"It definitely works around a full-time job" – Richard on studying an online MPH


13th May 2020

We had a great chat with Richard Harpin during his graduation day about his experience studying our Masters of Public Health.

You can watch the video below or scroll on to find a transcript of our conversation.

How does it feel to be attending your graduation?

Really good! It has been a really good ceremony. It has been a really good two years and then you come along and the ceremony is a really good day and very inclusive. Sometimes it feels a bit remote when you’re studying online on a distance learning course. But actually, when you come here you feel like you’re really a part of the university.


What are the benefits of studying online?

It worked really well because I work full-time. It meant I could fit it in around work when I needed to, and I could use things from work into my degree as things came up. And actually, I took things away from a module – while I was working on it – with what I was doing at work at that time, which is really good.


Why did you choose to study with us?

So I’m a paramedic, that’s my profession which is a fairly young profession. I think that doing a named degree as Master of Public Health was better than doing some generic health science degrees that are available for paramedics. This degree also had an advancing practice element to it, which again is an increasingly important thing in a very young profession. And actually, increasingly paramedic scope and profession, and increasing the practice that we can deliver.


How are you going to use what you’ve learned in the future?

I currently have a specialist role and I’m using health promotion and health needs assessments –which were a big component to my course – in my day job. That’s helping me improve patient care in what we do.


How did you find studying with us?

The advancing practice was very good, again allowing understanding of advancing practice and what advance in practice is, and what you need to achieve that. It was very useful and allows you to understand complex decisions which is something that we do a lot, but you don’t necessarily understand why or how we are doing them.


What was the most enjoyable part of your degree?

Generally very good, through the modules, the department was really supportive, the structure so the modules all have a very similar structure and the same learning outcomes. So, you knew where you stood from one module to the next. Once you’ve got the grips on what the standard was and how you got there, you know you could work sustainably.


Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of studying with us?

University of Essex Online has been very helpful for me. I’ve really enjoyed it and I think the online platform was very good, very user-friendly, very intuitive. And yeah, it definitely works around a full-time job, which really helps.

If you have a full-time job and want to professionally develop, our courses could be the perfect fit for you – just like our Master of Public Health perfect for Richard. For more information on our health courses download a prospectus now!