Graduate Certificate in Cancer Sciences

Course GC-CANCRSC (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 6 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Prof Geoff McColl and Prof Jim Bishop


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Currently enrolled and future students:

Course Overview:

The philosophy of the Graduate Certificate in Cancer Sciences is to provide a contemporary, evidence-based program to health professionals to improve the outcomes and quality of lives of patients with cancer. The program is aimed at health professionals, including medical, nursing, and allied health professionals, who care for patients with cancer or who are involved in cancer oriented research and teaching. The program proposes four core subjects in cancer biology, cancer research, cancer care and cancer in society. The program will be delivered in face to face intensives, as well as on-line, including webinars. Assessment will be oriented towards outcomes that demonstrate understanding of evidence-based cancer care, research and education.

Learning Outcomes:

The overarching objective of the course is to improve cancer outcomes by the provision of professionals skilled in evidence-based practice of cancer care, research, prevention and education.

The cancer field is dependent on multidisciplinary approaches to cancer care, research, prevention and education. This course will build upon prior bioscience knowledge and experience in the healthcare sector to provide a foundation in cancer biology, cancer care strategies, breadth of cancer research and associated methodologies. Students will also examine the societal impact of the disease in the context of cancer prevention and care. Foundational studies will form the platform from which flexible opportunities are offered to further specialize in additional cancer related disciplines.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Graduate Certificate in Cancer Sciences consists of 4 compulsory core subjects

  • Cancer Biology (12.5 points)
  • Cancer Care (12.5 points)
  • Cancer Research, (12.5 points)
  • Cancer in Society (12.5 points)
Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 1
Semester 1
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:
• an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline; and
• two years of documented relevant professional experience in a health context (Including research, pharmaceutics, biotechnology or clinical care).

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance; and
• the professional experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Academic Board rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes:
  • Academically excellent:
    • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
    • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
    • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
    • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
    • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies
  • Knowledgeable across disciplines:
    • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
    • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
    • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
    • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment
  • Leaders in communities:
    • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
    • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
    • mentor future generations of learners
    • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs
  • Attuned to cultural diversity:
    • value different cultures
    • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
    • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
    • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values
  • Active global citizens:
    • accept social and civic responsibilities
    • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
    • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics
Professional Accreditation:


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