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Overview

Gain an insight into the complex history of technology, medicine and science, and 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 enable you to develop your historical research skills, using our excellent library resources to work with primary and secondary sources. 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 can also get involved in the development of our Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

We have a wide variety of 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.

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 the origin of modern medicine or the history of modern science communication. 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.

Modules

Compulsory modules

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

Optional modules

Please see the course page for a selection of typical options.

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.

Applying, fees and funding

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

How to apply

There’s no final deadline for applications to this programme, but we recommend that UK/EU candidates apply at least two weeks before the start of the course. International candidates should try to allow at least a month.

APPLY (FULL TIME) 

APPLY (PART TIME) 

Documents and information you need

  • Copies of your degree certificate and full transcript, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.
  • Two academic references.
  • Sample of written work: an essay on a related subject of your choice of around 2,000-3,000 words. All samples must be typed and in English.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students.

Fees

For fees information for taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

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.


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

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