UK universities health
Source: University of Exeter, College of Medicine and Health

Health professionals are the true heroes of our time. It’s not just doctors and nurses who save lives. From laboratories to parliaments, health researchers and experts are leading the charge to prevent people from getting sick or injured in the first place. From speaking out for laws and policies that promote smoke-free indoor air or conducting research on the impact of climate change on our bodies, their efforts are making a difference to our collective wellbeing.

Now more than ever, the health industry is in dire need of graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience to help manage and end the pandemic. Graduates in health-related fields can expect enduring and lucrative careers. Some of the highest-paying careers in public health today include Emergency Management Directors, Epidemiologists and Public Health Educators. The US Bureau of Labour Statistics expects employment of Public Health Services Managers to grow by 18% over the next several years. They also project an 11% growth in the role of Health Educators and Community Health Workers.

The global shortfall in healthcare workers will reach 12.9 million by 2035, according to the World Health Organisation. In China, this shortage is more acute than the global average. The healthcare market in India is seen to increase three-fold to Rs 8.6 trillion (US$133.44 billion) by 2022.

The world needs more health practitioners, researchers, analysts, educators, advocates and specialists. Here are three leading UK universities to kickstart your journey to fill this gap and become tomorrow’s health experts.

University of Exeter, College of Medicine & Health

Innovative. Globally relevant. Highly-ranked. Research-led. These are some of the words best used to describe the postgraduate programmes at the University of Exeter’s College of Medicine and Health.

UK universities health

Source: University of Exeter, College of Medicine and Health

“In education, we specialise in research-led teaching and in developing socially accountable graduates who are collaborative leaders, committed to life-long scholarship for the service of patients and the public,” says Professor Clive Ballard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College of Medicine and Health. “We work closely with our healthcare collaborators in the region, to ensure we are meeting the complex needs of a changing healthcare sector.”

All programmes are taught by academics working at the forefront of the latest research. The MSc Genomic Medicine programme, one of a very few worldwide, focuses on genomics and informatics of rare and common diseases, cancer and infectious diseases — which can be applied to clinical practice and medical research. The programme is developed by Health Education England — aligned with their vision to prepare the NHS for the legacy of the 100,000 Genomes Project.

The MSc Health Data Science will help students learn and apply quantitative skills (e.g. computing, maths, statistics) in a health and medical setting. The programme takes a new approach to important issues and is one of only six new MSc courses in the UK funded by Health Data Research UK (HDRUK).

The MSc Environment and Human Health is ideal for those seeking to explore how factors such as climate change, air pollution and microbes impact health, whilst critically analysing evidence from a range of qualitative and quantitative sources. The programme draws from the strengths of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health. It is based at the Knowledge Spa located on the Royal Cornwall Hospital Site, with further input from industry partners including the Met Office, Age UK and the World Health Organisation

With Exeter’s Master of Public Health (MPH), students will be able to work closely with healthcare collaborators in the region, and across the globe. The research-led, professionally-focused programme combines the best of several academic disciplines: the expertise of world-renowned public health experts and specialists in leadership and management at the University’s Business School. All programmes are completed in one year— to know more, click here.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Ranked number three in the world for public health London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has 3,000 staff conducting research in over 100 countries, and more than 4,000 students — all working collectively to improve healthcare worldwide.

UK universities health

Source: Shutterstock

The MSc Public Health programme reflects local, national and international public health agendas, and provides students the opportunity to explore issues in an in-depth manner with academics, researchers and practitioners. This programme aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills that enable them to address public health challenges through research and practice. It covers the whole breadth of public health, encompassing low, middle and high-income countries.

Students get to take their pick from elective modules such as “Environment, Health and Sustainable Development,” “Foundations for Health Promotion,” “Health Policy, Process and Power,” “Health Services,” and “Introduction to Health Economics.”

The University of Manchester

According to the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities, the University of Manchester is ranked 36th in the world, eighth in Europe and fifth in the UK.

UK universities health

Source: Shutterstock

The university’s performance in league table is reflected in the quality of its programmes. Master of Public Health (Global Health) students here learn the skills and knowledge needed to understand the concept of global health in the context of globalisation. They can do at a time and place suitable to them as the programme is offered online, with extensive support and an optional residential induction.

It’s the ideal pathway for those seeking to undertake a PhD after completing this course, with the aim of pursuing a career in health science research. Students can also choose to take some units that can be credited CPD through its Public Health Professional Development programme.

“The team at Manchester exposed me to a highly effective manner of teaching and made learning worthwhile. The skills and knowledge that I have acquired are already impacting on my professional and personal development. I am definitely a better teacher, doctor and researcher as a result!” said Ogochukwu Okoye, Master of Public Health graduate.

If you’re interested in a career to save lives, these universities should be top on your list.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International