Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London

Medical Humanities

The programme draws together the emergent fields of medical humanities and intercultural medicine to explore and develop the lived experience of clinicians in the everyday complexities of real-life clinical settings as they interact with patients and cultures. You will encounter the rich insights of the humanities about culture, the body and what it means to be human, and find ways to integrate these with medical science, to develop a richer understanding of your clinical practice. As part of this engagement, you will have the opportunity to explore non-Western models of medical practice, and to consider how far they complement biomedicine, from the viewpoints of cultures, patients and practitioners. You will acquire and refine skills in verbal and written communication, as well as in research and critical analysis. This programme combines world-class, research-led humanities teaching with an established understanding of the real-life experience of clinical practice and patient care.

Entry requirements

You must have graduated from a UK medical school or hold an equivalent first degree from an overseas medical school. Applicants from other healthcare or professional backgrounds may be admitted to the programme. Such applicants must hold relevant professional qualifications and/or a first degree (2.2 or above). If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

MA

In Year 1, you take core module 1 (Perspectives, Practices and Patients) in Term 1 and you take your first option module from the designated group of medical humanities options in Term 2. In Term 3, you take Psycho-Social Research - Working Below the Surface; this is preparation for your summer task, which is to 'negotiate entry' into a placement within another medical tradition, such as British herbalism, acupuncture or TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) or another medical speciality that is distinct from your own. A 6-week observation of an 'alternative' medical practice and tradition forms a fundamental part of the structure of core module 2 in Year 2.

In Year 2, you take core module 2 (Third Spaces - Working with Your Own and Other Cultures) in Term 1 and take your second option module in Term 2, which you can choose from the wide range of courses on offer within the School of Arts, the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, and the School of Law. In Term 3, you attend a course on research skills and then undertake a 15,000-word dissertation, for submission at the end of September.
Year 1 compulsory modules:

Perspectives, Practices and Patients (Core 1);
Psycho-Social Research: Working Below the Surface.

Year 2 compulsory modules:

Third Spaces: working with your own and other cultures (Core 2).

Option modules:

A Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing;
Death in Victorian Culture;
Disciplining Sex: Sexuality, Society and Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture;
Language Matters;
Madness and its Meanings.

PgCert

In Term 1 you take a core module (Perspectives, Practices and Patients), in Term 2 you take an option module chosen from the designated group of medical humanities options, and in Term 3 you take Psycho-Social Research - Working Below the Surface.
Compulsory modules:

Perspectives, Practices and Patients (Core 1);
Psycho-Social Research: Working Below the Surface.

Medical humanities option modules:

A Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing;
Death in Victorian Culture;
Disciplining Sex: Sexuality, Society and Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture;
Language Matters.

PgDip

In Year 1, you take core module 1 (Perspectives, Practices and Patients) in Term 1 and you take your first option module from the designated group of medical humanities options in Term 2. In Term 3, you take Psycho-Social Research - Working Below the Surface; this is preparation for your summer task, which is to 'negotiate entry' into a placement within another medical tradition, such as British herbalism, acupuncture or TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) or another medical speciality that is distinct from your own. A 6-week observation of an 'alternative' medical practice and tradition forms a fundamental part of the structure of core module 2 in Year 2.

In Year 2, you take core module 2 (Third Spaces: Working with Your Own and Other Cultures) in Term 1 and take your second option module in Term 2, which you can choose from the wide range of courses on offer within the School of Arts, the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, and the School of Law.
Compulsory modules - Year 1:

Perspectives, Practices and Patients (Core 1);
Psycho-Social Research: Working Below the Surface.

Compulsory module - Year 2:

Third Spaces: working with your own and other cultures (Core 2).

Medical humanities option modules:

A Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing;
Death in Victorian Culture;
Disciplining Sex: Sexuality, Society and Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture;
Language Matters.

Assessment methods

MA

Principally by written coursework: both essays and a 15,000-word dissertation. You will continue to be supported in your acquisition of academic writing skills throughout the course in various ways.

PgCert

By written coursework: 2 essays produced for the core course in Term 1 and the option course in Term 2. You will continue to be supported in your acquisition of academic writing skills throughout the course in various ways.

PgDip

Principally by written coursework: 4 essays produced from 2 core courses and 2 option courses. You will continue to be supported in your acquisition of academic writing skills throughout the course in various ways.

Sponsorship information

The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses - and you don't have to start repaying until 2019. The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students. Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (England) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 5,750 per Year 1 (International) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
MA Part-time October 2017 - 2 years
PgCert Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2016 GBP 5,750 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2017 - 1 years
PgDip Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
PgDip Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
PgDip Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
PgDip Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (England) 2 years
PgDip Part-time October 2016 GBP 5,750 per Year 1 (International) 2 years
PgDip Part-time October 2016 GBP 2,975 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
PgDip Part-time October 2017 - 2 years

Campus details

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

Get in touch

Remember to mention TARGETpostgrad when contacting universities.

Key information

Contact: 
Department of English and Humanities
Telephone number: 
020 3073 8376