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My Public Health Master’s – Intro


A while ago I did a poll asking what you guys would like me to post more about and a lot of you said my master’s degree. Someone sent me a DM yesterday on Instagram asking about this too and reminded me I’d failed to share more about this.

Today I thought I’d write a little about why and where I study.

In the future I thought I could do posts on the modules I’ve studied (core and optional) , what I’m doing this year & how you can use an MPH. It would be great to hear if you’d like me to share this info in short Instagram posts, full blogs or on stories, or a combination! Let me know in the comments below ⬇️, on the Instagram post for this blog or slide into my DMs on Instagram.

🔹Firstly, I like the bigger picture thinking that public health offers & it’s always been an area I’ve been interested in. We had a few student selected modules in our final year of medical school and I did both of these in public health, writing about how we can use our national parks as a health resource.

🔹Satisfy my inner nerd 🤓. I’ve always been into the academic side of things and spending some time studying more things makes me happy, nerd alert!!

🔹Work life balance was another key factor in my decision. I wasn’t happy full time in hospitals as it’s just not me or an environment I thrive in. I went less than full time to enable me to give the time I needed to study. As I wasn’t pregnant and don’t have children to look after, and not sick (the reasons you can go part time in the NHS) it took a lot of paperwork and meetings, but I made it happen.

🔹I’m currently in GP (which is great as a GP trainee!) and it’s really structured. I work Mon-Wed in the practice and Thurs+Fri are my days I work on my masters, with some more time on it in the weekend often. I have some out of hours work but I arrange this myself so can choose times which fit in well. In hospitals it was a little more challenging with rotas, working 7 days in a row some weeks despite being part time which made juggling everything a little harder!

🔹I study at the University of Edinburgh. I chose here for several reasons, one key factor was they have a well established online platform as do quite a few online courses. It is also fully distance learning which suits me, some courses I looked at you had to go to the uni once a week, which just wouldn’t fit in with part time NHS work where could be on nights or on call. I can go up for graduation which might be a great excuse of a weekend away! I also got a placd to study medicine in Edinburgh and liked the city, even though not actually studying there it was nice to feel I’ll get a degree from them!

🔹Financially, it’s going to cost me just shy of £15 000 in tuition fees for the 3 years part time, distance learning masters degree 🙈
It’s a big financial commitment and I considered this aspect a lot, working out if I could pay the mortgage working part time and with this financial burden . Unfortunately as it’s ‘non essential’ I can’t even get tax relief for it 😕. To me, it’s tipped the scales to worth it for what I’m learning, how I can apply these skills in the future and for my overall happiness which is so much higher than when full time working in the hospital.

Overall I’m really enjoying the course and have learnt so much. I’ll leave it here for today but will definitely post more about this soon.

If you are interested in Public Health and want to know more about the day to day of as a Doctor in Public Health speciality training, check out Dr Ciara Kelly,  The Irish Balance, she is also on social media as @theirishbalance 👍.

Emma x
p.s. The picture is of me graduating from my BM BCh – so a few years ago now!

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