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The Royal Marsden School

Principles in Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy



Delivery method


Length of module

Module runs over 13 weeks: 5 half day live tutorials - please request these off in order to attend; 5 half days of online content. Group work activities to promote: interactivity, peer learning, collaboration, networking.

Academic credits and level

15 credits at level 6 or 7

Course summary

The module will examine current research into the effectiveness of treatment and care of patients undergoing SACT including the pathophysiology of various approaches.  It will explore the legal, ethical, quality and safety issues inherent in their use.  Students will develop the skills to identify and manage the common side effects of different systemic anti-cancer therapies and the impact of treatment on patient’s physical, psychological and psychosocial wellbeing.

All theory will be linked to the outcomes from the UKONS SACT competency passport.

This module is in association with:


Key topics

  • The biological principles and classifications of different agents
  • The safe and effective quality  care of patients receiving systemic anti-cancer therapies
  • Clinical trials and innovative therapies
  • Assessing and managing toxicity and side effects safely
  • Exploring patient experience and outcomes

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module at Level 6 you should be able to demonstrate achievement of the following learning outcomes:

  • Critically discuss the mode of action of the major groups of SACT agents – cytotoxic, biological therapies and hormone therapy
  • Critically evaluate the physiological impact of systemic anti-cancer therapies including chemotherapeutic agents on individuals
  • Critically explore the knowledge and skills required to safely assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care of patients throughout the SACT pathway
  • Critically analyse strategies to prevent, reduce and manage SACT- related toxicities in collaboration with the patient, carers and the multi-professional team
  • Critically explore how healthcare practitioners can impact on SACT patient outcomes

On successful completion of the module at Level 7 you should be able to demonstrate achievement of the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate a critical, in-depth understanding of the biological principles of systemic anticancer therapies (SACT) including cytotoxic, hormone and biological therapies and their implications for practice
  • Critically appraise the physical and psycho-social impact of SACT on the patient and their carers
  • Critically analyse the clinical judgment and decision-making skills required to safely assess, plan, deliver and evaluate comprehensive patient care throughout the SACT pathway
  • Critically evaluate and synthesise evidence to inform supportive and management strategies to improve SACT service delivery, patient care, and outcome
  •  Critically explore the impact of professional roles on SACT service development and patient outcomes within the context of   healthcare quality indicators 


Dates will be added for new applications as they become available. Please check back regularly for updates.

Entry requirements

  • Registered health care professionals experienced in the administration of intravenous drugs
  • Currently working in a clinical area which treats patients receiving systemic anti-cancer therapy, and should be supervised by practitioners experienced in the administration of such agents


  • Level 6: 2,000 word essay
  • Level 7: 3,000 word essay

Student support

Tutorials with the module leader or personal tutor are available if students require additional help with the planning and writing of their assignments. Email and telephone support are also available from the module leader/personal tutor. 

The Royal Marsden School uses an online environment called Moodle which students must access during their studies to support and enhance our courses. The site provides resources and communication tools. All students will be provided with a username and password to access module specific sections as well as general learning support such as study skills and library resources. Students also have access to the David Adams Library and Electronic Resource Centre. 

To get the best from the live video-conferencing sessions and enable you to participate fully you should have access to a computer or laptop with a camera and microphone. If you have any concerns or need help, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Related pathways

This course is currently unavailable.