Alumni profiles - Bill Malcolm
MSc Health Economics and Health Policy, Part-time 2012
Health Economics and Outcomes Research Manager at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK
The best part of the course was the flexibility for students that are also in full-time employment. The quality of material taught was excellent and relevant to employers."
How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?
I have worked in pharmaceuticals for just over 10 years when I joined the industry after completing an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. I worked in various commercial roles before becoming a senior medical development advisor at Novartis in 2009. One of the fastest growing sectors in pharmaceuticals at present is Health Economics – this is due to the ever growing presence of health technology assessment groups the world-over, together with the need to drive efficient use of money spent in healthcare in the context of a struggling European economy. A Master’s Degree course in Health Economics is a pre-requisite for entrance into this field within Pharmaceuticals. The University of Birmingham has a fantastic reputation in this field and a strong pedigree of producing postgraduates with the skills required for the field.
What is the best thing about the job you are doing now?
I find that I am able to apply my newly acquired skills whilst continuing to develop every day I step into the office. It is academically stimulating and rewarding.
Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?
It was recommended to me by a previous colleague at my last company, AstraZeneca. The University of Birmingham has a well-established pedigree in this field together with excellent teaching staff.
What did you think were the best points of the course and the University?
The best part of the course was the flexibility for students that are also in full time employment. The quality of material taught was excellent and relevant to employers. The University had convenient transport access as I did not live locally and also has an excellent reputation.
What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?
Remain positive when the pressure of exams comes along. Continue to remind yourself why you are studying this and where it is all leading to. Never lose sight of your objectives for undertaking this work and plan your career early on.
How did you grow as a person by studying at University? Did it change your life in any way?
I have enormously enhanced my skills set in this specific area. It also helped awaken my grey matter to the extent that I was excited to study again and be passionate about the field. It has changed my life considerably as I have relocated to a different part of the UK to pursue a new role as a Health Economics and Outcomes Research Manager for one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.