I’m a medical doctor from Nigeria. I’ve worked with the primary health care board in my state for three years now so I got study leave to come study public health here in Aberdeen. I did my undergraduate here I did Neuroscience with Psychology which is a very core science orientated and I wanted to look at ways of how that could be applied within a healthcare setting. In India I completed my general Nursing and Midwifery and then I completed my postgraduate diploma in public health management. I was a 3rd year medical student over here at the University of Aberdeen and I decided to intercalate and I wanted to get some experience in research so I decided to the Masters of Public Health. The first two semesters entail doing four taught modules and the final semester involves doing a project. The students have a chance to take two optional courses along with two core courses in both of the semesters. There is a huge variety of courses so there are courses which pertain to health psychology, healthcare economics, there’s also some courses for the management school in leadership so there’s quite a wide variety of things that you can sort of tailor the course to your needs and your wants. Some of them delivered online as well for increased flexibility, so I did one of the online modules. We have NHS doctors that take us on some modules it’s not only the theory now we get to learn what happens practically out there in the field of public health. It’s really a good point combining a Royal Infirmary next to the University campus because the university has rich history in clinical research so it is really accessible for all the clinicians and the team with the researchers. I want to do research while I am a clinician and I feel like this course has taught me the skills that I would need to do that, that includes actually designing medical epidemiological studies and learning statistical analysis and learning how to write academic and scientific papers. There were students from a social science background so psychologists and sociologists and there are also students from a more basic science background so neuroscience and cell biology and so on and they all do bring in their various different you know areas of expertise and perspectives and so on into the course so I found that just talking to them and engaging with them also helped me learn quite a lot. For the projects, the school makes a list of project topics available but then if any students actually have a topic at the back of their mind it could come up with that. They ask supervisors to pitch projects and some of those come from NHS Grampian which means it is really nicely integrated, you still get an academic supervisor as well. It’s really nice having the two different inputs and seeing how the work integrates into the wider wider NHS. Instead of doing four modules in the second semester you can do two modules and then an extended project in the final semester and that’s actually what I’m doing because I already knew my supervisor prior to that and we had a large project in mind. Our project is about fatigue and we were essentially performing a statistical analysis of data. For a project like mine a lot of it actually depends on the skills that you’ve been taught in the modules within the course itself so because it’s very statistics based, just having access to the relavant statistical software, to advice from statisticians and also just the knowledge yourself in terms of how to do it was very important. The university enables you to download the relevant software onto your own computer so you can work from home as well if you want to. Through my supervisor, he actually collaborates with academics that work in institutions around the United Kingdom so if you’re research minded and you want to go into a research career you will find that if your supervisor’s well connected you will begin to create a network of other researchers just through the work that you do over here. I really like Aberdeen it’s a small enough town that you can, as a student, you don’t need a car, you can get to everything you need to and I can see the sea from my window – that’s absolutely lovely! I get to buy my African foods, so I don’t think I miss home so much! I do want to move towards more research and whether that’s in the form of a PhD or research within an organisation, looking at service planning and service organisation and how that fits into policy would be where I’m heading – hopefully. I hope to go back home, go back to my work with my government then I think my bigger plan would be probably be to get into to a big multinational organisation. Once the Masters is over, I’ll be going back into a fourth year of medical school so I’ll have to complete fourth year and fifth year after which I’ll be applying for the Medical Foundation Programme and there’s a certain subset of the programme called the Academic Foundation Programme which is for doctors who are research minded and I’ll be applying for that.