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Course content

This programme will give you an insight into the complex history of technology, medicine, scientific knowledge and methodology, as well as how they have shaped the world we live in.

You’ll explore the themes, concepts and debates in the study of the history of science through core modules. These will also allow you to develop your historical research skills, using our excellent library resources to work with primary and secondary sources. But you’ll also choose from a range of optional modules that allow you to specialise in topics areas that suit your interests, from birth, death and illness in the Middle Ages to modern science communication.

Guided by leading researchers and supported by our Centre of History and Philosophy of Science, you’ll learn in a stimulating environment with access to a wide range of activities. You could even gain research experience by getting involved in the development of our Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

We have world-class research resources to support your studies. The Brotherton Library houses extensive manuscript, archive and printed material in its Special Collections, including Newton’s Principia, a first edition of his Opticks and thousands of books and journals on topics from the 16th century onwards on topics such as astronomy, botany, medicine, physiology, chemistry, inventions and alchemy. You’ll also have access to the collections of artefacts across campus that we have brought together through the Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

The Centre also hosts a number of research seminars given by visiting speakers, staff members and doctoral students and which all postgraduate students are encouraged to attend. There are also regular reading groups on a wide range of topics and the seminar series of other centres within the School are also available.

Course content

In your first semester you’ll take a core module introducing you to different approaches and debates in history of science, technology and medicine, as well as how they have been used over time to help us understand scientific developments. You’ll build on this in the following semester with a second core module that will give you a foundation in historical skills and research methods, equipping you to work critically and sensitively with primary and secondary sources.

You’ll have the chance to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you’ve gained in your dissertation, which you’ll submit by the end of the year. This is an independently researched piece of work on a topic of your choice within the history of science, technology and medicine – and you can choose to take an extended dissertation if you want to go into even greater depth.

Throughout the year you’ll be able to choose from a range of optional modules, allowing you to develop your knowledge by specialising in a topic of your choice such as science and religion historically considered, or science in the museum. You’ll take one optional module if you take the extended dissertation, or two if you do the standard dissertation.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

You’ll take three compulsory modules, though you can choose whether to take a standard (60 credits) or extended (90 credits) dissertation. You’ll then choose one or two optional modules.

  • Historical Skills and Practices 30 credits
  • Current Approaches in the History of Science, Technology & Medicine 30 credits

Optional modules

  • The European Enlightenment 30 credits
  • Lifecycles: Birth, Death and Illness in the Middle Ages 30 credits
  • Science and Religion Historically Considered 30 credits
  • History & Theory of Modern Science Communication 30 credits
  • Special Option (History of Science) 30 credits
  • Science in the Museum: Interpretations & Practices 30 credits
  • The Origin of Modern Medicine (Birth of the Clinic) 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read History of Science, Technology and Medicine MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read History of Science, Technology and Medicine MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules combine seminars and tutorials, where you will discuss issues and concepts stemming from your reading with a small group of students and your tutor. You’ll also benefit from one-to-one supervision while you complete your dissertation. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your own interests more closely.

Assessment

We assess your progress using a combination of exams and coursework, giving you the freedom to research and write on topic areas that suit your interests within each module you study.

Career opportunities

You’ll gain a range of in-depth subject knowledge throughout this programme, as well as a set of high-level transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation and oral and written communication that are very attractive to employers.

As a result, you’ll be equipped for a wide range of careers. Some of these will make direct use of your subject knowledge, such as museum work or public engagement with science, while your skills will enable you to succeed in fields such as business and finance, publishing, IT and teaching.

Graduates of our School also regularly go onto careers in journalism, the media, social work, human resources, PR, recruitment and the charity sector. Many also continue with their studies at PhD level and pursue careers in academia.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


Visit the History of Science, Technology and Medicine MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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