Dec 5, 2012
3
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello, everyone,

I've recently been accepted to the University of Edinburgh's MSc Global Health and Public Policy program. I'm very interested in the program and believe the degree would help me if I proceed to a PhD, but I'm somewhat worried that a master's in such a subject will prove less attractive to employers than an MPH. I fear that "Global Health" is, all at once, too broad and too narrow a subject. I've been tossing and turning all night, wondering whether I should apply for Edinburgh's MPH program instead. :confused: (For family reasons, I'm restricted to Scottish/Northern English universities -- that's why I'm so fixated on UoEdinburgh.)

If anyone has any insight, please share. Any thoughts on the value of a master's in Global Health vs. an MPH?
 
3

364462

Hello, everyone,

I've recently been accepted to the University of Edinburgh's MSc Global Health and Public Policy program. I'm very interested in the program and believe the degree would help me if I proceed to a PhD, but I'm somewhat worried that a master's in such a subject will prove less attractive to employers than an MPH. I fear that "Global Health" is, all at once, too broad and too narrow a subject. I've been tossing and turning all night, wondering whether I should apply for Edinburgh's MPH program instead. :confused: (For family reasons, I'm restricted to Scottish/Northern English universities -- that's why I'm so fixated on UoEdinburgh.)

If anyone has any insight, please share. Any thoughts on the value of a master's in Global Health vs. an MPH?
What are the differences between the MSc and the MPH? Here in the States the difference can be striking among programs but can be nebulous in others.
 
OP
N
Dec 5, 2012
3
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
What are the differences between the MSc and the MPH? Here in the States the difference can be striking among programs but can be nebulous in others.
Good point. I would say that the MPH is structured to provide practical knowledge, while the MSc is designed to be more "academic." The MPH focuses on providing thorough, straightforward training in epidemiology, statistics, and research. The program offers includes practicals. The MSc is considered more inter-disciplinary, emphasizing the study of regional vs. global health structures and the roles of economics, anthropology, and politics in health issues/solutions. Compared to the MPH, there seems to be more focus on theory. The MPH and MSc are roughly the same length (11-12 months) and both require dissertations.
 
3

364462

Good point. I would say that the MPH is structured to provide practical knowledge, while the MSc is designed to be more "academic." The MPH focuses on providing thorough, straightforward training in epidemiology, statistics, and research. The program offers includes practicals. The MSc is considered more inter-disciplinary, emphasizing the study of regional vs. global health structures and the roles of economics, anthropology, and politics in health issues/solutions. Compared to the MPH, there seems to be more focus on theory. The MPH and MSc are roughly the same length (11-12 months) and both require dissertations.
If you are interested in pursuing a PhD, would it not be more to your advantage to go the "academic" route and choose the MSc? If you feel that the MSc is a better fit in the short-term and long-term, then I believe fit trumps "attractiveness" of a degree. I understand your concern, but I believe that our perception of the meaning of the MPH can sometimes be miscalculated relative to how employers perceive the degree and others like it. Professionals in the field, including employers and recruiters, may not care in the end about which type of degree you have if, in the end, you have the skills set they need and want.

I am interested in public health and was recently admitted to the LSHTM in London. I am applying elsewhere, as well, and London is the only MSc program to which I submitted an application. All the others are MPHs. London is my top choice, and I am not in the least worried that it is designated as "MSc" versus "MPH." (Caveat: I hold a doctorate already, so I have to admit this eases whatever anxiety I may have about "only" having the MSc as opposed to the MPH.) People in the field know the LSHTM, they know the skills I will learn through the program, and they know what skills I have to offer. At the end of the day, the program is the best fit. I do not care for the whether the "M" is followed by the "Sc" or "PH."

If an employer is academic oriented, then I can see how the MSc makes the most sense. If an employer is "practice" oriented, then I can see how the MPH makes the most sense. But even this is black-and-white thinking that has no basis than our own perceptions that may ultimately have no bearing on others' expectations of your skills set.
 
OP
N
Dec 5, 2012
3
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
If you are interested in pursuing a PhD, would it not be more to your advantage to go the "academic" route and choose the MSc? If you feel that the MSc is a better fit in the short-term and long-term, then I believe fit trumps "attractiveness" of a degree. I understand your concern, but I believe that our perception of the meaning of the MPH can sometimes be miscalculated relative to how employers perceive the degree and others like it. Professionals in the field, including employers and recruiters, may not care in the end about which type of degree you have if, in the end, you have the skills set they need and want.

I am interested in public health and was recently admitted to the LSHTM in London. I am applying elsewhere, as well, and London is the only MSc program to which I submitted an application. All the others are MPHs. London is my top choice, and I am not in the least worried that it is designated as "MSc" versus "MPH." (Caveat: I hold a doctorate already, so I have to admit this eases whatever anxiety I may have about "only" having the MSc as opposed to the MPH.) People in the field know the LSHTM, they know the skills I will learn through the program, and they know what skills I have to offer. At the end of the day, the program is the best fit. I do not care for the whether the "M" is followed by the "Sc" or "PH."

If an employer is academic oriented, then I can see how the MSc makes the most sense. If an employer is "practice" oriented, then I can see how the MPH makes the most sense. But even this is black-and-white thinking that has no basis than our own perceptions that may ultimately have no bearing on others' expectations of your skills set.
Thank you for taking the time to write such a clear and detailed reply. You've given me a lot to think about. I'm quite certain that I am best suited to the MSc program. I suppose my worries about the marketability of such a degree overtook my recognition of this.

Your words have definitely eased my anxiety. I was thinking too heavily on the perceptions of the degrees, rather than concentrating on why I want a master's in the first place. I feel that I can see much more clearly now that you've given me your two cents.

Again, thank you. Truly, you've eased my mind greatly. :)