Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

History of Medicine: Minds, Bodies and Cultures

This Master's degree in history explores how the formidable forces of medicine have fundamentally shaped who we are. The history of medicine covers the history of ideas, technologies and interventions, but it also takes into consideration the history of everyday experiences of health, illness and wellbeing. 'Ordinary' people turn out to be the extraordinary lens through which we can reflect on our past. Pain and illness change the way we look at the world: certain forms of suffering are increasing, with chronic pain, for example, now affecting around 40% of people in Britain and America. The provision of healthcare is also undergoing major shifts, and history can teach us valuable lessons about how medicine and caregiving has been understood in the past. This programme explores the historical roots and the social and conceptual foundations of modern medicine, equipping you with a deep understanding of how medical ideas and institutions relate to their broader historical context. This is a growing field in which exciting new questions are being asked and new methodological approaches are being created and applied. Birkbeck is at the forefront of these advances and, unlike similar MA programmes, we cover the period from the ancient world to the present, and from global perspectives. The programme provides a framework within which you can develop your research techniques and prepare for doctoral, professional or other research, but the primary focus is on providing a rich and varied experience of studying history at postgraduate level, allowing you to satisfy and expand your passion for the subject. The programme will also appeal to healthcare professionals and caregivers who may benefit from knowing more about the history of medicine, health and care. **Highlights** - Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings. - In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), History at Birkbeck was ranked sixth in the UK for the percentage of our research deemed world-leading or internationally excellent. Of our eligible staff, 94% submitted research, and we achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research. - Our Department is home to thriving student societies and a number of affiliated research centres that actively run seminars, conferences and other events where some of the world's best scholars present their latest research. These include the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, the Raphael Samuel History Centre and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. - We are also at the heart of academic London with access to world-class research resources. We are five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the British Library, and the Institute of Historical Research - with its internationally renowned library collection and seminars that you can attend - is nearby. The Museum of London is a short tube ride away. - The Eric Hobsbawm Postgraduate Scholarship fund offers a full fee-waiver for Home, EU and Overseas Master's students in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology (part-time awards are pro-rata). Students are also eligible to apply for Wellcome Trust studentships. - Birkbeck Library has an extensive history collection, including the major specialist journals, and access to online materials.

Entry requirements

MA: A second-Class Honours degree in a humanities subject. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck's online prospectus.

Assessment methods

Assessment is via written work, including assessed 5000-5500 word essays for each module undertaken (four in total) and a 15,000-16,000 word dissertation. Every module has an attendance requirement, so you will need to attend at least 60% of classes in order to pass.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Full-time October 2018 - 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2018 - 2 Years
MA Full-time October 2019 - 1 Years
MA Part-time October 2019 - 2 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus WC1E 7HX London

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Contact: 
Department Administrator