Master in Public Health- interview questions! Scary monsters! Watch

Paxo345
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Hi everyone!
I came to university as a mature student- finished up one career and started nursing (got a DipHE)- I've been a nurse for a few years now - including working in Africa and private medicine. Really wanted to do Master in Public Health and i have been shortlisted for interview (but also a bit :eek:) I have read up online and found stuff on postgrad interview questions in general, but nothing specific. I need to know what research to do before the interview! Does anyone have any ideas about specifics of the areas they will cover and the subject specific questions they will ask? I know i am from a non-traditional background and want to prove i can cut the mustard!

ThankQ
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Paxo345
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bump- anything gratefully received!
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lofty2304
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health policy making and health in insurance .i was asked basic questions on epidemiology and biostatistics..since i am a dentist a lil bit was asked in that regard. bon chance
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.eXe
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@ what school?
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warehouse11
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Any advice on how to go about writing a personal statement for public health, dental in particular?
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lofty2304
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well try to Google (essays on dental public health and health promotion..)..talk about community based dental health care..participation in dental check up camps and free dental consultations for students or poor parts of the society...talk about dental seminars and dental workshops
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warehouse11
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(Original post by lofty2304)
well try to Google (essays on dental public health and health promotion..)..talk about community based dental health care..participation in dental check up camps and free dental consultations for students or poor parts of the society...talk about dental seminars and dental workshops
I don't have a dental background, I graduated with a life science degree.
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.eXe
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Read up some articles or health ethics and current health issues (wait times, cost, doctor shortage, etc)

be up to date on current events or recent events (SARS outbreak, etc)

I was given an offer without interview so I am not sure first hand but my friends at Imperial interviewed and were asked those sort of questions, in addition to the regular stuff (why public health? why imperial? why not medicine? etc etc)
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warehouse11
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(Original post by lofty2304)
well try to Google (essays on dental public health and health promotion..)..talk about community based dental health care..participation in dental check up camps and free dental consultations for students or poor parts of the society...talk about dental seminars and dental workshops
Thanks for that, which university did you study your dental public health msc at?

I'm currently looking at applying to manchester (via distance learning) and leeds.

my degree was in biomedical science from cardiff and i have some experience of shadowing a dentist.

when writing a public health related personal statement, would you write 50/50 about academics and work experience?
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ultimax
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Hi everyone!

My wife's been offered a place in the MPH programme @ Kings College London subject to her passing a numeracy test. The test is done online, should take no more than an hr, and has 14 qns.

What's it like? What standard of math would you say is required? She was pretty good with math (did it at the 'A' levels) in school, but she's a few years out so she's a bit nervous.

Are there websites with practice questions?

Re: personal statement, my wife's been working in a public hospital as a therapist for about 2 years. She also has a keen interest in raising the profile of therapists in medicine, and community education. So the first part of her essay was on that interest, and what she'd like to do. The second part was on how the MPH programme would help her actualise that passion. In terms of details, 1/3 was on her work experience, 1/3 was on deeper reflections about the state of public health, and the final third was on how the MPH programme would help her (it's useful to actually look through the modules offered and think about them)

I think the way to go is to tell an honest story about yourself in your statement. As long as there's enough in it to demonstrate a keen interest (reasons which motivated you to sign up) and it's well structured like any good essay (don't go with a stream of consciousness, edit your draft(s)!), you should be fine.

I don't think you need to trumpet your credentials or be someone you're not. I read my wife's statement and she did neither
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lofty2304
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(Original post by warehouse11)
Thanks for that, which university did you study your dental public health msc at?

I'm currently looking at applying to manchester (via distance learning) and leeds.

my degree was in biomedical science from cardiff and i have some experience of shadowing a dentist.

when writing a public health related personal statement, would you write 50/50 about academics and work experience?
Well i am gonna start my mdph/mph in september from either edinburgh/sheffield/york/dundee.i have unconditional offers from all of the above.i have done my masters in dental surgery so have the required experience. In ur personal statement more emphasis on work experience than academics,cause thats what counts in public health,u have a biomed science background.so talk about research and stuff.give general background on biostats or epidemiology if u have,talk more about ur thoughts on health policies and promotion,bon chance. .Good luck
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mphadmin
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Speaking from the other side of the interview table (as it were)

Some applicants clearly have no clear idea what public health is. Some want a clinical qualification, some want an environmental health qualification, some think public health is only concerned with health promotion, some think it is only concered with communicable disease surveillance and some think it is only concerned with health services. So you need to be clear what public health is and to be able to convince the interviewer that you know what you are applying to study.

MPH / MSc Public Health programmes affiliated to medical schools tend to include a substantial amount of epidemiology and statistics in the curriculum. My experience as a MPH Programme Director is that this is also the area that students find most difficult. So you need to be able to demonstrate some numerical skills.

MPH / MSc Public Health programmes tend to be taken by students with some relevant experience or interest. So you need to be able to demonstrate this. It could be years of overseas experience, work in the health service or voluntary sector, it could be an undergraduate project, it could be research.

We don't generally undertake interviews in University of Birmingham and we use an online selection test instead.

http://www.mph-selection.org.uk/

This test has 3 (equally weighted) parts:

1) Numeracy test - if you really can't do this, then a MPH is not for you (certainly not the University of Birmingham MPH)
2) Written question about why you want to study public health - you should be able to explain how you hope that this will contribute to your personal career objectives
3) Written question about what previous research or data analysis experience you have

If you fail to answer one of these 3 questions you guarantee a rejection. Though oddly some applicants do exactly this.

Good MPH / MSc Public Health programmes are oversubscribed.

I hope this helps

TM - University of Birmingham
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mphadmin
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You might also consider University of Birmingham. No interview but the equivalent is the online selection test:

http://www.mph-selection.org.uk/

This has 3 parts, each weighted equally:
a) Numerical skills test (you get the score for this as soon as you complete it)
b) Your reasons for studying an MPH
c) Relevant experience, particularly in data analysis

TM
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warehouse11
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(Original post by lofty2304)
Well i am gonna start my mdph/mph in september from either edinburgh/sheffield/york/dundee.i have unconditional offers from all of the above.i have done my masters in dental surgery so have the required experience. In ur personal statement more emphasis on work experience than academics,cause thats what counts in public health,u have a biomed science background.so talk about research and stuff.give general background on biostats or epidemiology if u have,talk more about ur thoughts on health policies and promotion,bon chance. .Good luck
I have an offer from Manchester for MDPH. My background is in Biomedical Science. Have you seen any jobs related to MDPH advertised recently? I've had a search on Google and there seems to be nothing. I'm confused ...
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lofty2304
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well jobs with MDPH are far and few.. inspite of doing my b.d.s and m.d.s i am opting for MPH rather than MDPH for the same reasons.(broaden my horizon..i think)..then again u will get employed with the NHS cause health promotion (medical/dental) is in demand now.. anyway good luck
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Paxo345
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Thanks for all the replies- very helpful I got a place on the course at Liverpool- really glad I didn't have online tests as I am dyslexic and that probably would have meant I would have fallen at the first hurdle! Questions at my interview focused on the my career so far, my understanding of what Public Health is and my specific interests in the field. It was actually quite chilled and the panel were friendly and interested in what I had to say. Good luck to everyone else!
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booraad
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"What is an odds ratio?"
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rachaelb15
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If you don't end up doing the MPH why not do an MSc? I'm at Newcastle University alongside trainee registrars.

I didn't have to sit an interview, as I had an unconditional offer.
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rachaelb15
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(Original post by mphadmin)
Speaking from the other side of the interview table (as it were)

Some applicants clearly have no clear idea what public health is. Some want a clinical qualification, some want an environmental health qualification, some think public health is only concerned with health promotion, some think it is only concered with communicable disease surveillance and some think it is only concerned with health services. So you need to be clear what public health is and to be able to convince the interviewer that you know what you are applying to study.

MPH / MSc Public Health programmes affiliated to medical schools tend to include a substantial amount of epidemiology and statistics in the curriculum. My experience as a MPH Programme Director is that this is also the area that students find most difficult. So you need to be able to demonstrate some numerical skills.

MPH / MSc Public Health programmes tend to be taken by students with some relevant experience or interest. So you need to be able to demonstrate this. It could be years of overseas experience, work in the health service or voluntary sector, it could be an undergraduate project, it could be research.

We don't generally undertake interviews in University of Birmingham and we use an online selection test instead.

http://www.mph-selection.org.uk/

This test has 3 (equally weighted) parts:

1) Numeracy test - if you really can't do this, then a MPH is not for you (certainly not the University of Birmingham MPH)
2) Written question about why you want to study public health - you should be able to explain how you hope that this will contribute to your personal career objectives
3) Written question about what previous research or data analysis experience you have

If you fail to answer one of these 3 questions you guarantee a rejection. Though oddly some applicants do exactly this.

Good MPH / MSc Public Health programmes are oversubscribed.

I hope this helps

TM - University of Birmingham
I whole heartedly agree with this. Statistics are taxing even for medics. I was a little shocked when I commenced by PG course at how much time we'd spend analysing data sets and questioning causal inference. However, it is the part of my course I feel I've really had to work for.

In terms of my application, I emphasised that my undergraduate dissertation required use of descriptive statistics and parametric tests. I also noted that I had experience with SPSS. For Newcastle Medical School, they didn't require further numerical testing. I may have had to submit a writing sample... but that might have been for Durham.
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mphadmin
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If I were selecting students at interview I would:

EITHER
a) Expect them to have some passing acquiantance with an odds ratio
OR
b) Expect them to show sufficient independent learning skills to find out for themselves.

Someone who is expecting to complete a Masters degree should be capable of typing "what is an odds ratio" into Google, reading and making some sense of the results. Someone who feels this is outside of their abilities is probably not cut out to do a MPH or MSc in Public Health.
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