With a Master of Public Health (MPH) from Edith Cowan University (ECU), Fathima Asma Sheriff is ready to make a difference to people, place and planet, and build a career with purpose.
Her master’s degree not only equipped her with comprehensive knowledge of public health issues including law and ethics, and communicable diseases, but also other contemporary health issues including domestic violence, injury, poverty, and planetary health.
The MPH covers topical issues — such as ageing populations, drugs and alcohol, food supply security, nutrition, and more — applicable to Australia and beyond. On top of that, the MPH also examines community development and sustainable development practices to tackle new public health challenges stemming from globalisation and climate impacts.
To take on bigger and bolder challenges in the public health sphere, ECU collaborates with renowned public health changemakers and industry experts to bring their expertise to its campus via hands-on experiential opportunities, internships, practicums, and more. “My lecturers right throughout the course were heavily invested in public health, having worked with the Government of Western Australia Department of Health and this provided students with a series of real-life examples to back the course content,” explains Sheriff.
ECU’s extensive global links with public health changemakers has led to big impact projects. It teamed up with renowned British TV presenter and author Dr. Michael Mosley to help Australians understand their risk of Type 2 diabetes and Jamie’s Ministry of Food, which aims to transform Australia’s food habits by bringing Jamie Oliver’s famous cooking courses to individuals and communities.
That’s not all. Through her core units, Sheriff gained skills that will help her find employment after she graduates, such as leadership in health, personal brand development and career transitions. Electives let her specialise in study areas of personal interest. In short, Sheriff could diversify, grow and challenge herself during her two-year degree.
Today, she is confident that she has the necessary knowledge and skill set to pursue a wide range of public health careers. “Having completed my postgraduate degree, I have a diverse skill set that enables me to apply for multiple job positions ranging from occupational health officer, epidemiologist, health promotion officer to researcher,” she says.
Preparing for impactful and diverse careers
At ECU, public health students evolve into graduates who can fulfil many crucial roles in communities. They make a positive impact on others, support community development, foster ethical practice and connect people with place, planet and purpose. They help shape and develop solutions for critical areas of global concern such as nutrition and food security, mental health, addiction, and crisis management, including pandemics, floods and fires.
Their success is due to the five-star education they receive at ECU. With over three campuses in Western Australia, ECU has a track record of delivering a quality learning experience along with a comprehensive student support system — and the numbers reflect this. For 15 years in a row, ECU has received a five-star rating for teaching quality in the Good Universities Guide.
A legendary student support system makes this possible. International students can expect to get help to overcome academic or personal challenges — learning advisers assist with developing study skills, peer mentors help new students build social and academic networks so they settle more quickly into university life, and Careers and Employability Services provide free, professional career counselling and job search support. With these features, it’s little wonder ECU’s support is known as one of the best offered in Australia. Around 81.3% of ECU students were satisfied with the support they received from the institution (Good Universities Guide 2022).
“ECU adopts a very holistic approach to education where it provides students with not just the best academic services, but also backs them up with support services such as assignment drop-ins, career hub, and student mentors,” says Sheriff.
For graduates like Sheriff, they treasure the amazing memories they made in their “home away from home” in Perth. Known as the “City of Lights,” it offers a vibrant, sophisticated and safe environment which is not only a great place for students to study but also a great place for students to live. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Report for 2021, Perth is rated among the top cities in the world for liveability. From a mild Mediterranean climate, affordable cost of living to a diverse student community and comprehensive public transport system, these features make Perth a safe haven for international students. “The acceptable nature of various cultures and diversity helped me as an international student to feel at ease,” says Sheriff. “I made friends during my university orientation that are still my main pillars of support to date. It is unreal how quickly I adapted and embraced the university culture.”
To learn more about ECU’s top-ranking Master of Public Health programme, click here.
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