Time has flown by, and semester 1 is already complete! I thought that now would be the perfect time for an overview of the modules we’ve had and the knowledge we have acquired so far.
Each year, the class gives feedback on each module by listing what went well and suggesting some improvements for the class next year. This allows lecturers to adapt the course in a way that they feel will improve it for next year’s cohort.
This module took us on a crash course of everything global health. From what I understood, this year the course was completely reinvented and therefore slightly different from previous years. I personally found this course really interesting. It was very good to cover the basics that anyone working in the field of global health should know!
It was also nice that we were able to have some lectures on campus, as it allowed us to meet our classmates and get to know each other, as well as giving us the opportunity to see the campus too.
The exam was a take-home exam, which meant that we had a few days to write answers to the questions and submit them. I like the idea of a take-home exam as it allows you more time to think about your answers and write them in the most coherent way, and it reduces the stress of having to sit in an exam hall.
From my experience, I would say most of our class has found this module to be the most challenging one so far. This module comprised of three sections – biostatistics, qualitative research, and epidemiology. I definitely felt like some prior exposure to these topics would have made this module a lot easier.
Although the course lead tried to make it as interesting as he could, I will always find this to be quite a dry topic; maths has never been my strong point!
The course ended with an exam. It was a difficult paper and many people didn’t pass the first time. We all got there in the end though!
Health Policy, Management and Economics
We had this entire module on zoom due to COVID-19. I think this made it more challenging for the course leader, and it didn’t feel as interactive or like our views were necessarily being heard during the lectures.
The lectures were nonetheless interesting, with us covering what I felt were the main key policy topics, including the key healthcare system models.
This module finished with a take-home exam. It felt like a long piece of coursework but it was made very clear what the assessment criteria were, which was incredibly useful and not covered in some other modules.
Infectious Diseases – a Challenge to Global Health
This was our last module before the Christmas break. I enjoyed this module, but I think I found it a little bit easier than some people due to being from a more medical background. The lectures were interesting and varied, although I did feel that sometimes the lectures were more medical and less global health-based at times. Some of my peers definitely struggled more due to a lack of prior medical knowledge.
This semester finished with the exam. I found the exam a bit too wordy as it was written a bit like a story, and it was sometimes difficult to pick out the question, but it did make the exam feel a bit more fun!
At the beginning of semester 1, the degree project seems so far away, but by December you have to have submitted your project proposal. From the beginning of the course, I would suggest trying to look for a project.
There are two main ways to find a project. Firstly, you can approach supervisors directly. This can be helpful in finding a project earlier and with a supervisor who works in an area you’re interested in. The second option is to wait until a list of available projects is published. This can be beneficial if you are unsure what you’d like your research to be about.
Don’t worry about not finding a project though, everyone has one by mid-December and manages to submit a project proposal in time!
Overall, I felt that semester 1 was very interesting and that the courses were designed with the students in mind. However, it always felt like there wasn’t enough time for each course and sometimes it felt a bit rushed, but I think that’s what you get for doing a 1-year master’s!
I have really enjoyed semester 1 and am really looking forward to getting stuck into semester 2.
Hey! I’m Katie, a blogger for the master's programme in global health. I’m from England, and I’ve currently studied half of my medical degree in the UK, and after this year I will return to the UK to complete my degree and qualify as a doctor. If you have any questions about the programme feel free to contact me!