The School of Public Health (SPH) organized a five-day orientation programme for its newly enrolled Master of Public Health (MPH) students for the 2018/2019 academic year from September 10 – 14, 2018. The objective of the programme was to provide an overview of the MPH programme, its composition, an appreciation of students of their place on the programme, and ultimately an environment for free interaction between students and faculty. Faculty and students were in attendance for the five days of the programme.
Day 1 (September 10, 2018): After a brief introduction of faculty and a welcome address from the Dean of the School, several presentations were made to participants. These included, the history and future direction of the SPH; requirements for graduation; current educational programmes being run by the school; new educational programmes being introduced by the school; and expectations the School of Graduate Studies had of students.
Day 2 (September 11, 2018): Participants were introduced to some computer applications in public health. These included; databases (e.g. Pubmed, HINARI, Cochrane Library, Global Health) and search engines (e.g. Google Scholar) required for literature searches and some commonly used reference and citation management software (e.g. Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero). The students later broke into their various programme groupings to interact with their heads of department and discuss issues related to topic selection for their dissertations.
Day 3 (September 12, 2018): The day began with presentations centered on analytical software for both qualitative (e.g. Nvivo) and quantitative data (e.g. STATA, IBM SPSS, Epi Info) and some components of the Microsoft office suite (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint). This was followed by a session providing guidance on defining research areas, research methods and identifying key stakeholders in public health.
Day 4 (September 13, 2018): A presentation on literature search, its importance and performance, and referencing approaches introduced the day. Participants were further introduced to the library, facilities and services available to students and the use of the Turnitin software.
Day 5 (September 14, 2018): Statistics constitutes an important aspect of the MPH programme, as such this session sought to orient participants on what to expect in the months ahead. The five-day programme ended with the Dean of the School providing an overview of the week’s events, encouraging the new students on the tasks ahead and thanking all for their active participation.