Leslie is an MSc student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He talks to us about his experience of finding the right Masters for him.

Looking for a course
I continued on to postgrad straight from doing a BSc at another university. I was already set on doing a Masters in my second year and so started looking then. I mainly asked my lecturers for their advice and recommendation. I narrowed my preference down to three universities. I attended an open which was particularly helpful as the Course Director was very personable.

The only doubt I had in whether to continue with a postgraduate course was regarding funding, and whether I could get it, but I was always still motivated to carry on my studies to Masters level due to my subject interest and the fact that I want a career in research.

Being able to commute from home made it possible to commit to a full-time Masters. I also I managed to get a bursary which covered my tuition fees. Information about funding was readily available from the websites of all three universities that I was considering. Had the new postgraduate loan been available, it would have influenced my decision, had I not been able to get the bursary.

Choosing a course
The main information I wanted from the universities I applied to concerned the course structure, the modules options available, timetabling, and course fees. These were all found online quite easily.

My final decision about which Masters to choose was influenced being able to focus on my desired specialism, as well as and wanting to be close to home and the advice of my undergraduate lecturers.

My Masters Course – the reality!
The course has been brilliant so far, with everything that I expected and more. The lecturers are approachable, and it’s great to be with likeminded people from all different backgrounds

The main differences compared to my undergraduate degree are the assessments, which are much closer to things I would do should I choose a career in academia, such as writing a research proposal. The contact hours are much more intensive as well with full days of 9:30-5 from Mondays-Fridays and there are a lot more labs.

I will be embarking on a summer research project soon in Moshi, Tanzania, which is fully funded, by the university. There has not been a single aspect of my Masters that I have not enjoyed!

Postgraduate student life
I am a student ambassador and also the Treasurer of a student society. Having these roles have given me exposure to students from other courses, which helps as I can learn from their experience.

I work as a waiter in a local restaurant on a couple of evenings a week which has not at all hindered my Masters study.


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