Finished my MSc in Epidemiology from University of London

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by KevinKovach, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. KevinKovach

    KevinKovach New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm mostly a lurker but have been on this site for some time now. I just wanted to say that I have completed all my work for the MSc in epi from University of London. It was a ton of work and I was frustated throughout. Having now finished I feel like I've learned a great deal and I'm glad I stuck it out.

    Has anyone attended their graduation ceremony before? I'm thinking of going and was wondering what to expect.
  2. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Congratulations on your achievement - sounds like a tough subject.
  3. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    Congratulations Kevin! I say go to the ceremony. No idea what the ceremony will be like but London is an interesting place.
  4. rcreighton

    rcreighton New Member

    Congratulations on your outstanding accomplishment. As far as attending the ceremony, I would say go for it. It is a special time in your life that you should celebrate and you will not get a second chance to attend.

  5. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Congratulations! The MSc in Epi was one of the ones I was very interested in doing. I would love to hear more about the program if you don't mind.

    For example, what was it that made you frustrated throughout the program?

    And as for graduation, you should definitely go for it!
  6. simsge

    simsge New Member

    Congrats!!!! ...and I think you should definitely go. I just started in the program this week and I can already see that it's going to be challenging. I would also like to hear some of your thoughts on the program, especially how you dealt with the June exams,
  7. KevinKovach

    KevinKovach New Member

    Thanks for the support everyone. I am planning on going to the ceremony, I just wondered what to expect.

    As for a rundown of the MSc in Epi, having now completed it I think it is a very good program. But this isn't always apparent as you are moving through it. My biggest frustration was that each course grade is based on very little work (a single exam for the core modules and an exam (70%) and a written assignment (30%) for the advanced units). The exams are only offered in June and I didn't feel comfortable taking more than 2 exams at a time. So I moved very slowly through the degree. The exams are the hardest thing I've seen in my academic life and the grading is very harsh, especially if you are used to the US system. Simply giving a correct answer for each question will only give you a B+, you really have to bring in extra knowledge to receive an A. Because of this I do not think my grades represent how prepared I was and how much I know.

    Having now finished, it is a very good program and I feel prepared to tackle PhD level work if I so choose. The final project (writing a journal article) was very rewarding. The content of the degree is very methods based. Don't go in expecting to learn a lot about diseases. The degree is intended to give you the tools to learn about diseases. I would stick to the epi courses. I did not like the public health course I took (you essentially read from a single book). I can't speak to the infectious disease or clinical trials courses.

    If you are starting or plan to start this degree I would suggest three things.

    1) Read around the subject. Don't limit yourself to assigned reading. There are many good epi books and some will be more understandable to you. In addition to the assigned reading I read Modern Epidemiology and Epidemiology beyond the basics, these books help to fill some holes that the assigned books left.

    2) Use the webboard. I didn't use the webboard as frequently as I should have my first two years (In my defense it wasn't as good then). It was really helpful and will give you a sense of belonging. The tutors are really good at answering questions and pointing you in the right direction.

    3) Know your limits. Don't schedule too many courses at a time. The course work is usually not too much, but having three or more 2 hour written examinations in a one or two week period would have given me a heart attack.

    I hope I didn't scare anyone off. It is a really good program and you get what you put into it. I'm glad I went through it!
  8. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Congratulations Kevin!
  9. telefax

    telefax New Member

    Congratulations - great school and a great job!
  10. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Congrats! That's such an interesting degree.
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Hi Kevin - This is great news. I'm not sure that people appreciate how difficult the U of L can be. It's mostly independent study with really tough exams. I'm a U of L washout (Math) and so I know. I just couldn't put in the hours required to do well. It's very demanding.

    I'm interested in knowing how you're planning on using this degree. Do you anticipate any difficulty with the acceptance of a British degree in your career. It was a concern of my own and so I'm just curious.
  12. KevinKovach

    KevinKovach New Member


    Thanks for your support. I think my degree will transfer better academically than it will career wise. Currenlty I work in government and I just don't think they will appreciate it's quality. If I choose to move to the private sector or academia I think it will be a great asset.

    I would love to hear how other U of L graduates have done career wise. I'm looking for a career change (great timing, right) and don't know how to anticipate employers acceptance of the degree.
  13. novemberdude

    novemberdude New Member


    Congratulations, finishing a U of L degree is a great achievement.

    A lot of what you're saying mirrors my own (1 year in the LLB) London experience. It was the hardest academic year I ever had. I also concur regarding the grading, at least when I was there the grades did not (in my opinion) reflect either the degree of effort of the extent of my knowledge.

    Any future plans?
  14. KevinKovach

    KevinKovach New Member

    I would like to do a PhD in the future, but I want to do that on campus to gain academic experience (research and teaching). My retirement plan is to teach at a college/university.
  15. adireynolds

    adireynolds New Member

    Congratulations, Kevin, what a wonderful accomplishment!


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