The MPhil in Health, Medicine, and Society is a full-time 9-month course that provides students with the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision by senior members of the University. Students will acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests, as well as a critical and well-informed understanding of the roles of the history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology of health and medicine.
Those intending to go on to doctoral work will learn the research skills needed to help them prepare a well planned and focused PhD proposal. During the course students gain experience of presenting their own work and discussing the issues that arise from it with an audience of their peers and senior members of the Department; they will attend lectures, supervisions and research seminars in a range of technical and specialist subjects central to research in the different areas of history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology of health and medicine.
The MPhil is jointly run by the Departments of History and Philosophy of Science, Sociology and Social Anthropology. It is a full-time course and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. Its main aims are:
- to give students with relevant training at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in Health, Medicine and Society (HMS) under close supervision; - to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests; - to enable students to acquire a critical and well informed understanding of the roles of the history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology of health and medicine; and - to help students intending to go on to doctoral work to acquire the requisite research skills and to prepare a well planned and focussed PhD proposal.
Knowledge and Understanding -
By the end of the course, students will have:
- Developed a deeper knowledge of their chosen areas of history, philosophy, sociology and social anthropology of health and medicine and of the critical debates within them; - Acquired a conceptual understanding that enables the evaluation of current research and methodologies; - Formed a critical view of the roles of the health, medicine and society.
Skills and other attributes -
By the end of the course, students should have:
- Acquired or consolidated methodological, linguistic, technical and ancillary skills appropriate for research in their chosen area; - Demonstrated independent judgement, based on their own research; - Presented their own ideas in a public forum and learned to contribute constructively within an international environment.
Students admitted for the MPhil can apply to continue as PhD students. The usual preconditions for continuing to the PhD are an overall first class mark in the MPhil, a satisfactory performance in an interview and agreement of the PhD proposal with a potential supervisor.
The course is overseen by a Manager who takes responsibility for day-to-day oversight of the course and liaison with staff and students. Students choose a ‘home’ subject (History, Philosophy, Sociology or Social Anthropology), and the Advisor for that subject guides them in formulating a programme of study. Students work with supervisors in writing their essays and dissertation.
The core modules are the main teaching resource for this course. All students attend all core modules which run twice a week during Michaelmas term and are led by different senior members of teaching staff and focus on selected readings. Eight optional modules run during Lent term, and students are advised to attend at least two of these. In Easter term students attend Dissertation seminars which provide opportunities for them to present their own work. Students receive two one-to-one supervisions on the modules on which they choose to write essays and four on their dissertations.
The Advisors assist students in the identification of a topic and a supervisor for their dissertation during Michaelmas term. Students will be expected to start work on their dissertation during Michaelmas and continue working on it throughout the course of the year.