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Shaileen Atwal

Shaileen Atwal completed her Master's in Public Health (MPH) at Warwick. We caught up with her to find out what she thought of the course and her advice for applicants.

Why did you decide to study Public Health?

Coming from a clinical background, I wanted to progress my career to influence greater change in global health. I was motivated to pursue the Public Health programme at Warwick as I wanted exposure to a rigorous and thorough training programme that equipped me with the skills to pursue a career in addressing population health and inequalities. Additionally, Warwick is a very attractive place to study as it is ranked 12th best in the world for its MPH course and offers a stimulating learning environment in a green and eco-friendly campus.

How have you been finding the course? What aspects of the course have you found challenging?

Considering the pandemic, the course was predominately delivered virtually. While virtual teaching allowed continuity of study during the lockdowns, there were issues around technical connectivity which sometimes reduced my participation in discussions. However, the teaching staff were approachable and supportive through emails and calls and ensured that all lectures and group discussions were available online.

The most challenging learning for me was the “notorious” Statistics module. I found this module difficult because the concepts and mathematical calculations were new to me, however my professors were very helpful in providing extra sessions to support my learning needs.

What has been your favourite part of the course?

The most enjoyable module for me was Global Health. This module entailed collaborating with Humanitarian Engineering students to create innovative solutions to some of the most burdening global health problems. I found this particularly beneficial as it allowed me to develop my collaborative working skills, especially as I was working with people from non-health backgrounds, and to appreciate their role in health improvement.

Additionally, I completed the Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching & Learning (IFSTAL) course delivered by the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. IFSTAL is a pioneering learning environment that promotes a systems-thinking approach to food security problems and is only available to students attending the University of Warwick, University of Oxford, SOAS and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The course allowed me to network with other students and gain project management experience as I led on creating a live campaign strategy for SUSTAIN.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Public Health at Warwick?

The MPH at Warwick is a great opportunity to learn, innovate and deliver in various aspects of public health. I would recommend to anyone pursuing the course, to remain organised as the course if very full-on, take opportunities beyond the MPH such as IFSTAL, and build networks with professors and external lecturers for careers advice/opportunities.