Edinburgh Imaging

12 Feb 19. A delicate balance: Lara reflecting in 2019

Alumna, Lara De Nicolo Savvides, a neurophysiologist, was enrolled in the Edinburgh Imaging Academy Neuroimaging for Research MSc and graduated in 2016. She explains how she managed to balance work responsibilities, pregnancy and raising a child, while studying online.

Lara reflecting in 2019
How my MSc brought my career to a whole new level

What I learnt on the Neuroimaging for Research MSc has definitely brought my career to a whole new level.

I am a neurophysiologist and although neuroimaging is not directly required to perform neurophysiology, I have found that knowledge of spinal MRIs helps me analyse nerve conduction study results better, such as when clinical symptoms for radiculopathy aren’t always clear.

Being able to combine information gleaned from my MSc, with my clinical findings, helps me clarify the clinical problem, enabling me to communicate findings better to the physicians, and also to guide them better into making a correct diagnosis and to choose the best treatment options.


Lara reflecting in 2019
Pregnancy, childcare, lab-work and deadlines

Given my professional commitments, I enrolled on the intermittent route so I completed my degree in five years.

During this time I had to juggle a neurophysiology laboratory, a marriage, a pregnancy, giving birth and raising a child, which eventually worked out wonderfully given the flexibility of the intermittent route.

The neuroimaging staff were so compassionate and understanding of my very hectic schedule; they did not hesitate to shift my assessment dates around in order to accommodate the birth of my daughter and the new routine which I had to adjust to.

While raising my daughter, I could balance feeding and play times with studying independently. Project deadlines, group work and the overall work load, I felt, were very reasonable.

Lara reflecting in 2019
Help and support

The availability of the tutors on a daily basis on the virtual environment enabled me to ask for help at any time; it was convenient for me and the tutor feedback was always prompt.

The Skype meetings held two or three times each year with my personal tutor enabled me to discuss concerns, my progress and any modifications which would help me manage online learning around my hectic schedule.

Lara reflecting in 2019
One of my best decisions

Embarking on the online Neuroimaging for Research MSc was one of the best decisions I have ever made with regards to my career development. Not only did I get to interact with a diverse group of other students from around the world, I got taught by brilliant and enthusiastic scientists, about cutting-edge imaging research and image analysis.

This MSc degree has given me the opportunity to develop my neuroimaging research skills, so that I can embark on a neuroimaging PhD.

I definitely would encourage others to pursue such a Master’s degree, not only to develop scientific knowledge, but also to advance a medical or scientific career to superior level.

- Written by Lara De Nicolo Savvides, Neuroimaging for Research MSc student