The benefits of studying online for healthcare professionals

Flexible learning resources and virtual classes allow students to balance their education with other commitments. It means parents, carers, and people living in remote areas have more opportunities to participate in higher education. Online education also gives working professionals the chance to gain skills and qualifications to advance their careers without taking lengthy and costly career breaks. Online learning gives people control over their career path. It empowers them to pursue interesting avenues or climb the career ladder in search of more satisfying and challenging roles.

How to balance your studies with everything else

James Carrier knows all about balancing full-time work with school and other commitments, having studied the online master’s in One Health at The University of Glasgow alongside career and family commitments. He says, "When I decided to begin a master’s programme to develop my academic interests, I knew it would have to be flexibly delivered to fit in with my work and family life, so online delivery was essential."

"The Glasgow virtual learning environment is an extension and evolution of conventional teaching, rather than a replacement for it – providing mentorship and support where it is needed, a sense of being part of an actual classroom cohort, and learning content that can easily be accessed," he adds. "Overall the programme strikes an excellent balance between flexibility and access to teaching."

More useful tips and benefits

Being a full-time healthcare professional and studying for a postgraduate degree won't be easy. But there are lots of things you can do to manage your time and stress levels.  If you're living with a partner or spouse, make sure they're on board before you enroll on the programme. Because once you start, there's a good chance they will be doing the majority of the jobs you usually share, like housework, cooking, or picking up the children. Create a schedule, then stick to it.

Scheduling doesn't just keep you organized; it also cultivates positive habits and routines. This means you're much more likely to sit down and do some late-night reading, especially if you're feeling less motivated than usual.  Don't forget to take some time for yourself and enjoy your days off. In other words, don't overdo it. Suffering burnout could tank your academic ambitions and negatively impact your professional duties.

Gaining a global perspective through online education

The outbreak of COVID-19 proved that the world is more connected than ever. It also highlighted the importance of a new, global, and collaborative approach to healthcare at home and abroad. Thanks to the rise of digital technologies, online learning programmes can bring together students from all over the world.

The University of Glasgow's online programmes attract students from over 140 different countries. Through sharing each other's experiences and knowledge, the students gain a deeper understanding of how our worlds are entwined economically, politically, and socially. Learning in this diverse environment means these students graduate with one of the healthcare industry's most in-demand skills: 'cultural competency.' Cultural competency is the capacity to function effectively as an individual while simultaneously encouraging, acknowledging, and accepting different cultural beliefs and behaviors.

The University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow's online postgraduate healthcare programmes enable students to learn while maintaining other personal commitments, such as a full-time job, raising a family, or caring for loved ones. The programmes are ideal for healthcare professionals or graduates looking to upskill or take their careers in a new, exciting direction.

The university’s virtual learning platform is easy to use and designed to fit around your lifestyle. Connect via mobile, tablet, or desktop to a range of digital learning resources, including journal articles, e-books, and interactive quizzes.

You can access the learning resources in audio, video, or transcript form (as downloads). Save them onto your device, then review the material at a time that suits you. Courses are delivered in bite-sized chunks, meaning you can create your own study schedule and catch-up weeks will help you to not fall behind.

Students interact with tutors and classmates via virtual sessions and discussions, creating a friendly and collaborative online community.

The distance learning programmes include an Online MSc/PgDip/PgCert in Global Mental Health. This 12/30-month part-time programme introduces students to the key concepts in mental health through an interdisciplinary approach incorporating clinical psychology, social work, sociology, law, and psychiatry. It produces graduates who can play a leading role in guiding global mental health policy.

Medical professionals interested in furthering their careers in scientific research should look at the Online MSc/PgDip/PgCert One Health distance learning programmes. The One Health programmes explore an integrative approach to human, veterinary, and ecological health, recognizing their relationships to public health and environmental issues. Graduates are qualified to work for international health organizations or find employment at government or local health agencies.

"The community support within the University of Glasgow is unrivalled and I was excited to be a part of this," says University of Glasgow One Health online student Sorcha Rea. "This enables me to continue my full time role as a veterinarian alongside gaining a postgraduate degree."

"The online programme has given me the freedom to live and work in multiple different countries whilst engaging in postgraduate study. Every member of the online community at the University of Glasgow is very encouraging and supportive, from the programme coordinators to support staff and fellow students. I am very grateful for this continuous support and interaction."

"I now have greater confidence in my ability to embark on a career that incorporates both human and veterinary public health as a result of this online masters. The program has been varied, challenging but overall, extremely enjoyable. The style of teaching has taken me out of my comfort zone which has enabled me to develop skills such as efficient time management in addition to group learning, communication and debate."

The University of Glasgow also offers online postgraduate programmes in Health Professions Education, Health Technology Assessment, and Public Health.

The University of Glasgow online student Judith Taggart says, "I feel the online discussion forums are arguably more useful than in-person discussion, as everyone is encouraged to contribute, with an emphasis on interaction and communication. The diversity of the class groups has been an amazing aspect of the course, especially in this field where global perspectives are so important. Having real-time interactions with fellow students from all around the world is exciting."

Meanwhile, fellow online student Marissa Redmond adds, "I think online learning can be a much more inclusive environment to learn because there are far less restrictions, and many new frontiers to endeavour."

Online learning has removed the barriers that prevented people from pursuing their academic and professional ambitions. So what else are you waiting for? Visit the University of Glasgow website information page to get your future started today.

Article written in association with the University of Glasgow.