Public Health encompasses both the art and science of safeguarding against diseases, extending life expectancy, and advancing overall well-being. Its scope goes beyond maintenance of health by reducing or eliminating disease risks and environmental health hazards, improving social conditions, and encouraging healthy behaviours and lifestyles. Additionally, it involves the distribution and optimal management of healthcare services. Today, public health professionals encounter a multitude of long standing and emerging challenges.
With this in mind, IMU’s MSc in Public Health (MSPH) programme, which is available in both traditional and open and distance learning (ODL) formats, will provide students from a wide range of health and related professional backgrounds with the knowledge and skills in public health sciences which will make them effective contributors in their field of healthcare.
Here are what some of the students have to say about the programme
JEREMY TAN ERN HWEI
I think it’s interesting how the start of this journey was partially due to the fact that doctors in Malaysia are not guaranteed job security. The immediate thought I had upon completion of my MBBS then was “Am I safe?” “Am I good enough?” Though these questions persist, I now know that I am capable of much more.
Through this programme, I am able to realise that being a clinician isn’t the only thing in medicine and that my/our possibilities are infinite; opening doors to non-clinical options yet having them closely related to medicine. I am extremely grateful for how flexible and accommodating the ODL option is towards my work schedule.
Don’t get me wrong, this journey wasn’t a walk in the park. Balancing a thesis whilst in the midst of working as a Housemen/Intern Doctor, working 60-70 hours a week was no easy feat. I am thankful that the faculty within the programme were beyond compassionate and accommodating towards my needs. This journey is a testament that you can achieve anything as long as you keep moving forward.
Abigail Dayang Nathan
The course exposed me to different facets of Public Health, not just applicable in Malaysia, but also globally. Lectures and discussions were always engaging and encouraged critical thinking.
Overall, the programme provided me with the skills and credentials to move forward in my career.
Sameeha Misriya Shroff
When I first applied for the Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) degree at IMU, I went in with expectations to learn the core disciplines of public health such as epidemiology, health policy, management and biostatistics. Not only did the course meet my expectations by setting a strong foundation in public health with modules relating to social and behavioural health, and health economics, I was also provided with a comprehensive crash course in research methodology that continues to help as a blueprint for conducting research in the field of medical science.
Furthermore, the modules were not only multidisciplinary with different playing fields of public health merging into each other, the lectures and following discussions were heavily nuanced and updated with recent scientific developments especially relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rather than just being theory-based and book-learning based which I am used to, the learning materials utilised practical field visits, presentations and open discussions with lecturers and colleagues alike which I found extremely enlightening. As a student, I was encouraged to tailor my discussions, presentations, and arguments drawing from my experiences and background in Microbiology and Psychology. The diverse background of MSPH students from different parts of the world that included scientists, medical doctors and lab specialists allowed for a multidimensional learning environment.
As an international student, I also had the opportunity of learning more about the Public Health system in Malaysia through our field visits and field attachments and our elective attachments. The professional experience and memories of these visits and attachments will sit with me for a very long time.
One of my apprehensions before the commencement of the course was whether I would be able to effectively communicate and assimilate in a new environment, as I came from a different culture and country. This apprehension quickly dissipated once I met the lecturers of the programme who were very friendly and generous with their help and advice. I was very easily able to form a healthy mentor-mentee relationship with all the lecturers who were with me every step of the way. This made the task of completing an entire research project within the stipulated timing of 6-12 months much less daunting because my assigned supervisor and other lecturers were very helpful.
All in all, this entire experience is something I will cherish for a very long time and draw from for every aspect of my learning journey and career. Every discussion, presentation, field visit, practical class and interaction has been a valuable learning moment for me and something that I wish to pass on and share.
CHEONG BENG WUI (aka) JACKIE CHEONG
I made it!
It was a sweet and sour journey for the past 2.5 years in completing IMU’s Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) programme. It has always been one of my bucket lists in life however it was put off due to childbirth, work, and family commitment. I would probably have never gotten the action to sign up for the course if it wasn’t because of the Covid-19 pandemic, where I suddenly had so much free time to pause and think about what else do I want to do in life.
The online platform and course outlines were almost seamless and easy to follow through, even for a tech-dummy mid-40s woman who has left university 20 years ago!
I’m blessed to have met lecturers who were helpful and went extra mile to assist the lost bunch in my cohort. They complemented on our achievements and coached us to appropriate channels when we faced difficulties and conflicts. Of course, there will always be few mischievous lecturers who were unreasonable at times but hey, do the right thing and keep them at bay. Life is not always fair and sunny and that makes living in this world real. Focus in achieving our goals.
It is only now that I have completed my MSPH that I realised how little I knew about research then. My undergraduate research was more of a ‘being-told’ mode whereas in MSPH my eyes were opened to a whole new horizon on the depth of research. I do not know where I gathered the courage to attempt a totally new research method, i.e., qualitative study in my thesis this time, having read up endlessly including 2 books published by SAGE during the semester break. Looking back, I’m glad I attempted it and learnt something new. It has broadened my knowledge and experience in a foreign field and the satisfaction is priceless.
It wasn’t easy to study and work at the same time (and juggle a family), but it is possible with appropriate time management and discipline. It’s like running a marathon, plan your training and persevere, and celebrate at the finishing line with a triumphant smile!