Meet Your FIA: Sarah

Sarah Chan
Master in Public Health (Health Services Research) School of Health and Related Research

What was your favourite subject at school or college?

My favourite subject during my course so far is learning about key issues in public health. Being relatively new to the discipline of public health, the module introducing different aspects of public health and major issues and trends helped to bring me up to speed. The content was also relevant and interesting, which cemented why I chose to undertake a postgraduate degree in public health.

How did you decide which degree to take?

My undergraduate degree and training was in pharmacy, hence pursuing public health as a postgraduate degree was an extension of my studies in health sciences. However, it would allow me to gain broader population perspectives, compared to the largely individual approach in pharmacy practice alone. It also will open doors to careers which require postgraduate training in public health.

What advice would you give to people about to choose a university course?

Do research and talk to people. The internet as a research tool can offer a lot of information in terms of school and course rankings, research directions, teaching staff as well as career prospects following completion of your university course. Talking to people who are teaching the course, or who have recently completed the course, or who are employing people from the course would give you a better appreciation of whether the course is really what you thought it would be. Take time to do this and do not rush into a decision quickly on impulse as tertiary-level education is generally costly and can be a significantly large investment to some.

What do you particularly enjoy at the University of Sheffield and why?

My course, course mates, the University and the city! The modules we take in the public health masters programme are varied and we have the flexibility to choose which we would like to take, allowing us to cater our study to our future career needs or personal interests. The course intake is very international and I have enjoyed being able to meet and interact with classmates from all around the world. They have enriched my learning by providing unique perspectives on issues and highlighting problems which some countries might face in public health which others will not. The University and city of Sheffield is multicultural, with great places to get a coffee and read a book, or to spend an afternoon catching up with friends!

What has been your best experience so far at Sheffield?

Exploring the beautiful peak district with friends - especially the alpaca farm! 

How is studying your subject or the methods of learning different at university that at school or college?

Much more application involved; content is important but so are skills, because skills are transferable and not confined to your discipline of study.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to be able to positively influence the access of medical help to people in need.

Have you started to apply for any jobs yet?

I am always open to opportunities to apply what I've learnt in school to a real-world setting, both at home or in the United Kingdom.

Have you done or plan to do any placements alongside your studies, if so give details.

My Masters programme does not include a placement within the duration of the course, however I may be able to collaborate with national agencies for my dissertation project.

What other extra curricular activities do you enjoy outside of your studies?

I enjoy learning about other cultures through meeting people, travelling and reading. As an amateur photographer, I like using photos to document my travels and share my experiences. I find joy in helping others and I am glad I am often able to do so through volunteer work at local organisations.