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I finished my first year of the PGCert in Global Health

Why did I start this course?

Not many people know this, but while I was studying Physics at university I was lined up to become a clinical scientist once I graduated. I liked applying my physics knowledge to the health sector and liked having a real impact the daily lives of people. Some of my best summers were spent analysing medical scans in the radiology lab and watching brain surgeries in theatres... Something about health drew me in and KCL was the perfect place to be to delve into this world!

In my penultimate summer of university, I decided to explore another sector and got accepted into IBM’s Extreme Blue Internship. It was during this summer that I fell in love with the world of technology, and so decided to return to IBM Hursley as a graduate in 2015. My enthusiasm to work in the health industry was still ablaze and I wanted to make sure that I was actively driving my career in that direction.

I found this amazing distance-learning course offered at the University of Manchester - PGCert in Global Health. It was perfect! I could study in my spare time to gain Masters level modules and work towards a second Masters! Of course there’s enough time in the week to work full-time and study AND have friends… Right?!

How did I study while working?

Juggling a masters course alongside my job as a software engineer wasn’t as easy as I’d envisioned. I tried to keep to these rules to make my learning and time management as efficient as possible.

  • Always carry around reading material - you never know when you might have 20 minutes spare to read that paper!
  • Use different mediums to learn - read papers, watch videos on youtube and listen to debates online
  • Talk through the amazing topics you’ve learnt with friends - I found it sparks interesting discussion and it grounded my learning

What did I learn and what’s next?

The one year course has taught me so much about the Global Health landscape and what it takes to create change in the world.

  • Methods to reduce maternal mortality rates in developing countries
  • The Millennium Development Goals and learning how countries are doing to improve the education, health and social well-being levels
  • The relevance of Human Rights to the prison population
  • The different types and advantages of clinical trials
It was also really interesting to find out that most healthcare service challenges do not have clear black and white solutions. This was a struggle to get over at first, since in the world of Maths and Physics, problems tend to have one, definitive answer. In summary, I found it very rewarding to study in my spare time around my day job, and hope to continue this course to the PG Diploma in the next few years.