My MSc led to recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a post at the University of Birmingham
“I started my academic career as a Classicist with a keen interest in Biological Anthropology. As a student who could translate Aristophanes and Martial, have long conversations on how and why ancient Greek dialects would differ that much from each other and, at the same time, would spend afternoons in the University museum to analyse skeletal remains, my pathway was everything but defined.
“As I finished my BA, I enrolled in the Human Osteology with Funerary Archaeology MSc (University of Sheffield). During that year, I decided to provide my studies (and future career) with a less dispersive direction, and questioned myself about my true academic interests.
Luckily enough, I had the opportunity to undertake the human anatomy module as part of this MSc. As a person who learns mainly from practice, I greatly enjoyed how the anatomy teaching was delivered in Sheffield, where most of the learning came from practical sessions in the dissection room.
MSc Human Anatomy with Education
“Luckily enough, I had the opportunity to undertake the human anatomy module as part of this MSc. As a person who learns mainly from practice, I greatly enjoyed how the anatomy teaching was delivered in Sheffield, where most of the learning came from practical sessions in the dissection room. As I started to work more on dissections and osteological reports, I realised my true interests lie within the field of anatomy, rather than with archaeology. In addition, as I got involved in the Human Osteology short-course as a demonstrator, I started to develop an interest towards teaching the subjects I loved.
“After graduation, I worked as a supply teacher in Secondary Schools to gain more teaching experience. Meanwhile, I kept in contact with the Staff at the University of Sheffield Medical Teaching Unit and with my MSc supervisor, who were incredibly supportive in listening to my never ending streams of questions and doubts; as they knew my interests and ambitions, they warmly encouraged me to apply for the MSc in Human Anatomy with Education, which - at the time - was running for the first year.
“The aims of the course and the way it is structured looked perfectly tailored to my career ambitions. The fact that the course was held at the University of Sheffield made my decision even firmer, as I absolutely enjoyed being a student here, and can honestly say Sheffield is a second home to me (the Medical Teaching Unit in particular!)
“The course presents an independent and practical-based approach to Anatomy learning, where most of it happens in the dissection room. Here, we worked in small groups of four or five people, and learned the human anatomy on -or, rather, with- our “quiet teachers”, towards whom I feel immensely grateful.
“The student-led and dissection-based approach to learning was critical for me to develop an in-depth subject knowledge, as well as for practicing peer teaching with my course mates and developing an inclusive learning environment. On this note, I feel privileged to have studied with course mates coming from diverse academic backgrounds. This helped me achieve a more comprehensive knowledge of the human body, and understand how varied approaches to learning are. This was particularly useful given the range of teaching opportunities I got involved in as part of the MSc: besides the weekly Anatomy teaching to Biomedical Science students (a golden opportunity to both consolidate my Anatomy knowledge and to develop appropriate teaching strategies), I acted as a mentor in the Forensic Anatomy Mass Online Open Course “Finding Mr. X”, and volunteered for the Discovery Night and Women in STEM events with other coursemates.
“These events were thoroughly advertised throughout the year, and are excellent opportunities to practice teaching in different settings. In addition to the weekly teaching practice and the Education based modules, this experience helped me to achieve the Fellowship of Higher Education Academy (FHEA). This recognition is becoming increasingly important for people who seek a career in teaching in Higher Education, and was one of the aspects that helped me in securing the Anatomy Teaching Fellow post at the University of Birmingham.”
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