Of course – this is the first time for me to do this course, and I am learning as I go along – so perhaps I will update this post as I go through the months and encounter courses but for now here are some points I feel might be worth mentioning.
To date we have has two full five week courses and we are rapidly drawing to the end of our first three week course in Infectious Diseases. The first two courses were Global Health – an Introduction, and Research Methodology. Our next course is Health systems and policy for three weeks. We then have a Christmas break in which we have to write our Thesis proposal and then we have the final two courses, for two weeks each. Taking us to the sad and miserable end of our course work. (Course Outline for Global Health)
- Global Health Introduction course: Don’t expect the entire degree to go this way, this particular course is very vague, very general and has very little structure. It is just a broad introduction to global health, and the research that is going on in the department. It is a gentle introduction. Bear in mind Global Health is a newish discipline and therefore does not have the structural advantage of established theories and frameworks. My suggestion for this course is attend the lectures, but don’t stress if you find that you have a fascinating conference you need to attend at Karolinska instead of attending lectures. You are old enough and experienced enough to judge what will best contribute to your overall experience. Take notes, ask questions – take it easy. (and… I will probably get shot for this – but Challenge the system, if it is not working out how you want it to – do something about it – this is your year!)
- Research Methodology – this is taught by two people someone who takes the qualitative section and someone who takes the quantitative section. This is a well-structured course- comparatively – however since there as been an internal shuffle of staff and expertise within Global Health there are some issues to iron out. My advice would be – get to know the Khan Academy. (oh and I hope you like Italian accents!) This saved half of my class from complete emotional and academic disintegration. The stats component is tricky, make sure you find a friend to help you through, you read every night and you and the Khan Academy become very close friends. As for the qualitative section, attend the lectures – and keep you EARS OPEN, tricky little phrases and definitions find their way into the exam in ways you least expect it.
- Infectious Diseases: By far this is the most intensive course we have had to date – resulting in many late hours working in groups on a poster presentation and a report. We also have an exam next week. For this course – make friends with your group – they will be your life line for the full three weeks. Also try to attend the lectures, although it is difficult when you have not been allocated enough time to work on the posters and reports and exams, something does tend to give – but this is going to be intensive –be prepared, it is interesting and the course leader is a good listener…
- Dont buy your text books in advance. The only text book that we have consistently used throughout our courses is the Global Health Text book – the standard one. Skip buying the rest of them until you have spoken to each course leader individually. Dont go by what is said online – you will end up spending more than you should (like me!).
So to date – those are some thoughts!
If you are doing the course with me and have something to add or thoughts – please tell me – email me!
If you have questions – do the same!