• Offered by John Curtin School of Medical Research
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Medical Science, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biomedical Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Leonie Quinn
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

What is cancer, and why is it a major cause of death in Australia? This course covers the Hallmarks of Cancer as described by Hanahan and Weinberg in their seminal papers of 2000 and 2011. The Hallmarks of Cancer course provides the journey of discovery required to appreciate how normal cell biology and molecular genetics are derailed to drive cancer. Principles of cancer initiation, progression and treatment will be illustrated through cutting edge research and clinically-led teaching. The course will explore the genetic, epigenetic, molecular, cell biology, cell signalling and immunological basis of cancer biology that have led to improved patient outcomes. The practicals and tutorials will cover research technologies currently used for diagnosing and treating cancer patients.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Explain the molecular and cellular basis of cancer initiation and progression.
  2. Illustrate how molecular and cellular discoveries have improved cancer treatment using specific examples.
  3. Apply knowledge to critically assess experimental and clinical approaches.
  4. Critically analyse experimental data towards diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
  5. Critically appraise published cancer research literature.

Other Information

Please email rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Lab Report Practicals (special focus on LO 4) (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Essay (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Final exam (35) [LO 1,2,3]
  4. Annotated Bibliography (15) [LO 5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 2-3 lecture per week (36 hours per semester) and up to 18 hours of laboratory and computer sessions per semester.
  • Approximately 76 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

This course is incompatible with BIOL3108

Prescribed Texts

The Biology of Cancer, (2nd Edition, 2014). Robert Weinberg.

Assumed Knowledge

Students are expected to have knowledge equivalent to BIOL6161 and either BIOL6174 or BIOL6117 or BIOL6171.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6840
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6027 24 Jul 2023 31 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 27 Oct 2023 In Person View

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