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Medical Humanities (MA/PGDip/PGCert)

Course Description

What is ‘the art of medicine’ and how can it improve patient care? This new degree programme in medical humanities allows you to reflect on and develop your daily clinical practice, through a deeper understanding of the humanities - art, literature, music, myth and culture.

The programme draws together the emergent fields of medical humanities and intercultural medicine to explore and develop the lived experience of clinicians in the everyday complexities of real-life clinical settings as they interact with patients and cultures. You will encounter the rich insights of the humanities about culture, the body and what it means to be human, and find ways to integrate these with medical science, to develop a richer understanding of your clinical practice. As part of this engagement, you will have the opportunity to explore non-Western models of medical practice, and to consider how far they complement biomedicine, from the viewpoints of cultures, patients and practitioners. You will acquire and refine skills in verbal and written communication, as well as in research and critical analysis.

This programme combines world-class, research-led humanities teaching with an established understanding of the real-life experience of clinical practice and patient care.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Learn how the humanities disciplines conceive of key aspects of human existence, the body and culture.
Find new ways to reflect upon and develop your clinical practice, and enhance patient care.
Learn about indigenous and non-Western medical traditions.
In addition to its own library, Birkbeck’s location in Bloomsbury offers excellent access to all the major research libraries in London, including Senate House Library, the British Library and the Wellcome Collection.

Visit the Medical Humanities (MA/PGDip/PGCert) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

You must have graduated from a UK medical school or hold an equivalent first degree from an overseas medical school.Applicants from other healthcare or professional backgrounds may be admitted to the programme. Such applicants must hold relevant professional qualifications and/or a first degree (2:2 or above). The requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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