Courses & seminarsMSc in Sys Rev for Public Policy and PracticeCase studies
Meet our students

Find out more about some of our MSc students by clicking on the names below

Sudarshan Raj Singh

Laura Pearson

Toby Lasserson

Martin Keane

 

 

 

Sudarshan Raj Singh

MSc in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice*
Full-time, enrolled January 2009

Sudarshan is a full time student on the MSc in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice. He was initially attracted to the multi-disciplinary nature of the course:

'It became clear that this MSc would be perfect for me as the multi-disciplinary approach equips you with the ability to understand (academically) and engage with "real world" issues.'

The MSc enables Sudarshan to draw on, and engage with, his diverse set of research interests:

'I studied Human Geography at Queen Mary, University of London … this was quite open and allowed me to develop a wide understanding of a lot of disciplines … What attracted me to the MSc is the fact that it enables me to draw from a lot of my areas of interest. These include feminist perspectives, which I find interesting as they seek to challenge the existing ways of the world, the way knowledge is created and disseminated, and the relationship between science and philosophy.'

Sudarshan enjoys studying at the Institute of Education, where he has found many opportunities to keep up to date with current research and network with colleagues from across a range of policy areas:

'Learning from colleagues at the EPPI-Centre, who currently conduct systematic reviews for various agencies, provides an exciting opportunity to work with people who are currently involved in cutting edge research … The IoE is also an excellent place to network with individuals who are involved within the policy arena and have interests which are similar to yours … there are also almost daily seminars and lectures which allow you to keep close tabs on research that may be outside of your direct area of interest.'

Sudarshan has a flexible view of his next career move:

'I have not decided what route I would like to take at the end of my MSc but I know I will have the necessary knowledge and tools which will be useful for me'.
 

 

Laura Pearson

MSc in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice*
Part-time, enrolled October 2008

Working at Westminster City Council in London, Laura wanted to do the MSc in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice 'to get a better understanding of how academic research can be analysed and translated into policy making'.

Speaking of her reasons for choosing the course, she says: 'I was keen to do something that had an emphasis on methodology that I would be able to apply across my areas of work and policy interests.

With an undergraduate degree in geography and a current position in Children’s Services at the Council, Laura’s interests are diverse, including children’s social care and education. She has enjoyed the multi-disciplinarity of the MSc, noting that 'it has been great to have discussions with people from across so many different disciplines'.

As the Local Safeguarding Children Board Manager, Laura found that 'the MSc course has complemented my work very well'. She welcomed the way the MSc had been designed to balance the demands of study and work: 'the IoE and EPPI Centre have allowed me to study incredibly flexibly'. Laura highlights that 'it's useful to have practical and transferrable research and reviewing skills', hoping that the MSc will enable her 'to get into research in the future - I'd definitely like to do a PhD one day and a well-executed systematic review would be a good starting point'.

 

Toby Lasserson

MSc in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice*
Part-time, enrolled October 2008

Toby works on systematic reviews in healthcare at the Cochrane Airways Group (part of the Cochrane Collaboration). He decided to enrol on the MSc Evidence for Public Policy and Practice in order to engage more critically with the research methods he uses in his everyday work:

'The MSc certainly looked the most suitable way for me to gain a more critical understanding of the research methods I was routinely accepting as "best practice" … I felt I couldn't move forward until I had taken a step back and put the knowledge I had acquired into some context, and understood the context of research synthesis more generally.'

Toby’s work with the Cochrane Collaboration prompted him to 'think deeply about applied research methods’. Having produced a number of reviews on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease interventions, he became interested in the theoretical and conceptual assumptions that are made in systematic reviews and the impact of researchers’ biases on the synthesis process and review findings. The MSc provided an opportunity to explore these issues whilst learning about new and emerging techniques:

'I have gained more understanding of how some of the methods I am familiar with can be applied to areas of research I have not previously considered such as qualitative research and process evaluation.'

The MSc has given Toby a better understanding of the policy context in which systematic reviews are conducted, enabling him to consider the potential of a career in research management or consultancy:

'I feel better equipped in understanding more of the policy issues around systematic review design and execution … I hope that by understanding the wider applications of this research methodology I will be able to develop a sound knowledge of how systematic reviews can and should meet the information needs of policy and decision makers in public service.'

Martin Keane

MSc in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice*
Part-time, enrolled October 2007

Working in the field of alcohol and drug related research, Martin decided to undertake the MSc in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice to improve his understanding about how research can be used to develop policy and practice. Based at the Health Research Board in Ireland, Martin feels that the MSc has enabled him to improve his existing skill set whilst gaining vital new knowledge:

'I have developed new skills and improved existing ones … these include learning how to undertake systematic reviews of the evidence base and using the results to contribute to policy and practice.'

Martin has developed his research expertise in specific key areas. These range from quality appraisal of qualitative research to particular methods for research synthesis, such as meta-ethnography. In addition, Martin now stresses the importance of dissemination:

'I have learned that researchers must actively seek ‘new ways’ of promoting a greater use of research evidence to inform policy and practice and not rely on traditional methods of dissemination or assume that decision-makers see the value in research or understand its findings.'

Covering a broad range of areas relevant to his work and interests, Martin believes the MSc has constituted an important part of his professional development:

'I believe that the MSc has significantly enhanced my career prospects…It has given me greater confidence in my ability to undertake research reviews and helped me to broaden my career.

(*The MSc was renamed Systematic Reviews for Policy and Practice in 2016) 

 

 

  
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