A Social Network and MOOC for Health Informatics Professionals and Students
I intend to commence an online masters in Health Informatics next year. I am applying to two UK Universities (Edingburgh and Sheffield). Can you please give opinions on the programmes at these two instutions and the advantages/disadvantages of each. I will also like to know if the degrees obtained in these instutions are acceptable in the United States or one will have to undergo recertification as a health informatician in the United States.
I am doing the health informatics in sheffield by distance learning. I can vouch for the content and tell you that its very good. The course is mainly aimed at those who are working so its not extremely intense at any given time. There are online classes if you can make it for those and the material is also available to read at your own pace and hold discussions with other students.
The mode of examination is a written report so that gives you an opportunity to read widely and think of ways to apply what you learn in your own setting.
The disadvantage I can mention is that you do not get to interact face to face with your classmates and lecturers.
I cannot speak for the Edinghburgh course or acceptability in the US but I believe both universities have a good reputation so far.
wish you all the best
have a look at this link
University of Sheffield
University of Edinburgh
I think there are other links in one of the forum discussions too.
I have a similar problem here. I applied for the health informatics program at Sheffield and Edinburgh and I got accepted in both. I find it hard to choose.
The MSC at Sheffield is offered by the informatics school while that at Edinburgh is offered in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. So I thought Sheffield's might be more suitable for a person with IT background like me.
The other aspect you can compare is that at Sheffield, it is optional to attend the three days in-campus induction program while at Edinburgh it is compulsory to attend the two days residential.
A third dimention is the learning environment, Sheffield uses a version of Black Board while at Edinburgh they use Moodle. At sheffield you can actually attend the class, watch the instructor slides, hear him talking and interact via texting. At Edinburgh they provide you with pdf version of the materials, your assignments and deadlines.
In terms of accreditation, Edinburgh is on of the top twenty in the world. but I am not sure of the Royal College of Surgeons. Sheffield is far behind internationally however it is number 29 in the UK. The cost is almost the same.
I still find it hard to decide and I really need any input that can help me make my decision. Naomi please tell us more about your experience at Sheffield
What programming language do you recommend for someone just entering a masters program in HI? C# or java?
Hi there everyone. Abeer I think you have effectively summed up the advantages/disadvantages of the two masters programmes. I am starting the programme at Edinburgh this month (September). I chose Edinburgh purely because of the rating and some other sentimental reasons (a close relative and a senior colleague are both fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh). However I believe the Sheffield programme is also a very good one and more flexible for non British/EU persons. I soon hope to be able to provide more info about the programme and compare notes with Naomi.
I agree that Abeer has given a very useful summary of the two programmes. The interaction bit is really nice as it helps you feel as if you are part of a classroom with the live sessions and discussions with other students and lecturers. If one can make time to attend classes it gives them the opportunity to ask questions and even discuss what is being taught. My experience with this is that live sessions help you keep track of what you are learning and then when you go through the pdf documents they send later it now becomes a recap and helps you understand even better.
My choice to apply to Sheffield was informed by course content. The link I gave earlier gives a good description of what will be covered. The people at Sheffield are also very good...you can contact Dr. Peter Bath(his contacts are on the website) and discuss your goals and what you would like to do and he can advise on whether the course at Sheffield is in line with your goals.
The examination mode was also of interest to me. You are required to give written reports at the end of each semester for each module. This requires one to constantly read and find relevant information (evidence from published papers). So in essence your writing skills are sharpened.
For anyone with a degree in statistics and you are interested in health informatics, the course at Sheffield is very good as it gives a general understanding on implementation of IT in health settings and then you can use your statistic skills in your dissertation work. Of course in other settings too.
From my view, the course at Sheffield is good for those who need a generic overview on the principles of applying technology in a health setting. It helps you gather information on other settings and also be able to view your own settings and see what would apply. It is not a programming course in any way. But can be used by programmers to help them understand the health setting better and see what technologies have been used and what could be applied in future.
for the course at sheffield the programming language is not of highest importance.
What you should understand is that there are different forms of Health informatics. There are those who are interested in having a general view of how to use IT in health. This could involve things like how users accept to use IT, how to implement IT products etc. This is mostly of interest to people who want to look at things from the management perspective.
The other aspect is of the IT people who have an interest in writing programs for health or modifying existing programs. If you are interested in programming then the language should be guided by the kind of infrastructure you want to implement your programs in. ie whether web based, stand alone applications, mobile applications etc. The capability of the language will guide you on what to choose.
I'm the director of the UCL postgraduate programme in Health Informatics. Obviously I'm biased, but I would argue that our programme has a number of advantages over the other two that have been mentioned here. For example it is based in a specialised Health Informatics department within a big research university. Also our students do get regular face-to-face contact with lecturers. That will be a disadvantage, of course, for some people following this discussion, in that we are not _entirely_ a distance learning programme. Students take eight taught modules plus a dissertation and are required to attend campus for one three-day block in each module.
I would suggest doing a full time at City University London, the oldest formal MSc in Health Informatics in Europe. I'm probably biased also, but I believe this is on of the best programmes in the world. I went there from the USA because at I felt It provided me with better things and content from any other programme in Health Informatics in the world.
R. G. Rochin MD, MSc, PhD
Excuse my curiosity why did you leave the United States to do a Masters in Health I
nformatics in the UK