Kate Marling is a current student on Queen Mary Online’s MSc in Global Public Health and a 21st Century Scholar Specialist at Indiana University East.
We spoke to Kate about why she chose Queen Mary Online, what sets the MSc apart from courses available in the US, and what the support is like on the programme.
Tell us about yourself – what’s your background and where are you based?
I completed my undergraduate degree at a liberal arts college in Virginia. I majored in Biology with minors in Psychology and Religion. I currently live in Indiana and am completing my second service year with AmeriCorps ScholarCorps.
I have a grant-based position with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and I am stationed at the Indiana University East regional campus. There I work directly with 21st Century Scholars, who are a population of student who qualify for government funded financial aid which covers up to four years of tuition.
It is my job to make sure they continue to meet the scholarship requirements, connect to the campus, strengthen their career goals, and ultimately complete their degree in four years.
Why did you choose to study Global Public Health with a British university rather than an American university?
I chose to study Global Public Health with a British University because I wanted a global perspective. I was unable to find a programme that worked with my schedule in the states that would give me the opportunity to meet and learn from people all over the world.
How did the Queen Mary Global Public Health course differ to those on offer in the US or elsewhere in the world?
The Queen Mary Global Public Health course gave me enough structure but also enough freedom to work full time and complete my degree. It offered a programme that was completely online and broke the learning up into manageable 7-week sessions. I felt comfortable starting and knowing what I needed to do in Canvas, Queen Mary’s online learning platform.
What are the advantages of studying Global Public Health online?
Because of its online nature I can work on my own time and complete the readings and assignments whenever and wherever I am able. I work at a university, so I was aware of the scramble that many programmes and professors had to do to transfer their classes and materials online. Fortunately, I did not have to experience any upset in this programme because they were already set up to be online.
The time difference has been a bit troublesome; there are some events or meetings that I can’t attend because it is too early or late in the day. It can be difficult to stay motivated as life tends to pull you in different directions, but the program is set up to help you along.
How do you balance your studies with your work/other commitments?
It has taken up my free time as well as some weekend time but because the readings and activities are weekly, I can plan accordingly. Also, you can always go back though the material after the week is complete which is helpful if you get behind.
How do the module leaders and tutors support you?
Module leaders and tutors offer set office hours so that you can meet with them to discuss readings or assignments. Many times, the webinars are an open discussion of the week's material. The tutors and module leaders are usually very prompt at replying and answering questions about assignments.
How do you think this course will impact your career and would you recommend it to others?
I think this course will benefit my career. I am hoping the global perspective will be of value to future employers and I would recommend this course to anyone looking for a flexible, well-structured programme.
Want more insights from a current student? Discover why Canadian Tina chose to study Global Public Health with Queen Mary Online: