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Our MA History - History of Medicine allows you to bridge the gap between a taught Masters in History and a Masters by Research.

Through a course of research training, it offers you the unique chance to focus on the social, scientific and cultural history of medicine. As well as the relationship between medicine and the humanities (history, philosophy, sociology, literature and art). It also gives you the flexibility to pursue taught modules in other aspects of history.

The course has been shaped by leading researchers in our department. This means the knowledge and expertise you gain is grounded in the latest scholarship within the field.  

You will conduct research on topics of your choice with independent study and dissertation modules. And develop your core skills. 

If you intend to continue with PhD research, this course provides excellent preparation. It will also be of interest to graduates seeking further professional development. Particularly healthcare professionals and graduates of history or the social sciences.

Learning and teaching

Our range of teaching methods includes:

  • small group seminars
  • discussion groups
  • workshops
  • individual tutorials
  • historiographical and bibliographical presentations.

Field trips to local museums and archives are included in several modules.

Classes are held during the evening, and usually run from 6-7pm.

As a part-time student, you will attend the university once a week. You will need to spend an additional 12–15 hours per week on private study.

As a full-time student, you'll attend classes for two evenings per week and spend 30 hours per week in private study.

Learning and assessment

You will study four modules to gain your MA History - History of Medicine, these include:

  • a compulsory core module
  • two elective modules
  • dissertation.

Shorter courses in History are also available: the postgraduate diploma and the postgraduate certificate. It is possible to transfer between these and the MA course.

Postgraduate diploma students take the compulsory core module and two elective modules.

Postgraduate certificate students take the compulsory core module and one elective module.

Full-time MA students take one elective module in each semester. Part-time MA students take their first elective in Semester 2 of the first year and their second elective in Semester 1 of the second year.


Each module lasts for one semester and is assessed by two or three written assignments.


Our thriving research and postgraduate culture will provides you with the ideal environment.

Our historians are regarded as experts in their field and their research informs some of the key debates in society.

Principal research areas in which our teaching staff specialise include:

  • race, ethics and ideas
  • poverty, welfare and public health
  • crime, forensic medicine and the law
  • psychiatry, mental health and healing
  • western and indigenous medicine, with a focus mainly on Europe and India
  • pharmaceutical R&D, with an emphasis on the development of drug treatments for chronic diseases and cancer, in Britain, France and the USA
  • urban space, health and the environment, from the early modern to the modern period.

Each group meets to discuss and analyse central texts in the field. They also organise work-in-progress seminars, and offer support and feedback for external grant applications.

For further information on our research expertise, please visit our staff profiles page.

Career prospects

Students who have completed the MA in History have developed a variety of careers. A significant number have gone on to undertake PhD study, secondary school history teaching, and archive management. Others have taken up or developed their careers in medically related professions, in:

  • animal health
  • psychiatry
  • paramedical specialities
  • University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust research.

The Brookes Careers service provides practical tips, training and advice for up to three years after graduation.

Visit the History (History of Medicine) - PgDip/PgCert/MA page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!





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