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next step on my journey - last msc exam!

It feels very surreal to be writing this, but I have finished the final exam of my MSc! It was a 30hour stats exam, running from July 17th to July 18th. It was an intense exam, but feel proud to be at this point, and only have my dissertation left to go! I thought it'd be a good point to reflect on my MSc so far.

So, for those of you reading this who don't know me, I graduated from the University of Leeds in Food Science and Nutrition BSc in the Summer of 2020 and started my MSc in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition at UCL in September 2020. The programme consists of 8 core modules (totaling 120 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits), and is run across 3 terms. What I especially found different by this year, was that modules were run in blocks. So we'd have 2 modules running at a time, once those finished, the next 2 started. And at the end of the second 2, you'd have the exams/ coursework for the first 2 - multi-tasking became very important! I really enjoyed all the modules this year, each one bringing in a different aspect of nutrition, and have just picked a couple here to share with you today.

Term 1 included a fundamental nutrition module, as everyone comes in from different backgrounds, this is a great opportunity to lay the foundations for the year. We also had the majority of our lab and stats modules in Term 1, although we couldn't be there in person this year, we made the most of what we could do online. I think one of my favourite modules was "Disease Related Malnutrition" because it was based in clinical nutrition, which included looking at the immune system, inherited & acquired metabolic diseases, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer, HIV, renal disease, nutritional anemias, aging, and my favourite... the gut microbiome!

In Term 2, we had a few more public health facing modules, in addition to new clinical nutrition ones. Public health wise, the module "Malnutrition In The Community" was really great. Unfortunately, due to social distancing regulations at the time, we were unable to visit any sites, but I felt lucky that we were able to talk with different settings via Zoom, to understand the impact they are having in the community. This included talks from schools, food banks, FoodTalk, Centrepoint, CASSH, and Diabetes UK. Then in clinical nutrition, the content from "Disease and Disordered Eating" was a module that particularly stood out to me, looking at the relationship between clinical disease and disordered eating.

So, this brings us to Term 3, where I am currently at. Term 3 is focused on our dissertations and is due on my birthday, August 26th! We started talking about dissertations at the end of Term 1, where I reached out to a number of supervisors who were doing topics of interest to me. I am now working on a systematic review looking at the relationship between the gut microbiome and eating disorders. For this, I have gone over to the "Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition" programme. This is because I wanted to use the opportunity of this year to explore different aspects of nutrition that I haven't before while keeping to one of my passions - the gut microbiome.

There have been some bumps along the way but it has been so interesting, I've learned plenty, and have really loved my MSc. I feel grateful to those who have supported me this year, and for the network of nutrition professionals who have helped develop my practice.


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