Thursday, 29 August 2013

Enhance your health career, online

So you’re a busy health professional looking to develop your career within the field, aiming to shape the health sector or just wanting to make a difference within the local community. UH Online have launched two health courses that maybe of interest to you:
  • MPH Master of Public Health (online)

  • MSc Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion (online)

MPH Master of Public Health (online)

NursePublic Health as a means of preventing ill health and promoting well-being is increasingly taking a key role in society. Such a topical area in health currently, you can ensure your skills are up to date with an online MPH Master of Public Health degree.

We've developed this course with lots of optional modules which gives you an excellent opportunity to specialise in both the local and global context:
  • Commissioning and leadership

  • Management of the double burden of communicable and non-communicable conditions

  • Primary care

  • Child health

  • Health system approaches to improving public health outcomes and addressing health inequalities.
We’ve tailored this online course towards the needs of diverse health professionals including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and allied health, social care and environmental health professionals, plus the wider public health workforce in the non-governmental sector. It also supports managerial, policy and practitioner career pathways.

To find out more about the course including the University staff teaching on the course, the modules, fees and start dates visit the UH Online website

MSc Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion (online)*

This is an innovative e-learning programme developed through partnerships between experts, experienced practitioners and academics in the areas of mental health, social inclusion, leadership and recovery. The partners are:
  • University of Hertfordshire (UK)

  • New University Lisbon (Portugal)

  • The University of Torino (Italy)

  • The Maria Grzegorzewsaka Academy of Special Education (Poland)

  • Azienda Sanitaria Locale ASL AT, Asti (Italy)

  • Experts by experience

  • National Advisory Groups

  • Professor Larry Davidson, Yale University, USA.
Launching November 2013, it's a great opportunity to gain a postgraduate certificate in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion. You will then have the opportunity to continue your studies and gain the full Master's award.

We’ve developed this course to cater for mental health professionals from all disciplines, as well as service users, carers, service managers, policy makers and those who aspire to be leaders in their areas of expertise and in their country.

Studying 100% online means you can study when and wherever you want anywhere around the globe. There are no attendance requirements, although you will be offered at least two individual online tutorials and two group tutorials, as well as regular contact with tutors.

Great news for EU students!

The EU Erasmus Life Long Learning Programme funds this Master’s degree. This means the first two modules are free for EU students for 2013 intake (subject to availability and eligibility). Non-EU students can still apply for this course but will need to pay fees.

To find out more about the course including the modules, fees and application deadlines visit the UH Online website.
*This course is subject to validation.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Finish your studies sooner: BA(Hons) Business Administration (online)

Business man studying online in primrose hillStudying for an undergraduate degree online takes a whole lot of commitment, time management and dedication. A great achievement once graduated, but at a part-time study rate of 6 years, it can be a bit of a long haul.

We understand students would like to get their studies finished a lot sooner, to continue with life and progress their career. Because of this, we are now offering an increased rate of study, so you can complete your BA Business Administration degree online in 3, 4, or 5 years instead of 6 (or in 1 year instead of 2 for the top up).

How does it work?

  1. Once you’re on the first semester studying the first two modules of the BA Business Administration (online), contact your programme tutor and express your interest in increasing your rate of study.
  2. The programme tutor will then take a look at your current performance on the course and base their decision on this, ensuring an increased rate of study will be manageable for you.
  3. If accepted, you can then study the additional modules over the third semester break.

It is a lot of work, but with time management and dedication you can complete your online business degree a little sooner.

Find out more about the online Business course

Depressed people have a more accurate perception of time

“Time seems to drag” is a phrase that people with depression often use to describe their experiences and their life.  Yet they have a surprising accuracy when it comes to estimating time intervals – more accurate than their happier peers – according to a new study just published By Professor Diana Kornbrot at the University of Hertfordshire’s Health & Human Sciences Research Institute (HHSRI).

People with mild depression underestimate their talents - often distorting the facts and viewing their lives more negatively than non-depressed people.  Their feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness and of being out of control are some of the main symptoms of depression – and for these people time seems to pass very slowly.  But they have a more accurate perception of reality than their happier friends and family who often look at life through rose-tinted glasses and hope for the best!

The study found that depressed people were accurate when estimating time whereas non-depressed peoples’ estimations were too high.    This may be because mildly-depressed people focus their attention on time and less on external influences, and therefore have clarity of thought – a phenomenon known as ‘depressive realism’.

This timing skill may be able to help in the treatment of people with depression as they are often encouraged to check themselves against reality.  It may also link to successful mindfulness-based treatments for depression which focus on encouraging present moment awareness.

The paper, “Time perception and depressive realism: Judgement type, psychophysical functions and bias”, is published in PLOS ONE.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Bayfordbury hosts BBC News

The skies over the University of Hertfordshire’s Observatory at Bayfordbury were clear last night as BBC Science News Correspondent Pallab Ghosh went along to see and film the Perseids meteor shower. See Pallab's report here.

It was a very good night for shooting stars – with many sightings of fireballs reported by our astronomers at Bayfordbury.   One particular fireball image from Bayfordbury was very impressive and left a persistent train visible for ten seconds (see Bayfordbury AllSky Camera image below) – and was also seen by the UK Meteor network.

Last night was the peak time to see the shooting stars – but for any of you who may have missed them, there is another opportunity this evening – let’s hope for clear skies again!  But do wrap up warmly as it was a little chilly outside last night!
Meteor fireball shown as streak on right-hand side taken at Bayfordbury

Monday, 12 August 2013

Shooting stars in tonight’s sky!

Bayfordbury Observatory
Keep an eye out this evening for shooting stars in the night sky!

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury observatory will be switching on their radio reflection meteor detector this evening to detect all the shooting stars that will appear in the night sky.

Tonight’s clear forecast together with a waxing crescent moon means that the Perseids meteor shower will be at its best tonight and into the early hours of tomorrow morning – promising to make this year’s natural firework display a particularly good one with up to 200 shooting stars an hour!

Meteor showers (or shooting stars) are caused by the Earth passing through the dust trail behind a comet.  Small particles in the dust trail enter the Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds.  These particles heat the air around them which causes the characteristic streak of light that we can see from Earth – and we see the shooting stars.

The Perseids meteor shower is an annual event creating a natural cosmic firework display with the meteor material coming from the Swift-Tuttle comet which orbits the sun once every 133 years.  This comet last passed through our cosmic neighbourhood in 1992 and won’t be back until 2125!

The meteor shower is easy to watch for most people.  You don’t need special equipment - just remember to wrap up warmly and find a dark site away from artificial light with an unobstructed view of the sky.  Or a reclining chair to look up at the sky is the way to do it in comfort!

The Dragons are back

Dragon’s Den is back on our screens. Budding entrepreneurs presenting their product or service they’ve put their heart and soul into, hoping to capture the imagination (and the wallets) of the Dragons for that life changing investment. Skinny Tan anyone?

DD_OEP_LOGO_LRHaving a Dragon on your side must be every entrepreneur’s dream. To financially plug the investment gap and have that expertise and experience on your side is priceless.

For the rest of us, it’s a tough call being an entrepreneur. We don’t have a ‘dragon’ and need to be a jack-of-all-trades: know the numbers; devise a strategy; be a marketing guru, making key decisions everyday. And, there’s only such much Googling and YouTube videos that can help…

Dragons' Den chairsThe Dragons’ Den Online Educational Programme has been a part of the University of Hertfordshire business degrees for a number of years. It helps our students make business decisions but in a safe but responsive environment, developing the very skills needed to excel in the business world.

With 25,000 past users, we’ve been working with the makers of the Dragon’s Den Online Educational Programme, Dialectyx, to launch it as a stand alone online programme for entrepreneurs. There’s very few of us that know everything about running a business, we thought this online programme would benefit those needing to expand their knowledge in strategy, marketing, finance and HR.

So even though we can’t give you your very own Dragon (sorry), we like to think this programme will help you grow and your business-grow too. And all the more better it's 100% online, so you can fit it around work and even enjoy a bowl of protein noodles whilst you're working through the programme...

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Hertfordshire researchers named as finalists in international research & innovation award

Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research (CAIR) have been named finalists in the 2013 Research & Innovation Awards sponsored by Edmund Optics, a multinational optical components manufacturer.

‘Alert’ portable concept - the proposed design for the future commercialised portable asbestos detector. It is about 8” by 5” by 2” in size and was designed by researchers at the Instituto de Biomech├ínica de Valencia (IBV), Spain. Credit: Clara Solves, Instituto de Biomech├ínica de Valencia (IBV), Spain.
The accolade is in recognition of the innovative use of optics in CAIR’s development of the world’s first real-time detector for airborne asbestos fibres. This technology, due to go into production in 2014, will warn tradespeople such as builders, electricians or plumbers of the presence of airborne asbestos in their workplace and therefore help to reduce the current 100,000 global death-toll caused by inadvertent inhalation of these deadly fibres by the workers.

The new detection method was developed as part of the FP7 project “ALERT”, with funding from the European Commission ‘Research for SMEs’ grant FP7-SME-2008-2.

The competition recognises outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programmes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at colleges and universities. This innovative work places the University in the company of institutions such as UCLA and Pennsylvania State University in the USA, Nangyang Technological University in Singapore, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, and Cambridge University in the UK.

The competition winners will be announced in September - Good luck to Professor Paul Kaye and his team!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Annual cost of UK brain disorders estimated at £122 billion

Disorders of the brain, including dementia, stroke and mental health issues, cost the UK around £112 billion a year, according to a new report.

These costs include direct medical costs as well as indirect costs such as lost productivity due to absence form work or early retirement.

The research, led by scientists from the University of Hertfordshire, University of Cambridge and Imperial College, is the most recent and comprehensive study conducted on the costs and prevalence of brain disorders in the UK.

The study reveals the extremely high burden and cost that brain disorders have on the UK economy – largely as a result of the impact on lost productivity, rather than the direct costs of medical or social care.  But the estimated cost of £112 billion for UK brain disorders in 2010 is considered to be conservative because of the limitations in data for some of the disorders which were not included.

With the aging population, the prevalence and costs of UK brain disorders Is likely to continue to increase.  This will put greater pressures on the NHS and social services, especially the costs of institutionalised care such as specialised care homes dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The cost of dementia on the social care system is much higher than that for cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke put together.  But despite UK government recommendations saying that health research priorities should be informed by impact of the disease on the population and economy, research funding into brain disorders is much lower than that for cancer.  The researchers are advocating a change to how funding is allocated which is more closely linked to the economic burden of the disease.

The paper “The Size, Burden and Cost of Disorders of the Brain in the UK” is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.  The work was supported by the British association for Psychopharmacology, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the European Brain Council and the Wellcome Trust.