Alex Diamond website profile photo

Programme: MSc Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology

Year of study: 2019-2020

Undergraduate education: BSc Biology, University of Birmingham

Current role: Clinical Research Associate

Alex Diamond

What made you decide to study the MSc Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology programme at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London?

I decided to study this course at Queen Mary for several reasons. Firstly, the campus was in a very accessible location making it easy to commute to, several times a week. Secondly, the diversity of modules on offer was enticing as I knew the course would give me a broad understanding of cancer biology and not focus on one topic. Thirdly, the structure of the course made me want to study at Queen Mary because I knew that I would get plenty of time to complete coursework and write up revision notes. Lastly, I decided to undertake this course because I knew Queen Mary was a highly reputable university and obtaining an MSc would help significantly with future job prospects.

What aspects did you enjoy most about the programme?

One thing that I really enjoyed about the course were the lectures. They were well structured and easy to follow, with the lecturers really keen to answer any questions along the way. Additionally, I really enjoyed the practical sessions. These sessions were my first proper hands-on experience in a laboratory and helped me to develop an understanding of different experimental techniques and why they are used.

How do you think your MSc will help you with your current role / future career path?

Currently I am working as a Clinical Research Associate for a contract research organisation where I help to coordinate clinical trials for small- and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies across a large range of disease types, including oncology, endocrinology and opthalmology. I was able to build strong professional relationships with many of the lecturers and researchers during my MSc, and it has given me a broad range of skills that will help me if I want to pursue a long-term career in research, or if I want to try to enter other fields, like research communications.

Do you have any advice for prospective students who are considering this course?

My advice for any prospective students who are considering the course is to be proactive. Read some of the papers that the different research groups at the BCI have produced, email your course staff if you have any questions and be prepared to really invest yourself into the course. All of this will help you to get the most out of the course and will set you up for your next step.