Postgraduate Student Selection in the UK

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This literature review will explore the current knowledge on postgraduate student selection in the UK and other countries and attempt to examine research done on the various student selection tools, the desired qualities of ideal postgraduate students and predictors of student performance in postgraduate courses. The author will attempt to critique and identify gaps in the current literature. Information gathered from this process will be used to inform and backup the chosen methodology of this project. SEARCH STRATEGY: A search was conducted for articles written in English language on the student selection criteria for postgraduate public health education. Databases included in the search were MEDLINE, ERIC and WEB OF SCIENCE. The electronic terms used alone or in combination for the search included “MASTERS”, “PUBLIC HEALTH”, “MPH”, “MSc”, “POSTGRADUATE”, “UNDERGRADUATE,” “MEDICAL SCHOOL.” “SELECTION”, “CRITERIA”, “ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT”, “PERSONAL STATEMENT” , “INTERVIEWS” and “ REFERENCE LETTER” . Search terms combinations were modified using AND/OR and database specific wildcards (e.g. ? or $). The initial search provided very limited relevant data on the subject being researched. Based on the results generated, articles reviewed were from the British Medical Journal, Medical Teacher, Academic Medicine, Journal of Epidemiology, Epidemiology and Community Medicine and European Journal of Public Health, among others. Further scrutiny was carried out on the reference sections of relevant articles identified by the initial search for further related publications. The search was aimed at identifying studies on student selection. POSTGRADUATE STUDENT SELECTION: The United Kingdom is home to some of the most reputable lear... ... middle of paper ... ... of different formats of these tools makes it difficult to assess their true value in terms of their predictive power, validity, reliability and reproducibility. The first step toward the possible standardization of these tools will be to establish and understand the functions of each tool in the opinion of course directors, this is one aim this paper will try to achieve. The main goal of any student selection process is geared towards identifying individuals who that are most likely to succeed in the course. It also aims to prevent the acceptance of candidates that will most likely constitute a risk to the profession. It is however surprising, that despite the important role played by public health practitioners in safeguarding the health of the public, no research has been carried out to assess the current selection criteria used by SOPH in the united kingdom.

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