I have one year left of my Biology degree in the UK, and I want to do a masters. I love biology and I enjoy learning, specifically in cellular and cancer biology. However, I do not enjoy labs, I find it very mundane and boring, and also not rewarding. Most of the research I have done shows that all masters courses are project-based, and thus require labs. I do not want to a bioinformatics masters. I was wondering if anyone had any information or experience that could help, or could point me in the right direction?

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    what about synthetic biology? or computational biology?
    – user94263
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 13:23
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    @StellaBiderman the OP specifically said that they do not enjoy labs - biology is more than just labs...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 14:02
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    Don't forget that undergrad labs aren't really experiments: they're teaching you how to conduct practical experiments, but the outcome is known. Project work is interesting not for the lab parts, but because of what you're doing.
    – awjlogan
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 15:18
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    If you don’t like the work part, only the random reading part why don’t you just read? Do you need a Master if you don’t intend to work in the given field?
    – Greg
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


You want to do cancer/cell biology but you dont want to do lab work or simulation work (bioinformatics). You have really hemmed yourself in.

What it sounds like may be of interest to you is the field of science communication. There is a real need for individuals who have training/knowledge in a field and are strong communicators to the general public.

For example, I feel very comfortable communicating to an academic audience but I have found that I struggle to communicate to the lay audience. I had an instance recently where I assumed my audience knew a piece of what I thought was trivial information. This was a very poor assumption on my part and made the communication of my research impossible as I had used that "trivial information" for my analogy explaining my research.

I listened to a talk from one of the editors of Nature talking about science communication this past semester and how critical it was (and how it was an underdeveloped skill in academia). There really do need to be more people who understand the science and can communicate it to the lay person.

  • Thank you for your comment. Science communication does sound interesting! Do you know of any examples of masters or courses that would study/train in this? Or would it just be from job experience in the sector of science communication
    – R.Gower
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 13:47
  • For e.g.: imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/science-communication/…
    – awjlogan
    Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 19:36

You didn't say why you want to do a masters. Presumably it is because you enjoy learning. If you successfully finish a bachelors degree, you should be able to keep learning on your own, without enrolling in a masters degree.

I discourage thinking of a masters or PhD as a way to continue what you enjoyed about your undergraduate studies. If your undergraduate studies were successful, you should not need to continue them in a formal way. A further degree should serve a different purpose. That might be qualification for a particular career, or developing skills in a different area. For example, a PhD teaches research skills for a narrow subject, not broad subject-matter.


I'm not a biologist, so can't offer specific guidance, but perhaps you should first explore the feasibility of your desires. It may be possible or not. But the way to learn that is to talk to actual MS level biology faculty from a variety of institutions and ask them whether what you want is even possible.

But, be prepared for a laugh or two, since your wish is unconventional, I think. Don't let the chuckles put you off, however, they will usually be just because your idea is unexpected, not bad.

But faculty will tell you both whether it is feasible at their own institution and perhaps be able to point you to someone with a theoretical program not dependent on lab science.

One of the great places to do this is at a convention at which educators and researchers are likely to have a major presence. Some of these are annual and national, and some are regional. Best if you are presenting something, even a poster session, but a good place to see the alternatives in any case.

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