Zara Brady

Zara Brady

Zara Brady

Master of Science in Medical Science

ATU Galway-Mayo

Can you tell us your name, job title and the course you studied at ATU?

My name is Zara Brady and I’m currently working as a Medical Scientist in the Biochemistry Department in Cavan General Hospital. I studied Medical Science (BSc.) at ATU for my undergraduate studies and am currently studying the Masters in Medical Science (MSc.) at ATU.

Can you share your career path to date?

I recently completed my undergraduate degree from ATU in 2021. Upon completion of my hospital-based project in Cavan General Hospital, I began working in the Haematology/Coagulation department covering maternity leave. Daily I performed routine procedures, such as analytical testing for the day to day running of the analysers and authorising and reporting patients results to aid in the diagnosis and management of haematological disorders. I have been working full-time in the Biochemistry department in Cavan General Hospital since the end of 2021.

What does your current role involve?

The Biochemistry department is involved in the measurement of the chemical constituents of bodily fluids to monitor the effects of treatment and aid in the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of many diseases. I perform routine procedures such as the daily running and maintenance of the analysers, analytical testing of patients samples, and authorising and reporting results.

What motivated you to start studying?

Completing my final year hospital-based project gave me a great sense of accomplishment as I felt that the research I carried out was invaluable to the Microbiology laboratory. This stimulated my interest in further research and desire to begin studying for the Masters program.

Why did you choose this course from ATU?

This Masters appealed to me due to the three-semester long research project that it offers. As I was just out of college prior to beginning the program, I wanted to gain more experience working in a clinical laboratory while also studying part-time. This course enables me to carry out meaningful research while also gaining experience working in a clinical setting due to its blended learning approach.

How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging?

I found studying online challenging at the beginning as I had to be organised and plan around when I was working with meeting studying deadline. However, once I established a way that balanced both work and study, studying online was extremely beneficial as it enabled me to continue working full-time and studying part-time without the hassle of commuting. 

How did you balance work and study?

I had to determine the times I was working and then from that establish what I was going to study and when based on the demands and what was due.

In terms of your employer, were they supportive of your decision to study? Were there elements of the course that were particularly relevant to your current employer?

I was fortunate that my colleagues encouraged me to continue studying and have also been extremely accommodating that I am a part-time student.  

What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online?

Time management is essential and being able to plan in advance is helpful especially when working around work demands and college deadlines.

In what way has studying online with ATU benefitted your career?

Studying online enabled me to continue working full-time and studying part-time after work without any hassle of commuting. Studying the Masters in Medical Science also equips you with the knowledge and skills required to further your career into a senior position in the clinical laboratory and opens up the opportunity for progression to Level 10 studies.

Did this course provide any unexpected benefits to your career?

One of the aspects I enjoyed most about the course was the guest lectures from experts in the Medical Science field. This offered a deeper understanding into niche topics and different perspectives on job prospects within Medical Science.

Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role?

The material covered in this course is very relevant to working in a clinical  laboratory, and lectures are also extremely understanding and accommodating as they know people are working full-time.


Learn more about the MSc in Medical Science