PhD Precision Cancer Medicine


Program Description

Ph.D. Precision Cancer Medicine

The cross-faculty, interdisciplinary Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) is committed to the highest quality of research excellence. To achieve our mission, we are pursuing a premier series of research programmes in defined areas, combining innovative discovery science with clinical translational to achieve the best outcomes for cancer patients.

In recognition of the international standing of CCRCB, the University has made and continues to make, significant investment in both academic staff and infrastructure. CCRCB has over 200 staff, with 38 Principal Investigators, 60 Postdoctoral fellows and 65 postgraduate students from across the world working together in a new, purpose-built research facility.

The Centre's is focused on areas of research strength, delivered through a series of Research Focus groups

  • Advanced Radiotherapy
  • Breast and Ovarian
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genito-urinary and Prostate

Research Strengths

CCRCB is a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Centre and an Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC), underlying its international reputation. The close, collaborative interaction between clinical and laboratory research experts is the hallmark of our research programme, allowing the direct translation of excellent science to clinical benefit. Close collaboration with biotech companies such as Almac, underpinned by innovative discovery science and its clinical application, has resulted in the development of novel diagnostic/predictive tests and new therapeutics.

Research in CCRCB is supported by key enabling technologies which include:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Drug discovery
  • Genomics
  • Imaging
  • Molecular pathology and Biobanking
  • The Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre


A research degree offers you the opportunity to develop your research skills and prove yourself as a researcher. Queen's is committed to the enhancement of research training and teaching and offers postgraduate research opportunities across all fields of study. The following postgraduate research study routes for this subject area are:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Master of Surgery (MCh)

Entrance Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School. Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for Ph.D., or two years for MPhil/MD (or part-time equivalent). For MCh please contact the School.

English Language Requirements

International students (where English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 yrs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before your study, our partner AT Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses.


  • CCRCB provides a comprehensive induction and training programme specifically tailored to develop the research skills and support the career aspiration of its postgraduate research students. As part of the Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Cancer Medicine (PCM), CCRCB offers a choice of modules in Cancer Biology, Translational Cancer Medicine, Scientific Programming and Statistical Computing, Translational Bioinformatics and Medical Statistics. Students can gain Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) credits / European Credits Transfer System (ECTS) credits by taking these modules. An innovative partnership with Queen’s Management School and the William J Clinton Leadership Institute is providing students with the opportunity to acquire skills sets in finance, management, entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership, which will serve them well in their future careers
  • CCRCB has also developed an ambitious 4-year Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Cancer Medicine (PCM), in an exciting partnership with the world-renowned National Cancer Institute (NCI), USA. PCM is a discipline that is fast becoming the cornerstone of modern cancer prevention and control. This innovative programme represents an unrivaled opportunity for students to prosper at an international powerhouse for cancer research and 21st-century cancer care. The vibrant DTP in PCM provides unrivaled training and mentorship opportunities that encourage excellence with impact, delivering a cadre of innovative, business-aware and socially responsible graduates who will compete successfully and emerge as future leaders in the global cancer research, cancer care or bio-industry communities.In 2017/18, an exciting new Clinical Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Cancer Medicine (PMCC) will commence between CCRCB and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Canada. Successful candidates will undertake a 2-year fellowship at PMCC, followed by the third year at CCRCB. This exciting programme will initially focus on medical oncology, with a particular emphasis on disciplines such as innovative clinical trials and translational research
  • The Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Laboratory, incorporating the Northern Ireland Biobank, is located within CCRCB, providing unique access to clinically annotated biopsy material and advanced training in molecular pathology. A new MSc in the Molecular Pathology of Cancer will commence in the coming academic year
  • The Centre hosts a weekly international seminar programme, which strengthens external collaborations and brings together investigators, postdoctoral fellows and research students from CCRCB and other research centers within the School. In addition, a series of masterclasses are held for Ph.D. students with invited international speakers


Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.


There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Ph.D. Funded Studentships

We offer fully funded studentships to outstanding postgraduate researchers across our three faculties and five Doctoral Training Centres.

Last updated Jul 2019

About the School

The Faculty of Medicine, Health & Life Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast has a reputation for excellence in education and research - a reputation which is reflected in our position in the top ... Read More

The Faculty of Medicine, Health & Life Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast has a reputation for excellence in education and research - a reputation which is reflected in our position in the top ten universities in the UK for Research Intensity. Read less