Course Structure

Course structure

To gain the Graduate Certificate in Cancer Sciences you must complete 50 points comprising of:

  • One 12.5-point core subject, and
  • Three 12.5-point elective subjects.

Alternative exit pathway is available through the Specialist Certificate in Cancer Sciences.

Core Subject
Foundations of Cancer 12.5

Foundations of Cancer

Take an in depth look into the biological processes that lead to cancer formation and propagation at a molecular, cellular and organ level. Students will learn about the most recent advances in cancer science as well as the seminal studies that have constructed the current biological paradigms in oncology.  The subject will conclude with an exploration of how these biological processes can be targeted in cancer treatment, giving students a strong all-round foundation in the cancer sciences.

Detailed Information MEDI90084
Type Core
Elective Subjects
Cancer in Society 12.5

Cancer in Society

Build a holistic understanding of the cancer burden in modern society by exploring the social, political and financial considerations of cancer care. In this subject, students will learn about the attitudes, behaviours and risk factors that influence cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality. Students will also examine the influence of the commercial sector, law and public policy and how these factors are reflected in international cancer epidemiology.

Detailed Information MEDI90087
Type Elective
Cancer Therapeutics 12.5

Cancer Therapeutics

This subject presents a detailed review of current cancer treatment modalities, including their benefits and limitations. It will explore the recent biological and technological advances that have re-defined cancer care in the 21st century and look forwards at novel and experimental therapies that are emerging. Case studies will be used to integrate this information to understand and evaluate the modern era of integrated cancer care and the role of multi-disciplinary team-based patient management.

Detailed Information MEDI90094
Type Elective
Cancer Diagnostics 12.5

Cancer Diagnostics

There is now a vast array of diagnostic tools and techniques available to clinicians to aid in cancer diagnosis. In this subject, students will learn the indications, mechanisms and utility of each of these diagnostic tools. Students will also learn about the best practice diagnostic pathways that exist to facilitate accurate, efficient and cost-effective cancer diagnostics.

Detailed Information MEDI90093
Type Elective
Supportive Care and Palliative Care 12.5

Supportive Care and Palliative Care

This subject provides an evidenced-based, best practice approach to both palliative care and survivorship care. It will address the physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of diagnosis, treatment and the supportive care services that address those. Students will also develop a detailed understanding of palliative care, its goals, techniques and limitations. In doing so, students will also explore the role of the multidisciplinary teams in various health care delivery models and how that influences patient centred care.

Detailed Information MEDI90085
Type Elective
Cancer Prevention and Control 12.5

Cancer Prevention and Control

The Cancer Prevention subject focuses on the concepts, methods and applications underpinning cancer prevention at a population level. It explores the concepts of primary, secondary (screening and early intervention) and tertiary prevention strategies to improve cancer outcomes. Case based discussion will demonstrate the epidemiological and applied behavioural research involved in reducing the risk of incidence of cancer and recurrence.

Detailed Information MEDI90095
Type Elective
Drug Discovery and Development 12.5

Drug Discovery and Development

Gain a detailed understanding of all aspects of the drug development pipeline, beginning from the basic science research that triggers investigation of a new therapeutic strategy, through pre-clinical and clinical testing and final introduction to the general market. This subject also covers practical issues such as funding considerations and the regulatory frameworks that exist to ensure patient safety and eventual medication approval.  The design and methodology utilised in international drug discovery initiatives will be utilised to illustrate previously successful approaches.

Detailed Information MEDI90097
Type Elective
Cancer Across the Lifespan 12.5

Cancer Across the Lifespan

To address the complex needs of different age group cohorts, there is a need to look at the patient holistically to manage their complex medical conditions. In this subject, students will learn the specific factors associated with the care and treatment of children, adolescents, young, middle aged and older adults and geriatrics with cancer; from the time of diagnosis to the time of death.

Detailed Information MEDI90096
Type Elective
End of Life Issues 12.5

End of Life Issues

Examine end of life issues in a variety of contexts, such as private homes, hospitals, hospices and residential care facilities, and consider their implications for individuals; families and friends; clinicians and health professionals; carers; and policy makers. Examples of policy, practice and legislation from a range of countries will highlight common features and diverse approaches to end of life issues.

Detailed Information POPH90259
Type Elective
Foundations of Leadership 12.5

Foundations of Leadership

Learn and apply core knowledge, skills and tools needed to be effective organisational leaders. This subject investigates what leadership is, why it is important and analyses the factors that impact upon workplace leadership and the impacts leadership has in an organisational context. This subject begins by focusing on leadership of self, and the role of leadership in contemporary organisations. You will undertake diagnostic assessment and reflective exercises to gain insights into their leadership values, strengths and weaknesses and use these to create a personal leadership development plan.

Detailed Information MGMT90232
Type Elective
Quantitative Methods for Evaluation 12.5

Quantitative Methods for Evaluation

This subject provides students with an introduction to the collection, analysis and reporting of quantitative data in research and evaluation studies. Topics will include: Philosophy of quantitative methodology; types of data; samples and populations; descriptive and inferential statistics; exploratory and confirmatory data analysis; survey design and questionnaire construction; and displaying data using SPSS.

Detailed Information MAST90078
Type Elective
Psychosocial Oncology 12.5

Psychosocial Oncology

Professionals working in multidisciplinary cancer care teams are in a unique position to respond to the needs of people who have been diagnosed with cancer and their carers. This subject aims to strengthen their capacity to respond effectively and appropriately from a psychosocial service perspective, by exploring the theoretical paradigms, and political, economic and social determinants of psychosocial practice in the field of oncology.

Detailed Information HLTH90003
Type Elective
Health Behaviour Change 12.5

Health Behaviour Change

This subject introduces the key theoretical models underpinning health behaviour change interventions. Students will develop an understanding of the integration of these theories into commonly used health behaviour change interventions at both a population level and within defined contexts.

Detailed Information HLTH90001
Type Elective
Leadership in Practice 12.5

Leadership in Practice

Learn advanced, practical knowledge and skills to exercise and foster leadership within more complex organisational environments and systems. Drawing on theories and empirical evidence, students will devise a plan to overcome a complex personal leadership conundrum. Students will also undertake more complex collaborative leadership challenges, to develop critical analysis and strategic thinking, decision-making, coaching and supporting skills.

Detailed Information MGMT90233
Type Elective


The estimated hours required for each subject is between 15-19 hours per week, but this varies for each student and depends on your task management and planning, familiarity with the material, reading style and speed.

Next: Entry requirements

Discuss your subjects

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