Gemma is a MSc Health Policy student. After completing her undergraduate studies, she was eager to complete more of her own research and further her knowledge of health policy.
What motivated you to pursue postgraduate study?
After completing my undergraduate studies, I felt that my academic career was not complete.
I had a desire to further my knowledge of health policy and research methods. After just completing my undergraduate research dissertation, I felt eager to complete more of my own research.
What were you doing before applying for a postgraduate degree?
I was completing my undergraduate studies in Health and Social Care at the University of Kent; I was also working part-time as a retail assistant.
Were there any challenges affecting your decision to study a postgraduate degree? If so, how did you overcome them?
Although I had completed my undergraduate degree throughout the pandemic, the impact of the pandemic on my education remained a factor in my decision making.
However, after further research into City's teaching approach throughout the pandemic, I felt confident that their teaching methods would suit me and allow me to feel safe.
City has taken a blended approach to teaching, which means I still have access to face to face teaching, but if I preferred I could access the same quality of teaching online.
Why did you choose City?
I chose City because of the course content. As an undergraduate, I became passionate about health policy but I felt I didn’t have the opportunity to further explore this area.
After researching the course, I believed that this programme was a crucial building block for me to start my career.
How are you funding your studies – did you secure any financial support?
I am fortunate enough to have found a consultancy firm that was willing to fund the cost of my tuition.
What does a typical week at university look like for you?
My typical week at university changes depending on how many modules I am taking; however, I have a mixture of online and in-person teaching for all of my modules.
As I live in Kent and commute to City, coming to campus allows me to explore London.
Outside of my academic life, I continue to work part-time in retail, as well as attend fitness classes and meet up with friends.
What has been your favourite module or aspect of your course so far?
My favourite module so far has been 'The Health Policy Process, Politics and Power'. I enjoyed the assignment because I had the opportunity to write my own briefing paper and the freedom to pick my topic.
This allowed me to write about a topic I was passionate about, so I chose to write a briefing paper about telemedicine abortions as an alternative response to care provisions during the Covid-19 outbreak.
I am very passionate about sexual and reproductive health, as this is my area of interest, so having the freedom to choose my essay topic allowed me to write about something that interests me.
What knowledge and skills has your course helped you develop?
The course has helped me develop my ability to work as a team through group assignments. When I was completing my undergraduate degree, all my assignments were independent study based.
So this has been a new experience, which also made the process of meeting new people on the course easier.
What opportunities and experiences has City offered you so far?
City provides students with a lot of opportunities and experiences. There are many exciting extra-curricular activities available, but I have not been able to participate in these just yet.
However, I have used the university's neurodiversity team for support with being dyslexic and academic writing. The team has been fantastic and have really helped me to unlock my potential.
What are your career plans and how has City prepared you for them?
After City, I want to pursue a career in health policy as an advisor or analyst.
City has allowed me to expand my knowledge of the field and set assignments that are useful tasks, which has enabled me to start my career with a better skillset.
What advice would you give to someone considering a postgraduate degree?
The advice I would give to someone considering a postgraduate degree is that you need to be passionate about the topic you are considering studying.
To achieve the most out of your postgraduate studies, it would be better if you felt genuinely engaged with your studies.