Advice from afar: students share their tips for studying via distance learning

We caught up with some of our distance learning students to ask them what advice they would give to someone considering studying via distance learning at LSHTM and to share their experiences of the programmes. Here’s what they had to say…

Alex Zuckermann
Global Health Policy (distance learning)

“Have a look at all the information given on the website (there’s a lot!) and then go for it! Don’t underestimate how much time it takes, take the time to sit down at the start of the year and make a plan, then stick to it. Start slow if you’re not sure how much you can do alongside your job. Use the forums! That’s where I’ve gotten my best feedback.”

Aye Thar Aye
Infectious Diseases (distance learning)

 Time management
“I am working as a trust grade doctor in an NHS hospital and I have to spend at least 10 hrs per week studying. Despite the hectic workload, I was still able to manage to study and pass the compulsory module exams first time around. It will take more time when you first start learning the compulsory modules, which are like the foundation programme. Once you get to grips with the basic modules, I think the elective modules will be easier and study will be faster because your elective studies build on those basics.”

“Based on my experience, I would say self-study on such a well-supported distance learning programme is not inferior to attending on campus. As a distance learning student, you need to read a lot: doing literature research on top of the study materials provided and making your own notes. For those who prefer to study with others, I would suggest finding friends nearby or building online study groups via Facebook or Moodle (virtual learning environment) to avoid isolation and to keep motivated.”

Assignments and exams
“These usually assess students’ ability to apply our knowledge and analyse problems practically. Answers are not based on only one chapter and sometimes you’ll need to draw on different sections for one answer. Understanding the principles is vital if you want to pass exams and assignments, rather than memorising facts. Reading past exam questions will give you an idea of how to prepare for the exam as well.”

Kelsey Yaremko
Global Health Policy (distance learning)

“Be confident that you can take on the challenge. It may seem daunting at first, especially since it may have been a long while since you were in school, but know you are more than capable. There is plenty of support available from tutors and students all around the world, and everyone has similar struggles throughout the programme. Always give yourself more time to read the material than you think you need. Plan your year of studying in advance, and set reasonable and attainable goals so you don’t feel overwhelmed or disappointed if things don’t go as planned. Be kind to yourself as learning takes time!”

Stefanie Kircher
Epidemiology (distance learning)

“Studying with LSHTM can be very stressful and strenuous at times, but it is always these moments which make it worth in the end, and these moments are so special. This is the only programme which pushed me to my limits so often but this is also the only programme which is truly special to me. It has taught me so much and given me so many beautiful memories and experiences. I really enjoy studying with the LSHTM and I cannot wait for the years to come!”

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