Cancer Biology

Subject MEDI90084 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours (4 intensive days scheduled across the semester)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours per 12.5 point subject


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in the Graduate Certificate in Cancer Sciences (GC-CANCRSC) . This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives 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 course are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Student Equity and Disability Support Team:


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Currently enrolled and future students:

Subject Overview:

The subject will address the key molecular, genetic and cellular characteristics of cancer. Students will gain an appreciation for the various approaches that have been used to understand the biological processes that underpin cancer and be informed of the current biological paradigms and challenges in cancer research and care.

Learning Outcomes:

This subject aims to immerse students in the research literature that has constructed the current biological paradigms in cancer biology. Students will understand the complexity in pathways and drivers that result in dys-regulated biological processes and disease. Research literature will support critical examination of the interplay between these biological processes, past and current treatments and the evolution of cancer in an individual.

At the completion of the subject, students should possess:

  • Advanced theoretical knowledge of the concepts behind complex biological processes in cancer.
  • Describe the complexity of carcinogenesis
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the “hallmarks of cancer” and the complex genetic and cellular processes that underpin these characteristics.
  • Critically evaluate research publications and transform their relevance in the broader context/ field of cancer.
  • Critically analyse different experimental systems and methodological approaches that underpin the current understanding of cancer biology and genetics.
  • Integrate knowledge from individuals’ professional experience into the current understanding of cancer biology
  • Demonstrate well developed judgement in evaluating the evidence base for the current paradigms in cancer
  • Critically analyse the biological basis of rational therapeutics and demonstrate an understanding of the practical challenges these processes place on future therapeutic approaches
  1. Oral Presentation (group format, 30 minutes, 1000 word equivalent) - 15%
  2. Cancer Biology Assignment (1500 words) - 25%
  3. Critical Opinion Assignment (1000 words) - 20%
  4. Short answer assessment (2 hours, 2000 word equivalent) - 40%
Prescribed Texts:

Selected readings and resources will be made available to students via the leaning management system used for the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Cancer Sciences

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