School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Student Profile

Manoshayini Sooriyakumaran image
Master of Public Health (MPH) / Master of International Public Health (MIPH) (Dual Degree)
Mode of study : 
Part-time, External by Distance
Country : 
Australia
Previous Education : 
MBBS (Hons), BMedSci (Hons)

I wanted to explore my interest in public health and upskill to open up opportunities beyond clinical medicine. UNSW particularly appealed to me because of the flexible studying options for those working full-time like myself, and the variety of sub-specialisations that allow you to tailor your degree to your own interests. It’s great for me to be able to focus on my area of interest – international public health.

Most important thing learned

The most important thing I’ve learned is how wide the scope of public health is, and how many different sectors play a role in its delivery. The diversity of professional backgrounds just within my program is amazing. Doctors like myself are just one tiny piece of the puzzle.  

Most challenging thing

The most challenging thing for me is probably the complexity of the content in many of the subjects, which is also part of its appeal! Prior to my Masters, I was used to studying largely by rote-learning facts. This has been a completely different way of learning, through detailed reading and writing around a topic. It requires much deeper thought than simple memorisation, and a lot more creativity.  

Enjoyed the most

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to learn alongside students from all over the world, and from such a variety of professional backgrounds. As someone who is quite early on in their career, it has been amazing to learn from others within the course and hear about the amazing work people are doing right now on the ground. 

Message to newly commencing students

Be open to new ideas and listen to the lived experience of others. You may come with a wealth of your own knowledge, but there is so much more you can learn from your tutors, your colleagues and the wide range of resources available to you. Public health is about collaboration, so be ready for that! 

How degree will assist in your career

Having worked only in clinical medicine prior to these studies, I very much hope to shift my career focus towards health promotion and preventative work. I feel that the knowledge and skills afforded by my degree will equip me well to make this transition, and allow me to hopefully contribute to positive change at a broader level.