Health Informatics – Student Profile James Brennan

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James Brennan is a senior Healthcare Management Consultant with Brennan Fitzgerald Associates. He tells us about the MSc in Health Informatics offered by the University of Limerick.

Name: James Brennan

Course: MSc in Health Informatics

College: Department of Computer Science and Information (University of Limerick)

James’ background

Back in the days before the Celtic Tiger when UL was NIHE Limerick, Ireland was poor, and many graduates emigrated. I duly ended up in London as a Management Accountant, after four enjoyable years studying for a BBS (Accounting and Finance).

At that time the Internet, email, broadband and the mobile phone had yet to see the light of day, and Health Informatics was quaintly known as ‘Computers in Medicine’. I came back to Ireland as a partner in a firm of Accountants and Management Consultants. Most of my work was in ICT projects in the healthcare sector. I kept abreast of professional developments in the area of Health Informatics over that period. However, I felt that there was no specific course in Ireland addressing my particular niche until 2009, when I joined the new MSc course in Health Informatics in UL.

About the course

The course is in 10 blocks (Friday and Saturday) over two terms and a dissertation over the summer. This suited the class. We came from all over Ireland and all of us worked full-time.

We learned a great deal from each other by working together in groups, both on campus and by distance. Distance learning was a key feature of the course. The course content was a good balance of ICT and healthcare. It is very relevant and topical for anybody involved in ICT projects in healthcare, especially from the clinical and nursing areas.

The academic staff were excellent and very supportive, especially for the dissertation. In my case it involved a fact-finding mission in Europe. The campus has improved beyond recognition. The facilities were excellent, especially the library and the remote ICT services, such as Moodle. I thoroughly enjoyed the course. Finally, it was a coincidence that I returned to my Alma Mater., as I would have travelled anywhere in Ireland for this particular course.


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