Apprentice Spotlight

Kirstie McKay
MSc Medical Statistician Degree Apprentice
Principal Data Scientist, Modeling & Forecasting - Fortrea Development Ltd

What made you choose a Degree Apprenticeship and why Strathclyde?

My team (Modeling & Forecasting) was founded by two statisticians and I joined in 2010 as a mathematics graduate. I worked with both statisticians closely for many years and I learned so much from them. However, they’ve since moved on leaving a need for a statistician in our team.

I was looking for a statistics training opportunity that I could fit around my existing role so when I heard about this apprenticeship, which was in development, it could not have been a more perfect fit. Especially as the fees are fully covered.

I chose Strathclyde because it was the only provider for the MSc Medical Statistician apprenticeship at the time. However, I have family who have studied and worked at Strathclyde so I knew its reputation and was very happy to come here.

How has the Degree Apprenticeship supported your career development?

Although I’ve worked in this role for over 10 years, having this qualification will round out my knowledge to continue the development of our tools and assure clients of my experience.

How have you found juggling work and study commitments?

Honestly, this has been tough but I have a really supportive line manager and team, so I’ve been able to firmly carve out one day a week from work.

What are you enjoying most about the course?

I’ve been impressed by the standard of teaching and structure of the course. It’s clear that Strathclyde has worked hard to develop this online offering.

What support have you received from the University?

All the staff I have interacted with have been brilliant. Across all the modules, I have had regular feedback throughout and prompt responses to any questions.

We also have regular scheduled check-ins to provide feedback and to ensure I am keeping on top of both the coursework and the Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours evidence.

What advice would you give to anyone considering the MSc Medical Statistician Degree Apprenticeship?

If coming to this after a long gap since university like me then I would make sure this is something you have a strong self-motivation to do. It's a big commitment of your time. However, for newer graduates, I would jump at the opportunity to study for free whilst getting paid!