School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Student Profile

Nikita Bathla image
Master of International Public Health (MIPH) / Master of Health Management (MHM) (Dual Degree)
Mode of study : 
Full-time; Internal face-to-face classes
Country : 
India
Previous Education : 
MBBS (India)

I decided to enrol at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW primarily because it offers a dual degree in both Public Health and Health Management. As a young clinician, I wanted to build a strong theoretical foundation in both fields to ease my transition out of clinical medicine and yet have the flexibility to choose my future career. The dual degree enabled me to truly seek out my interests, develop them and forge my own career path ahead.

Most important thing learned

The most important thing I have learned in my studies is the importance of research and evidence-based practice. Research is the foundation upon which knowledge, behavior and practice rests. SPHCM has helped me hone my research and critical thinking skills and transfer them into practical work in my daily life. The research-oriented courses and practical opportunities has taught me to have an open mind, question everything, experiment from time to time and form my own opinion based on multiple opinions and experiences.  

Most challenging thing

When I first began studying at SPHCM, I was overwhelmed with the vast experiences of my colleagues. With limited practical experience myself, I found myself not having much to share and talking less and listening more. With time I have realised that every classroom has diverse perspectives with a wealth of experience. There is always something to contribute and something to learn.  

Enjoyed the most

The thing I have enjoyed the most about my studies is the unique pedagogy of the school and UNSW itself. Classes are always interactive and each professor, tutor and student comes with a different perspective on the world and its workings. The assignments have not only challenged me to think out of the box but have also allowed me to always focus on my own individual interests. This has enabled me to widen my horizons, participate, contribute and continually self-reflect thus enriching my journey through the program. 

Message to newly commencing students

I would encourage new students to participate in everything that comes their way. Whether it’s inside class, practical experience or cultural experiences – actively participating helps you mould yourself into a global citizen. These experiences not only enrich your professional life but also have a lasting impact on your personal life.

How degree will assist in your career

This degree will assist me in my endeavour to transition from clinical medicine to be a full-time researcher and public health practitioner. It has given me a solid base upon which to build my practical experiences in public health back in my home country. Through my degree I have developed communication skills, leadership skills and a global perspective which will allow me to look at issues in my own country through a new lens and develop novel approaches to tackle public health threats in India.