Online course in Health & Psychology

Cancer in the 21st Century: the Genomic Revolution

Discover how genetics is revolutionising the detection and treatment of cancer, with this free online course.

  • Duration 6 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $84 Find out more

Why join the course?

Cancer Research UK estimates that 1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. It is a disease that impacts on most people’s lives at some stage. So understanding cancer, and the development of new treatments, is of intrinsic interest to us all.

This free online course is open to anyone, although it is designed for individuals with a prior interest in biology, including current undergraduate students, and nurses or medics who want to further their knowledge in this area.

Over six weeks, we will examine three key questions about cancer diagnosis and treatment:

  • Where have we come from?
  • Where are we now?
  • And where are we going?

The course will offer insights into patients’ experiences and enable discussions on key issues. Guest lecturers will include active researchers and those involved in direct patient care.

You will also get the chance to undertake your own internet-based investigation into one of the most exciting areas of cancer research.

You can read more about this course in Dr Leah Marks’ post for the FutureLearn blog: “New horizons: cancer and the genomic revolution.”

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What topics will you cover?

This course examined three key questions about cancer diagnosis and treatment: Where have we come from? Where are we now? And where are we going? It looked at the biological basis of cancer, influences on causation, how it is detected and treated, and the development of new treatment strategies.

Learners gained insights into patients’ experiences, discussed key issues relating to this topic and also had the chance to undertake their own internet-based investigation into one of the developing areas of Epigenetics.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic cell biology as it relates to the development of cancer
  • Discuss factors contributing to the development of cancer including environmental and genetic aspects
  • Identify current approaches used to identify and treat cancer
  • Reflect on strategies which may be used in future cancer therapies and the implications for society

Who is the course for?

A background in biology may be helpful, but isn’t absolutely necessary as the course will build your knowledge week-on-week.

Students who are interested in applying for the Cancer Sciences or Medical Genetics MSc programmes at the University of Glasgow are also encouraged to enrol on this course.

FutureLearners who have completed the University of Bath’s “Inside Cancer: How Genes Influence Cancer Development” course will find that this course builds upon their previous knowledge.

Who will you learn with?

Leah  Marks

Leah Marks

BSc (Hon) Medical Biochemistry (2000)
PhD Developmental Medicine (2004)
Senior Lecturer in Medical Genetics (2005- current)

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Sarah Meek

Sarah Meek

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry (1997)
PhD Biochemistry (2001)
Postdoctoral Research Associate (2001-2009)
Lecturer, School of Medicine (2009-)

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Who developed the course?

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

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Available until 31 October 2019. T&Cs apply.