Given the growing prevalence and resulting impact on healthcare resources, there is an urgent need to provide specialist training in preventative health. A suite of masters programmes at NUI Galway are focussed on circulatory disease prevention and control which remains one of Ireland’s top three killers.
The scientific evidence for prevention is compelling with up to 80 per cent of heart attacks and strokes being avoidable. Negative trends in obesity and diabetes further drive chronic health conditions associated with poor health and a reduced quality of life.
NUI Galway, in a unique partnership with the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health, is offering three specific MSc programmes in Preventive Cardiology, Diabetes and Obesity which are now all open for applications. The suite of Masters in Preventive Medicine and Cardiovascular Health are making history as the first and only of its kind in Ireland, led by world-class experts in Circulatory Health.
All three programmes take an important interdisciplinary approach, delivered in partnership with the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC) and Croí. This enables interaction with clinical experts in cardiovascular disease prevention, diabetes and obesity, together with community and public health champions and key opinion leaders in cardiovascular medicine. Inclusive of health professionals from a variety of backgrounds from all over the world, our teaching faculty is comprised of national and international leaders and clinical specialists from cardiology, nursing, nutrition, exercise and behavioural medicine. NUI Galway's cardiology strengths range from experts in cardiology devices, in detection, technology, digital health, cardiology care and world leading research.
NUI Galway is a proud affiliate of the NIPC, and this partnership allows students a unique opportunity to actively engage with patients at the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre in Galway and be immersed in real-world application. Croí’s heart and stroke centre serves thousands of people each year with a range of chronic conditions in heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. This allows students to work cohesively with patients while exploring new research with cardiovascular experts.
One of the key benefits of NUI Galway’s relationship with NIPC is the opportunity of first-hand implementation. Students taking the programmes gain first-hand experience in clinical settings and develop implementation skills in the areas of cardiovascular prevention, obesity, and diabetes. The team is comprised of world-class academics who are also engaged in exciting research. Students in all three programmes are required to undertake a dissertation, and this relationship with NIPC means students can do valuable research, which they may choose to translate into practice for their dissertation.
The courses within this portfolio are blended learning programmes largely delivered using online and flexible approaches, enabling students to simultaneously maintain professional roles in clinical practice or manage other commitments whilst completing their studies. Students are able to interact with their tutors and fellow students via advanced online virtual learning in real time. Part of assessment is implemented into students’ work life in clinical practice. However, the programmes are also designed to support those who are not currently working in cardiovascular health, diabetes and obesity, in which case students are supported to utilise the network of NIPC and Croí and join the health team in the Heart and Stroke Centre at Croí to implement their learning.
Clinical observations are completed across key areas of preventive medicine and cardiovascular health, eg cardiovascular risk reduction clinics, cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes, obesity and heart failure services, providing the opportunity to be immersed in the practicalities of current service delivery, rather than only learning the theory. The research component provides a strong foundation in practical use of research methods in preventive medicine and cardiovascular health, and the translation of research evidence into best practice.
Mary, a patient from the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre remarked; “As someone who attends a number of the many prevention and recovery programmes in the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre, I can see how the Masters' students in preventive medicine and cardiovascular health benefit from their time there. Not only do they get great mentorship from the Croí health team, but they also get to meet and learn from people living with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. I think it’s great that they get this face to face experience as part of their course. Over the years, I have met students from all over the world and I love meeting the new faces every semester. I feel this is a very important part of their training because they get to see patients as individuals and not just as a statistic.”