MSc Health Data Science Guest Talks

As part of their Fundamentals for Health Data Science module, our MSc Health Data Science students recently had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers across different industries about what they do in health data science, and the career paths that have led them to where they are now.

Quin Ashcroft

Quin Ashcroft works in data science at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She talked about data collection and cleaning in practice at an NHS trust, the difficulties of dealing with missing data, and the ethical considerations of data science in healthcare. Quin also gave examples of some of the projects she has worked on.

James Colborn

James Colborn is a Senior Advisor at Clinton Health Access Initiative. James talked about developing research questions, the challenges of working with healthcare data, and the importance of effectively communicating results. James also showcased specific examples from his work in modelling Malaria.

Oscar Hansen and Chris Coppins

Oscar Hansen (Data and AI Business Consultant), and Chris Coppins (Senior Data Scientist) gave a joint talk about what it's like to be a data scientist at Avanade, and the different aspects of their roles at the company. They also talked through one of their recent projects, and showcased their solution with a live demonstration for students.

Gareth Burns

Gareth Burns is a Senior Statistical Software Developer at Exploristics who talked to students about his journey from agricultural science to developing software for clinical trial design, and the variety of opportunities that a career in data science can bring. Gareth showcased how simulation can be used to help make better decisions in designing clinical trials - see the animation below for an example.

Animation of two distributions

Charlie Turner

Our final guest speaker, Charlie Turner, talked about some of their work at UKHSA. Charlie talked about the challenges of working with very small data and the challenges of working with very big data, as well as the importance of effectively visualising data. Charlie also discussed the process of an analysis project, starting with figuring out what questions you are trying to answer.

We're very grateful to all of our guest speakers for taking the time to connect with our MSc Health Data Science students. Our students benefitted from learning about the use of data science in health settings as part of the Fundamentals of Health Data Science module. They gained a lot from hearing about practical applications of what they learn in lectures, were able to understand some of the challenges experienced when applying methods to healthcare data, and see the big impact that data science can have in the real world. It also gave them the opportunity to see potential career directions they could go in after their studies.

For more information on our MSc Health Data Science programme, visit our Study webpage.

Updated: Monday 13 November, 2023