As an NHS senior data analyst for the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Lee Coulson is accustomed to working on issues affecting everything from social and primary to acute and mental health care.

Lee Coulson

That can range from evaluating service models and long-term planning to demand and capacity modelling.

However, after eight years in the role he was interested in enhancing his skills and possibly progressing to become a principal analyst.

Lee originally worked as a telecoms engineer, then became a local authority data analyst.

He knows how fast the economic situation can change and feels that it’s important to keep learning and upgrading your skills.

As someone with a keen mind – having previously taken a degree in electronics and telecoms engineering and then an open BSc degree with the Open University  – he felt that a Master’s degree could help his career and was something that he would enjoy.

Lee was accepted as a part-time student on the Health Data Science MSc course at Exeter and, once he got used to studying again, it’s been something he has found rewarding and stimulating. He especially likes the fact that so much of the course is hands-on and project based.

His employers are contributing to the fees and giving him a day a week for his studies.

And Lee’s new learning in areas such as forecasting, geospatial analyses and discrete event simulation modelling are of immediate use in his job and have taken his existing skills to a new level.