Where will this take me?


A masters-level qualification is integral to career progression in oncology and frequently required for accreditation. Upon completing the final thesis, you will move into the workforce having completed a piece of original research that utilised the latest biological evidence, and the practical application of advanced methodologies and analytical techniques.

This course has a multi-disciplinary focus which will enable graduates to effectively integrate with other health professionals and advance their distinct role within the wider context of a today’s cancer workforce.

Taking the Master of Cancer Sciences: A student’s experience

Junior study coordinator in clinical trials Farha shares her experience of the online Master of Cancer Sciences – amidst a pandemic – and tells us how it’s improving her role now, and making a positive impact on her career.

Master of Cancer Sciences graduate Farha

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Dr David Kok

Dr David Kok, Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Master of Cancer Sciences course coordinator, talks about the program.

The Master of Cancer Sciences is Australia’s first cancer-specific, wholly online postgraduate degree. It’s aimed at cancer professionals across the spectrum, whether they be clinicians, allied health professionals, scientists, or clinical trial staff. In crafting the degree, my team and I had a very clear goal in mind— to ensure that students would walk away with the cutting-edge knowledge to excel in the field, and to do this in a way that is interesting, innovative, and flexible enough to be done while still working.

This degree is different to others in that it has been produced in partnership between the VCCC and University of Melbourne. As such, the teaching staff have all been drawn from across the 10 VCCC partners and so we’ve literally had the pick of the brightest, most passionate oncological minds in the business to teach on topics that- in many cases- they pioneered! Year-on-year these people will be here, contributing to and being at the forefront of cancer research and treatment.

We knew when designing this course that every student would have different personal and professional interests, and so have gone out of our way to cater for that. Perhaps you’re interested in the global impact of cancer– then you could take Cancer in Society. Maybe you’re looking to explore leadership opportunities in oncology, so you could take Foundations of Leadership. Or perhaps you want to stay abreast of the latest breakthroughs in cancer treatment– then Cancer Therapeutics is for you.

If you’re interested in clinical trials, two subjects that would be relevant would be ‘Cancer Research’ and ‘Drug Discovery and Development,’ which both contain detailed knowledge about the establishment and running of clinical trials.

One of the beauties of this program is that there are multiple shorter study routes you can take should you wish. Let’s say you can only commit to 6 months part-time, then you could do 2 subjects which qualifies you for a Specialist Certificate in Cancer Sciences. Similarly, if you did 4 subjects (12-months) you can exit with a Graduate Certificate. And in the future, should you wish, you could return and finish another 4 subjects to qualify for the Master’s degree.