Within a few months of starting her MSc in Health Data Science at the University of Exeter, Amy Heather succeeded in securing a job as a researcher.

Originally from Suffolk, Amy took a BSc in Medical Sciences at Exeter during which she found she had a talent for working with data – preferring it to lab work. Her interest was deepened by a year’s placement with AstraZeneca during which she used diverse datasets to help investigate the immune responses to some of their drugs.

Amy wanted to progress further and get formal training in the data research field. This resulted in her being offered a place on the Exeter MSc course complete with an HDR UK scholarship, something she describes as “a big, big plus”.

Amy had some prior coding experience but feels the course has increased her confidence in writing code to a higher standard. The course has covered various aspects of coding in Python including object-oriented programming, package development and using GitHub for collaboration and version control.

Amy said: “I’ve developed some fundamental coding skills in Python that I can apply to other languages. I know more of what to think about when it comes to writing and distributing code.”

The course has also covered subjects like health statistics and machine learning.

At each stage of her university career Amy has found that new doors open up to her, including securing a 30 month post as a research assistant with the Exeter University-based PenCHORD group as part of the Kailo adolescent mental health research programme.

Finding a job at an early stage has had the additional advantage that she can carry out her Master’s dissertation with the group.

Amy said: “I’ve been lucky in the way things have aligned, especially being able to do my dissertation with the group before starting a job with them. It’s a great prospect for me as I’ll be working as a research assistant doing modelling to help with a big research programme.”

For more about this course click here.