MSc Dental Public Health Class of 2017
Senior Research Assistant
Public Health Foundation India
I completed my MSc in Dental Public Health from UCL in September 2017. I had learnt about the programme through their website a few years back and the content intrigued me. This was the beginning of what can only be termed as an eye-opening experience. I remember starting my application procedure as clearly as it was just yesterday. I had never been to London before and I had no idea how things worked in a “foreign university”. But, all it took was one confused e-mail to the group and the next thing I knew, a staff member from the UCL Dental Public Health team was on a call with me, ready to guide me through the procedure. We were welcomed into their world with arms wide open.
The course in itself was very comprehensive. It was structured into four terms, with the last three months of the course dedicated solely to finishing our research project. It goes without saying that the highlight of the course was its teaching staff. Their experience in the field of dental public health unveiled a different side of dentistry to me. Their passion for the field was infectious. Every member of the team has an exceptional professional background and their insight into health scenario across the world made their teaching very universal. In spite of me and my classmates being from varying backgrounds, each one of us was encouraged to pursue our own areas of interest and to forge our own path. The structure of the course was such that at the end of just one year, I knew I had learnt the skills to venture into an academic career.
Appropriate guidance was provided to us in the form of dissertation supervisors who directed us in just the right amount to complete our dissertation. A personal tutor was also allotted, and they were always around the corner if we ever needed help – whether academically or personally. For someone who had just moved to a new city, let alone a new continent, this was oddly reassuring. The course covered a variety of topics, some of which were delivered by guest lecturers with different affiliations. I remember how all of us looked forward to meeting new researchers from across the world to teach us. Each teacher brought to us a unique learning experience and it was satisfying to see that while we were studying this course in the United Kingdom, we were always stimulated to extrapolate the learnings to the context of our own country. Moreover, learning in a multinational environment was always an added bonus because it gave us the opportunity to understand the successes and challenges in strengthening public health systems in different and contrasting environments.
UCL provided a supportive environment to achieve our degree. The wide range of academic and social activities on campus provided us with opportunities to network with like-minded people. I met people from all across the world and everyone had their own story to tell. My education at UCL was not just restricted to the classroom, it went well beyond. Most importantly, I made friends for life. Every single learning, whether through classroom activities or otherwise, still guides me in my professional and in my personal life and I know, it will continue to do so in the future.