20/21 Eira Francis Scholarship Awardee

Bridget, who is from Bangladesh, is the recipient of the 20/21 Eira Francis Davies Scholarship and is currently studying MSc Public Health and Health Promotion.  

Prior to starting her MSc degree in Swansea, Bridget was working as a lecturer of Architecture in her home town Khulna in Bangladesh.

We chat to Bridget below to find out more about her course, life in Swansea and how the Eira Francis Davies Scholarship has impacted her life.

Bridget EFD winner

Meet Bridget Biswas...

How do you feel about being awarded this scholarship?

The Eira Francis Davies Scholarship is covering for my full-tuition fees at Swansea University. Winning this scholarship has been life changing for me as with its support I am progressing towards my academic goals. I feel honoured and privileged to have received this scholarship and committed to carry forward the spirit of it.

What did you do prior to studying at Swansea University?

After completing my MA in Architecture, Planning and Landscape from Newcastle University, I returned to my country in 2019 and started working as a lecturer of Architecture in Khulna, Bangladesh. Previously I worked as a part-time lecturer (2014-2016) of Architecture at Khulna University, Bangladesh, from where I completed my Bachelor of Architecture in 2014.

Why did you choose to study at Swansea University?

The first and the most important reason behind choosing Swansea University was that I was highly impressed by the structure of the programme, MSc Public Health and Health Promotion, as that fitted both my requirement and background. But the other factors that influenced my decision were different facilities and supports available, frequently vouched by previous students. Additionally, given the multicultural and multinational student community present at the university, it was an easy decision for me to choose to study at Swansea.

Can you tell us about your course?

For me, the mentioned MSc is uniquely appealing as it covers both public health and health promotion. The programme is neatly structured, so I feel informed about what to expect from it. My views towards ‘health’ have changed so much since I started the programme and I have become more engaged with the field. I also think different modules are designed in a way that they complement each other and deliver a holistic understanding.

My decision to apply for this particular programme was influenced by the research reputation of the School of Health and Social Care. Staff members of the programme are professionally experienced in public health and health promotion and are considered experts in their fields. I have found all the faculties to be very friendly and approachable. Certainly, learning from them has been an unparalleled experience for me so far.

What part of the course do you enjoy the most?

I feel very excited about the way the programme keeps challenging the students. The meaning of health and health promotion are being discussed and repeatedly reinvented in our classes. Also, the cohort being multinational, we get to hear about different countries’ perspectives that add a critical edge to the discussions.

What are your plans/hopes for the future?

I aspire to contribute through my area of expertise, which is built-environment, in achieving holistic health in my country, Bangladesh. I am motivated to work towards creating the culture of understanding ‘health’ and ‘planning’ as one integrated issue in low-middle income countries. After completing my MSc, I hope to prepare for my doctoral research in the interface between health and built-environment. In the future, I plan to start a ‘Public Health and Physical Planning’ consultancy firm in my country. I also wish to continue my work in academia and conduct empirical research to inform change from both ends. I am confident that my experiences from the programme at Swansea would be significant towards my envisaged future.

Would you recommend Swansea University to other students?

I would recommend Swansea University to other students because I have experienced the excellent academic and community environment at the university. Swansea University takes care of its students in different ways, i.e., academic, mental, physical and social. I have found the staff members to be extremely dedicated and willing to go some extra miles to support the students.

I should also mention that I started my studies during the pandemic which was undoubtedly a difficult time for me and I believe, the university as well. During all these, how the university has managed to support us and kept the academic standard uncompromised have showed its commitment. So, I wouldn’t think twice before recommending such an institution to anyone.

What has been the highlight of your experience at Swansea University so far?

Swansea University is very serious about academic success of the students. I have been amazed to see how many formative assignments we have been allowed to submit to get an idea of academic writing and marking criteria. There have been several sessions in between regular lectures regarding library guide, masters level writing and proof reading. Staff members are investing time to record audio/video lectures before live sessions which are helping with clear understanding. So, for me the highlight of my experience has been the high quality integrated teaching at the university.

How do you find Swansea as a place to study and live?

Since I have arrived in Swansea, I find everyone to be friendly; from university staffs to the locals I met at shops or on the streets. In my opinion, the city is culturally tolerant and safe to live in.

Being very close to the beach makes the campus very refreshing. I am looking forward to exploring the beautiful natural areas and the city in the coming days. I think Swansea is a wonderful place for a peaceful stay and study years.