"If you are finding a module difficult, or have personal issues, the programme team and wider support networks are incredibly willing to go out of their way to try and help you"
What were you doing before you became a student at UCL?
I did Sciences and Maths at A-Levels, with the aim of going into neuroscience. I spent one term at Sussex, realised it wasn’t for me and swapped to Population Health at UCL.
Your time at UCL
What attracted you to study Population Health at UCL?
I was always interested in medicine and health, without wanting to do it as a profession or degree. Population Health seemed at the time to provide a chance to study this area more broadly and have a more open path for my future.
What’s the best thing about your programme?
The level of teaching is incredibly high, and the passion the lecturers have for their subjects really comes across in the presenting.
What can a student expect to learn on this course?
It’s a really open course. You start initially with heavy emphasis on the social determinants of health, learning why there is so much more to disease and health than simple chance or proximity. Come second year, you can expand a lot more, choose to go down a data analysis route or not, learn about infectious diseases and/or learn about measuring and statistical analysis. Third year lets you explore your interests more in the form of an incredibly open dissertation, whilst also letting you explore non-population health related subjects if you want, being allowed to choose 2 modules from outside the faculty.
What is it like studying in London and how do you think it’s benefited your studies?
I’m a Londoner, so studying in London for me was really a big bonus, I didn’t have to get used to finding my way around a new city. Essentially it has allowed my university focus to be on work and my personal life, instead of stressing over housing and other things, although the campus itself is so massive that there is never a need to go and find somewhere to study in quiet as UCL provides all that and more.
Life after UCL
What are your career plans once you’ve completed your current studies at UCL?
I’ve just accepted an offer to continue my studies doing a Masters in Epidemiology at Imperial. I had applied to UCL as well but wanted to explore a different university and meet new people. No job plans for the immediate future but hopefully that will get worked out in the next year.
What piece of advice would you give to new students?
There is no shame in struggling. If you are finding a module difficult, or have personal issues, the programme team and wider support networks are incredibly willing to go out of their way to try and help you. If you got onto the course, there is not an aspect of it you can’t do even if you think otherwise, especially in later years, the years really do build on each other and looking back is sometimes a massive help in moving forward.