How many hours did you invest in your course per week? What was your weekly workload?
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It's probably hard to give you an exact figure as the requirements of the course varied month to month. In a busy week possibly between 8-16 hours, but in a quiet week maybe only 2-4 hours.
What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?
A desire to learn more about maximising learning opportunities, to understand and improve my own teaching style, and the ability to focus on healthcare ergonomics through the use of simulation training.
What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?
Being able to return to the Guild of Students for a Joe’s burger and a beer with colleagues after a day on campus. My undergraduate degree may have been 10 years ago but the ability to discuss assignments and the days learning with fellow students is a great way to expand understanding and develop knowledge.
What, for you, are the best things about the course?
The multidisciplinary nature of the course gives it a greater level of applicability to real worlds situations. The group dynamic has been great as we have been able to get viewpoints from different healthcare worker perspectives, including medics, midwives, paramedics, theatre and nursing staff.
The flexibility to complete the course part time has allowed me to fit this in around other commitments - I had the ability to choose whether to complete 1 or 2 of the three modules in the first year.
Do you have anything lined up for once you have completed your degree?
I would very much like to use the credits gained from my PGCert to complete a Masters once I have completed my Royal College Fellowship exams.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study in your field?
Go for it; but, don’t take on more than you can complete, particularly if you plan on working full time at the same time. A completed PGCert will look much better on your CV than an incomplete Masters. Although I have done the course part time over 2 years, in hindsight it would have been possible to complete in 1 year whilst working full time, as long as you had no other professional exams or studies that year.
Was there a big transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study?
Medicine requires a significant amount of postgraduate exams as part of specialty training, so there wasn’t a great transition to undertaking this course. In fact the ability to return to University for more formalised seminars and lectures to strengthen private study was a welcome change from the more informal nature of postgraduate medical education.
Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?
Having studied at UoB for my first degree I knew the calibre of the university and its medical school. I also had the opportunity to talk to the staff running my PG course as well as former students who cemented my interest in the programme. Whilst there are numerous institutions in the region that are accessible, only Birmingham was able to offer a faculty possessing such a significant level of experience in a relatively new area of medical education making Birmingham the obvious choice.