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Rachael Davis

Public Health

The course was available part-time and I could undertake two modules one day a week which worked well around my job.

Please tell us about your background prior to starting the course?

I was, and still am, working in Local Government Public Health. My background is in health improvement and public health. My work encouraged me to study for a Master’s in Public Health and supported me to study part-time whilst working.

What were your main motivations to apply for this course?

The role I was working in required a master’s degree and I had got the job based on my experience so I was keen to study for the appropriate qualification. Gaining a master’s would also allow me to move on to more senior roles and progress my career in public health.

What were, if any, the main challenges that affected your decision about postgraduate study? How did you overcome them?

My employer was supportive of me undertaking the course and would allow me study leave to attend lectures. I would continue to work full-time so knew the course would require a lot of my own spare time to undertake further study and assignments. This was a very big consideration as I knew this would be challenging and I would need to be very committed and disciplined to undertake study whilst working full-time. I also needed to consider the impact of taking study leave on my workload. My family and colleagues were very supportive so I felt I could commit to the course. I also spoke to the course leader and a student who was on the course studying part-time and working full-time to understand how much time would be required. I wanted to know if I would have any time in the evenings and weekends for myself or if I would be needing to study all the time! I decided that the opportunity to undertake the course and gain a postgraduate degree would have so many benefits so was worth the sacrifice!

Why did you choose to study at City, University of London?

I needed a course that was going to fit around my job. The course was available part-time and I could undertake two modules one day a week which worked well around my job. I lived on the outskirts of London so City was convenient to get to.

I was also attracted to the range of modules on offer that covered a wide variety of public health areas.

I also liked the variety of assessment methods. As someone who doesn’t really like exams, I liked the mix of assignments and examinations.

How has studying this course helped you to develop personally and professionally?

Personally, I have a huge sense of achievement that I have completed the master’s whilst working full-time. And achieving a distinction! When I started, I just wanted to pass! It was also a big challenge going back to studying after a break of over 10 years.

Professionally, although I already work in the field, I have developed and acquired essential skills for working in public health which has really benefited my job role.

What additional opportunities and experiences has City offered you during your course?

There were opportunities on offer but I didn’t take on any additional experiences or opportunities. I think this was because I was a part-time student working full-time and didn’t have much time available to take on new opportunities.

I undertook primary research for my dissertation which is an opportunity and experience I don’t think I would have undertaken if it wasn’t for the course.

What are your career plans after completing the course?

I would like to progress into more senior roles in public health and explore new opportunities in public health and health improvement. Public health is a very broad area and I feel completing the course will provide me with more opportunities in the future.

What advice would you give to people thinking about studying this course at City?

The course offers a variety of modules that will assist you in understanding how broad and wide public health is and will provide practical skills required for working in public health.

Take the opportunity to network with colleagues on the course and other School of Health Sciences courses who come from a wide range of health backgrounds.