Postgraduate study

Cancer (Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre) PhD, MScR

Awards: PhD, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre (ECRC) strives to take a comprehensive approach to cancer research, combining both laboratory-based research and clinical approaches.

Overall the centre studies the genetic and biological basis of cancer and disease pathology, and devises and test new forms of therapy arising from our basic, translational and clinical research programs.

Our ultimate aim is to carry out high quality research into effective cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, as well as the symptoms associated with cancer.

ECRC is part of the Edinburgh Medical School's Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences at the Western General Hospital. This centre, as part of a unit of Hospital-Based Clinical Subjects, was rated 5* in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.

We have 18 academic staff, 40 research staff, 35 support staff and 22 students.

For information on projects available, please see the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre webpage:

There is often funding available for PhD study - see Scholarships and Funding section on this page for more information and links. We rarely have funding available for Masters by Research projects but do welcome applications from those able to self-fund.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2020 entry we accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered).
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

*(Revised 21 February 2020 to remove PTE Academic from 2021 entry requirements. Revised 21 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition in 2020 and 2021 entry requirements.)

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhD3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhD6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScR1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScR2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre
  • Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
  • Crewe Road South
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH4 2XU

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before making your application, you must make contact with a potential supervisor to discuss your research proposal. Further information on making a research degree application can be found on the College website:

You will be formally interviewed (in person, by video-conferencing or Skype).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre
  • Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
  • Crewe Road South
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH4 2XU