Imperial College London

First Global Master of Public Health graduates celebrate at Royal Albert Hall


Graduates from the Global Master of Public Health with Professors Helen Ward and Paul Aylin and the teaching fellows

This year’s postgraduate graduation ceremony saw the first cohort of graduates from the School of Public Health’s Global Master of Public Health.

The fully online programme, delivered on the Coursera platform, was first announced in 2018 and welcomed its first cohort of students from 23 different countries in 2019.

More than 20 graduates joined the wider Imperial community to celebrate their achievements at the Royal Albert Hall. For many of the Global Master of Public Health graduates this was the first time visiting an Imperial campus and meeting teaching staff and classmates in person.

Developed with leading experts from across the School of Public Health, the part-time Global Master of Public Health provides students with a comprehensive grounding in public health, exploring different approaches, systems and innovations which learners can integrate into their own practice and research.

Jack Stewart caught up with a few of the graduates to hear about their experiences on the Global Master of Public Health:

Maram Salem, Germany

Maram Salem

Tell us a bit about yourself and what motivated you to choose Imperial and the Global Master of Public Health?

In 2014, after finishing my medical degree in Cairo, I started exploring a newly found interest in communication and creative writing. After a few years of working with creative health communication projects, I joined UNICEF Egypt as a Communication for Development officer where I put these skills into practice and decided to pursue formal public health training that hones my skills and provides me with what I need to affect actual change, enter the GMPH.

Imperial's reputation and impact on public health research and policy worldwide encouraged me to avidly follow the Coursera announcement page long before applications opened. I am immensely grateful for having received a partial scholarship for this program which made my dream of studying at Imperial a reality.

What did you enjoy most about the Global Master of Public Health?

I found the practical training grounded in real world challenges of public health practice incredibly useful. We got to learn from seasoned professionals who have tested what they teach and made sure that every course doesn't get lost in theory but rather equips students with the mindset and toolbox they will need in real life situations. I also liked that the programme was able to make use of what online learning has to offer. As a student you still get a good sense of the Imperial experience and enjoy being part of a truly global student community.

James Staib, United States 

James Staib

What motivated you to choose Imperial and the Global Master of Public Health?

I was looking for a structured course to build up my skills in asking and answering health care research questions. Imperial’s School of Public Health has a good reputation in health intelligence and health research. Having completed another data science specialization on Coursera, I felt comfortable with that aspect of the programme. Lastly, my English colleagues had good things to say about Imperial.

What has been the benefits of studying online?

The benefit of studying online was the flexibility to complete the degree while remaining employed. Beyond maintaining an income while studying, I was able to apply learning in several specializations directly to research conducted at work.

What are the main skills you have learnt as a result of the course? 

The course improved my skills in many areas, but two key skills were forming a research question (clear, focused, feasible) as well as both writing and evaluating health research literature.  While my elective choices and research focused on quantitative methods, an unexpected benefit was building an appreciation for qualitative analysis and some skills related to behavioural health models, health economics, and an understanding of health system models in other countries. 

What would you say to someone considering studying the Global Master of Public Health?

The Global Master of Public Health was more work than I anticipated, but I also learned more than I expected. While I imagined focusing on quantitative analysis, I appreciated Imperial's Global Master of Public Health being a well-rounded program blending specializations centering around R programming with others focusing on social science methods for public health.

Amy W. L. Tan, Singapore

Amy W.L. Tan

What motivated you to choose Imperial and the Global Master of Public Health?

I wanted the global health exposure which Imperial offered, the opportunity to conduct independent research, and be able to study remotely. This was not something other public health schools offered.

What have been the benefits of studying online?

An online master’s allowed me to be with my family and maintain my project work in my home country while still advancing my public health qualifications.

What are you planning to do next?

After I finished the Global Master of Public Health I completed a postgraduate health innovation fellowship at Stanford University. I am now working on health innovation and expanding access to healthcare across Asia.

Applications for the Global Master of Public Health are still open for 2022 entry. Visit the course page to find out more and start your application.

See more highlights from the Faculty of Medicine postgraduate graduation.


Jack Stewart

Jack Stewart
School of Public Health

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Comms-strategy-Learning-and-teaching, School-of-Public-Health, Graduation, Education, Public-health
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