a dedicated Thesis Progression Committee that monitors the students’ progress and gives advice and support.


Postgraduate training

KCL offers a large number of training and skills development opportunities. Participation in the annual Postgraduate Research Symposium is compulsory for all students and provides an opportunity to improve science communication and presentation skills. Opportunities are available for postgraduate students to present their work at national and international scientific meetings. Our postgraduate students also have the opportunity to assist with teaching of undergraduates as demonstrators in practical classes or by leading tutorials.


Head of group/division

Professor Tony Ng and Professor Ben Forbes

Contact for information

Postgraduate Research Admissions Enquiries

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000

Contact email

Please fill in the Admissions enquiry Form

School contacts

PGR Lead: Professor Joy Burchell (email joy.burchell@kcl.ac.uk)

PGR Lead: Dr Simon Pitchford (email simon.pitchford@kcl.ac.uk)

PGR Lead: Dr Alan Ramsay (email alan.ramsay@kcl.ac.uk)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Minimum UK requirements


Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in a science, medicine, or dentistry (or overseas equivalent)

A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Master's degree with Merit or above.

International requirements


Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.

English Language requirements

Band D

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

Please do not complete an application form until you have spoken with and have confirmation from your preferred supervisor. Information about research staff can be found on King’s Research Portal here: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/ 

Application procedure

Funded studentships are advertised here: Health Schools Studentships website .

All applicants are required to complete the online application form. Please do not complete an application form until you have spoken with and have confirmation from your preferred supervisor. Information about research staff can be found on King’s Research Portal here: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/ 

Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by at least two academics. Proposed research projects must be approved by the Schoolbefore an offer can be made.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Personal Statement


A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required.

Previous Academic Study


A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.



Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.



You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.


Course intake

No set target

Application closing date

October 2019 entry – 26th July 2019 for International students and 30th August for Home/EU students.

January 2020 entry – 25th October 2019 for International students and 2nd December 2019 for Home/EU students.

April 2020 entry – 14th February 2020 for International and Home/EU students.

July 2020 entry - 15th May 2020 for International and Home/EU students.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/2020

Full time tuition fees:

£5,300 per year (MPhil/PhD)

£5,300 per year (MPhil/PhD Clinical)

£5,300 per year (MDRes)

£5,300 per year (MDRes Clinical)


Part time tuition fees:

£2,650 per year (MPhil/PhD)

£2,650 per year (MPhil/PhD Clinical)

£2,650 per year (MDRes)

£2,650 per year (MDRes Clinical)

Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

These Tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsquent years of study, in line with King's terms and conditions.

International Tuition Fees 

Full time tuition fees:


£23,400 per year (MPhil/PhD)

£44,500 per year (MPhil/PhD Clinical)

£23,400 per year (MDRes)

£44,500 per year (MDRes Clinical)


Part time tuition fees:

£11,700 per year (MPhil/PhD)

£22,250 per year (MPhil/PhD Clinical)

£11,700 per year (MDRes)

£22,250 per year (MDRes Clinical)

 These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.




Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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