This MA allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of the history of health, medicine and society.
You’ll be trained in historical research methods and conceptual and methodological approaches to the history of health, medicine and society. You can combine British, European and African history under the guidance of leading researchers in History, History and Philosophy and Science and Medieval Studies. You’ll have the chance to focus on topics and periods that suit your own interests, whether that’s the history of health, medicine and society in the Middle Ages or the First World War.
Looking at the health of individuals, families and communities, you could study the human life course from birth to death, the experiences of medical practitioners and caregivers, medicine during periods of war and conflict, or the impact of health policy in different societies. It’s an exciting opportunity to explore how health and medicine have always been shaped by the social and cultural context.
We have an exceptional range of resources to help you explore the topics that interest you. The world-class Brotherton Library holds a wealth of resources in its Special Collections, including historical works on health, medicine, cookery and medicinal uses of food, as well as extensive archival material about the history of medicine, surgery and nursing during the First World War and across the region since the eighteenth century.
You’ll be encouraged to participate in events run by the School of History’s lively ‘Health, Medicine and Society’ research group, including seminars, reading group sessions and a postgraduate symposium. You’ll also be able to attend a huge range of other events at the University of Leeds, including seminars at the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science and the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities.
You’ll also have access to the University’s Museum of Science, Technology and Medicine, which is especially rich in its medical collections, and we have close links with the Thackray Medical Museum in east Leeds and its 47,000 medical objects.
The first semester will lay the foundations of your studies, introducing you to historical research methods, and key sources, debates and methodologies in the history of health, medicine and society. You’ll take part in a source analysis workshop and gain practical knowledge of documentary, visual and material sources in the university and local area which can be used to study the history of health, medicine and society.
You’ll also develop specialist knowledge of the development of the history of medicine and the social history of medicine as historical sub-disciplines, and the place of health and medicine within the discipline of history.
In Semester Two, you’ll build on this knowledge with your choice from a wide range of optional modules, including specialist topics such as birth , death and illness in the Middle Ages; Medicine and warfare in the 19th and 20th centuries or disease and sexuality in Africa. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with partner organisations, such as the West Yorkshire Archive Service, by studying the ‘Making History: Archive collaborations’ module.
Throughout the programme, you’ll develop your knowledge across a variety of areas as well as key skills in research and critical analysis. You’ll showcase these skills when you complete your dissertation, which will be independently researched on a topic of your choice and submitted by the end of the programme in September.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods. The majority of your modules will be taught through weekly seminars, where you’ll discuss issues and themes in your chosen modules with a small group of students and your tutors. Independent study is also crucial to this degree, giving you the space to shape your own studies and develop your skills.
We use different types of assessment to help you develop a wide range of skills, including presentations, research proposals, project reports and essays, depending on the subjects you choose.
This programme will heighten your cultural and social awareness as well as allowing you to build your historical knowledge. You’ll also gain high-level research, analysis and communication skills that will prove valuable in a wide range of careers.
Graduates have found success in a diverse range of careers in education, research and the private sector. Many others have continued with their studies at PhD level. Your knowledge and skills will appeal to a wide range of employers, including in the charitable, education, healthcare, and heritage sectors .
We offer different forms of support to help you reach your career goals. You’ll have the chance to attend our career groups, meeting students with similar plans, or you could become a paid academic mentor to an undergraduate completing their final-year dissertation. You could also apply for one of the internships we offer each year.
This programme introduces you to the advanced study of the history of medicine and health in the modern period and equips you with the conceptual and practical skills to carry out independent historical research in this field.
You learn from experts working in the field and examine how different societies, cultures and races have conceptualised disease, reacted to changes in environment and created different technological artefacts and scientific knowledge. The programme covers a range of concepts, placing developments within medical theory and practice in a broad social and cultural framework.
The School of History at the University of Kent offers a great environment in which to research and study. Situated in a beautiful cathedral city with its own dynamic history, the University is within easy reach of the main London archives and is convenient for travelling to mainland Europe.
The School of History is a lively, research-led department where postgraduate students are given the opportunity to work alongside academics recognised as experts in their respective fields. The School was placed eighth nationally for research intensity in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, and consistently scores highly in the National Student Survey.
There is a good community spirit within the School, which includes regular postgraduate social meetings, weekly seminars and a comprehensive training programme with the full involvement of the School’s academic staff. Thanks to the wide range of teaching and research interests in the School, we can offer equally wide scope for research supervision covering British, European, African and American history.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
Students take four modules including two compulsory modules (HI835 - Modern Medicine and Health, 1850 to the Present and HI878 - Methods and Interpretations in Historical Research) and two additional specialist modules (to be chosen from a choice of variable yearly options).
60 further credits are earned through a final 15,000-word-long dissertation.
HI878 - Methods and Interpretations of Historical Research (30 credits)
HI835 - Modern Medicine and Health, 1850 to the Present (30 credits)
HI857 - Geiger Counter at Ground Zero: Explorations of Nuclear America (30 credits)
HI817 - Deformed, Deranged and Deviant (30 credits)
HI881 - Museums, Material Culture and the History of Science (30 credits)
HI883 - Work Placement (30 credits)
HI887 - Knowledge in the Real World (30 credits)
HI888 - Money and Medicine in Britain and America since 1750 (30 credits)
HI993 - History Dissertation (60 credits)
This programme aims to:
The resources for historical research at Kent are led by the University’s Templeman Library: a designated European Documentation Centre which holds specialised collections on slavery and antislavery, and on medical science. The Library has a substantial collection of secondary materials to back-up an excellent collection of primary sources including the British Cartoon Archive, newspapers, a large audio-visual library, and a complete set of British Second World War Ministry of Information propaganda pamphlets.
The School has a dedicated Centre for the Study of Propaganda and War, which has a distinctive archive of written, audio and visual propaganda materials, particularly in film, video and DVD. Locally, you have access to: the Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archive (a major collection for the study of medieval and early modern religious and social history); the Centre for Kentish Studies at Maidstone; and the National Maritime Collection at Greenwich. Kent is also within easy reach of the country’s premier research collections in London and the national libraries in Paris and Brussels.
Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Contemporary History; English Historical Review; British Journal for the History of Science; Technology and Culture; and War and Society.
Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/gsa.html). The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability
Medieval and early modern history
Covering c400–c1500, incorporating such themes as Anglo-Saxon England, early-modern France, palaeography, British and European politics and society, religion and papacy.
Covering c1500–present, incorporating such themes as modern British, European and American history, British military history, and 20th-century conflict and propaganda.
History of science, technology and medicine
Incorporating such themes as colonial science and medicine, Nazi medicine, eugenics, science and technology in 19th-century Britain.
As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, postgraduate qualifications are becoming more attractive to employers seeking individuals who have finely tuned skills and abilities, which our programmes encourage you to hone. As a result of the valuable transferable skills developed during your course of study, career prospects for history graduates are wide ranging. Our graduates go on to a variety of careers, from research within the government to teaching, politics to records management and journalism, to working within museums and galleries – to name but a few.
Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/
This Masters enables you to specialise in the history of medicine, led and supported by internationally regarded historians. The two core courses provide you with an introduction to major topics in the history of medicine of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, and to the methodologies, qualitative and quantitative, which historians have employed to explore them. Topics covered include: practitioner/patient interaction, history of diagnosis, obstetrics, professionalisation and medical education, history of hospitals, medical ethics, infant health and nutrition, Jewish medicine, medical technology, sexuality, disability, public health and gender. You will be introduced to the major bibliographical tools and archival resources for the history of medicine.
You’ll also produce a dissertation.
The research skills and methods you’ll gain on this programme give you the transferable skills you need for positions in the public and private sectors, including heritage policy and projects, media and teaching. The programme is also a good foundation for a PhD.
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.