Joyce, MSc Clinical Dermatology13 June 2017
Why did you choose to study a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University?
As a medical doctor specialising in dermatology, I have always been interested in further studies related to my field. After a search of Masters programmes, I have come across Cardiff University as an institution that offers a course with a comprehensive program that I was looking for. The program also boasts to produce graduates who have become competitive in the field of dermatology. Once I have sent an email to the dermatology department, I received a swift reply to my queries and the staff were very nice and accommodating. Coming from abroad, I was also excited to study and live in such a lovely city that I had no second thoughts about applying!
How was your experience as a postgraduate at Cardiff University, in terms of the programme?
In MSc in Clinical Dermatology programme, we would have comprehensive lectures from dermatology experts both from the UK and international guest speakers. We also had the privilege of having observational clinical attachments with doctors in Cardiff University as well as other dermatology centres in Wales. I was pleasantly surprised of how well-organised and detailed our lectures and clinics are that we were actually learning more than what we had expected. I was even looking forward to going to class each day because it was actually enjoyable and exciting to learn something new every day. The programme has definitely given me an edge not only from the new information and experience but this had made me more confident in my career as a dermatologist.
How was your experience of living in Cardiff, in terms of the city, social life, accommodation, again specifically as a postgraduate student?
Coming from the Philippines, I had no clue how to apply for housing or rent an apartment in the UK, much less which places are near the university. Fortunately, Cardiff University has provided a list of student housing from their website and which ones are near the campus where I will be studying. They have also prepared a handbook for new students, which is very useful to know the steps to take pre-arrival and once I have arrived in Cardiff. I applied for a student accommodation near the Heath campus and I lived with other Masters students in the medical field, which was perfect because we had something in common. As for social life, Cardiff has a lot of restaurants, pubs and clubs that you will never get bored on a weekend. The university also offers excursions for students who would like to take trips around Britain. So there are a lot of activities and not just studying!
What was different about your postgraduate experience at Cardiff University compared to your previous degree?
I went through medical school in the Philippines and there was a lot of self-learning from our modules. What I like about the taught programme in Cardiff University is that we were provided not only teaching materials but the guidance from experts in the field so that if we have any doubts or questions, they are always willing to assist us in our learning.
How did you fund postgraduate degree?
I had applied for a scholarship programme but I was not able to get it from the Philippines. Fortunately, I have enough funds from myself and my family that covers my tuition fees and living expenses. I would supplement with part-time jobs that are offered for students through the university.
How do you think that your postgraduate degree is helping prepare you for the future – job aspirations, career development, future study etc?
Some people have commented that I don’t need further studies because I had dermatology training from my country. However, I believe that I need organised and structured learning that would make my medical practice more efficient and evidence-based. I truly believe this had made me a better medical practitioner and also given me other opportunities such as possibly work as a researcher and teacher in the future.