Deon Simpson, originally from Jamaica pursued the MPH Public Health (International).
What made you choose MPH Public Health (International) at Leeds?
What attracted me most to the Master of Public Health (International) is the strong emphasis on developing countries. It is offered through the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, which is backed by 30 years of experience in addressing the most pressing public health needs of lower-income countries. The majority of the teaching staff have not only conducted research, but have actually lived in these countries for a number of years. This adds credence to their ability to teach me how to take a holistic view of the problems within my own country and find the most practical approaches to addressing them. They have proved to be experts in their respective fields.
I chose the University of Leeds as it has an international reputation for being one of the leading universities in the United Kingdom for teaching and research, and it attracts thousands of international students each year. Since I already hold a Masters degree in Nutrition, returning to the classroom was more than just about “the postgraduate experience”. I needed to be in an environment that guaranteed the best learning experience to propel my public health career and that was so student-centred that it made adjusting to life (away from home) as enjoyable as possible. Also, I was generously awarded a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship which made my pursuing an international Masters degree all the more possible. Leeds was the only logical choice in the end.
What was the highlight of the programme?
It would have to be studying among students from all over the world. My class cohort is almost entirely from the developing world and they have brought with them a wealth of intimate knowledge and experience that can scarcely be found in any textbook or journal. I believe that this is Nuffield Centre for international health and Development’s greatest resource.
Would you recommend MPH Public Health (International)to others?
Yes I would certainly recommend this programme, but not just to anyone. If you are like me and gained much of your public health experience by working in the field rather than through formal tuition, then you need to come to Leeds, where you will be taught how to apply public health theories and make reference to your practical experiences.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I am already looking forward to returning home and putting the knowledge and skills I have acquired into practise. I have gained a great deal of knowledge about the different dimensions of the health system and where I might play a more direct role in its improvement. I will return to Jamaica and contribute this knowledge to improving the areas that address HIV and non-communicable diseases.