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Internal News - 15 October 2007

Flexible PG programmes appeal to a growing international audience

The autumn intake for the School for Health’s postgraduate programmes has a distinctly international flavour.

Over 100 students have signed up to the professional postgraduate programmes delivered by the school, all of which are studied flexibly and online.

This month the school welcomed students based in 18 different countries from as far afield as South Africa, Jamaica, USA, Nigeria, India and Algeria, along with Greece, Spain and Italy.

Teaching on the postgraduate programmes takes place via the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment, which enables students to interact with tutors, support staff and fellow students, limiting the isolation traditionally associated with distance learning.

This year, 15 students embarked on the Professional Doctorate in Health which combines online learning with a bi-annual research conference in Bath, enabling students from across the world to network with a wide range of professionals within the healthcare sector.

In some parts of the world, groups of students on the same programme have formed informal learning hubs which further extend the reputation of the courses on which they are studying.

“It is particularly interesting to see a hub of professional doctorate students emerging in Ireland, where the good reputation of the programme is becoming more widespread,” said Tim Bilham, Director of Education Research & Development in the School for Health.

A second learning hub has emerged in Scotland around the MSc in Healthcare Information Governance, with NHS Scotland offering bursaries to students for the second year in a row.

The new MSc in Sports Physiotherapy has attracted 20 students in its first year, from the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Pakistan and Bermuda. The students are fully qualified physiotherapists who are currently working in a range of settings including the elite sports environment with organisations such as England Rugby Football Union, Channel Island Games team, Great Britain Triathlon and numerous football, rugby union and rugby league clubs.

Further students have enrolled on the MSc in Sport & Exercise Medicine, the largest programme of its kind in the world, and the innovative MSc in Healthcare Informatics, run in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.