MSc in Safety & Risk ManagementMark McKenna

Tell us a bit about your background (education, home city etc).

I completed high school in Edinburgh in 1987, little formal education after that until taking this course.

What inspired you to undertake the Safety and Risk Management programme?

I had been a health & Safety professional for many years and occassionally the question about a degree came up. It was never “required” for my roles but I felt it was a gap I needed to address, both personally and professionally.

How did you find balancing the commitments of work with those of the programme?

When I started the course I was working at least 8-10 hours a day during the week, and travelled a lot for work between Africa, the UK and the US. At times finding the balance was hard, but Strathclyde University and George my tutor gave me as much flexibilty as they could and with a bit of work up front for each session I was able to plan ahead and stay on track.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Safety and Risk Management at Strathclyde?

Do it! It’s a great course with excellent staff and tutors and the effort is definitely worth the reward, both personally and professionally.

How did you find the support available to you at the University (resources, tutors, teaching etc)?

Excellent. I was personally supported by Callum the course Director, the support staff and of course George Petrie my tutor as needed and I cannot say thank you enough. They really made a difference and my experience was much better than many colleagues who have undertaken similar study with different universities.

What learnings have you taken with you, from the programme into your role?

The research techniques taught through the course have been invaluable in my role, with the undertsanding that I don’t have to have all the answers myself and I now know how to find information and current best practice on any topic I wish to look at.

Since completing the programme, have you taken on any further training?

Since completing the course I have entered into a research project with NIOSH in the US, which is as a direct result of work done for my research project topic, and still directly relevant to my current role.

Any final points, or words of wisdom?

Having not undertaken any formal education since leaving high school the though of doing this course was daunting, but the University and staff are set up to help people like me and with a bit of guidance at the start I was soon off and running and didn’t look back. I cannot recommend this course highly enough, you will not regret it.