We caught up with Tony to find out about his time studying for the masters’ program MSc Safety, Health and Environment at Salford. Read on to find out more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m Tony, I’m currently studying for a master’s in Safety, Health and Environment alongside my fulltime role as a HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Coordinator for a synthetic dye manufacturer based in West Yorkshire. I’m sponsored by my employer to get the knowledge required to help the company become a leader in its practices.
My background is in chemistry, so I gained my BSc in Chemistry from the University of Huddersfield, graduating in 2015. After graduation I worked in research and development until my current role presented me with the opportunity to progress my education further.
What inspired you to study Safety, Health and Environment?
It’s not a subject I chose, it chose me! But as soon as the idea to pivot to HSE was presented it didn’t take me long to accept and grasp it with both hands; the opportunity to shape and influence the safety and environmental culture of a business had me excited. It’s also a career that involves a lot of collaboration with others and social skills, which I think plays to my strengths.
Why did you choose the University of Salford?
The University of Salford came well recommended to me by my General Manager who lives locally. The course seemed like a fantastic option in comparison to the standard NEBOSH course because it offers further skills and knowledge.
Which areas of the course have you enjoyed the most so far?
I’ve enjoyed the blend of specific subject knowledge and general post-graduate study skills. Having been outside of academic learning for 7 years, the “Postgraduate Scholarship Skills” module and “Research Design & Delivery” modules really helped me get my groove back when it comes to writing and presenting academic work.
As for other modules I’ve enjoyed, “Standards & Auditing” was invaluable to further understanding the motivations behind various business standards (such as ISO 9001 – the internationally recognised standard for Quality Management Systems), as well as providing the opportunity to conduct an internal audit in a controlled, learning environment.
The modules “Risk Regulation” and “Safety Conservation” helped me deepen my knowledge of occupational safety and health, incident management, effective corrective actions and root cause analysis.
“Environmental Impact Assessment” helped me understand an area of environmental management I hadn’t considered before, surrounding large, and complex, building developments.
What are your career aspirations?
I’m hoping the course provides me with the knowledge to be an effective HSE professional. It will allow me to lead in my current industrial role and be a driving force for sustainable change. I want to have a positive impact on the business’ practice and for others to look to me as a leader. I believe this course will help me achieve these goals.
How do you think what you’ve learnt here will equip you in your future career?
The specific subject knowledge is invaluable and getting an understanding as to why certain practices are done in industry is genuinely interesting. On top of this, and more importantly to me , the university does a fantastic job of helping you get your work ethic right, providing the training to effectively problem solve and successfully collaborate with others, as well as teaching you where to find the correct information.
What types of facilities/ specialist equipment have been most useful to you?
The library has been invaluable to my studies. It offers multiple floors to go and work quietly, or collaboratively, with private rooms available to book. Importantly they also help with the skills to search for your required information and how to correctly reference. The staff are incredibly friendly and can’t do enough to help. As a student living away from Salford, the ability to access a large portion of the library online has been really useful, and having access to various standard BSI databases has proven to be helpful.
How have you found your experience of postgraduate life?
Student life, alongside working full time in my job, at the same time my daughter was born has been hard! However, my tutor has been incredibly understanding and supportive; without her, I’m unsure if I would have succeeded as much as I have so far. Any concerns I’ve had with the logistics of learning part time have been taken seriously and any accommodations that could be made have been.
What advice would you give to anyone considering postgraduate study at Salford?
Salford is a fantastic university to study a postgraduate program; you’re offered so much support from the lecturers, you’re given opportunities to work collaboratively, and the program is built to mirror real word examples and applications; this really helps you understand the topics in context, not just as an academic exercise.
The program is hard work, but highly rewarding, you will only get out of it what you put in, and the university will do all they can for you to succeed. If you’re seriously considering postgraduate studies, Salford is a fantastic place to grow.
Find out more about studying MSc Safety, Health and Environment at Salford