One of the attractions of the University of Exeter’s MSc in Health Data Science for Sagar is that it involves a research project that allows students to apply what they have learned in a real-world setting. In his case it will be a working with Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust helping identify how to shorten hospital stays for terminally ill patients so they can spend as much of their remaining time as possible in their own homes.

All of this helps students prepare effectively for the jobs market.

During his undergraduate degree in biology at Sheffield Sagar found he particularly enjoyed the modules on programming and statistics and became interested in computational biology. He decided to take a Master’s when he found that jobs in the field tended to require a quantitative background.

During the first part of the course he spent time on a variety of projects of the type he might end up doing for real in later years. One involved calculating genetic risk scores to anticipate a patient’s likelihood of developing diabetes. Another involved predicting future attendance rates for a paediatric unit while a third involved a design simulation of a stroke ward.

Once the degree is complete he is likely to pursue a career in either industry or the NHS.