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MA History of Science, Medicine, Environment and Technology

Course Description

This programme is unique in teaching the collective history of science, medicine, environment and technology. It is also unique as it offers modules that combine imperial, ethical, and military history with general areas of history of science and medicine.

You learn from experts working in these diverse fields, being taught how different societies, cultures, and races have conceptualised disease, reacted to changes in environment and created different technological artefacts and scientific knowledge. You are introduced to the major and recent historiographical and methodological approaches, become familiar with the main archives in the UK and encouraged to approach the history of medicine, science, environment and technology from past as well as contemporary concerns.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/83/history-of-science-medicine-environment-and-technology

About the School of History

The School of History at the University of Kent offers a great environment in which to research and study. Situated in a beautiful cathedral city with its own dynamic history, the University is within easy reach of the main London archives and is convenient for travelling to mainland Europe.

The School of History is a lively, research-led department where postgraduate students are given the opportunity to work alongside academics recognised as experts in their respective fields. The School was placed eighth nationally for research intensity in the most recent Research Excellence Framework, and consistently scores highly in the National Student Survey.

There is a good community spirit within the School, which includes regular postgraduate social meetings, weekly seminars and a comprehensive training programme with the full involvement of the School’s academic staff. Thanks to the wide range of teaching and research interests in the School, we can offer equally wide scope for research supervision covering British, European, African and American history.

At present, there are particularly strong groupings of research students in medieval and early modern cultural and social history, early modern religious history, the history and cultural studies of science and medicine, the medicine, the history of propaganda, military history, war and the media, and the history of Kent.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

HI878 - Methods and Interpretations of Historical Research (30 credits)
HI866 - Science and Medicine in Context (30 credits)
HI817 - Deformed, Deranged and Deviant (30 credits)
HI827 - Home Front Britain, 1914-18 (30 credits)
HI857 - Geiger Counter at Ground Zero: Explorations of Nuclear America (30 credits)
HI881 - Museums, Material Culture and the History of Science (30 credits)
HI883 - Work Placement (30 credits)


All courses are assessed by coursework, and the dissertation counts for half the final grade (comprising one third assessed preparation, two thirds actual dissertation).

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- place the study of texts, images and documentaries in their historical contexts, at the centre of student learning and analysis

- ensure that students of the history of science, medicine, environment and technology acquire a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the historical modes of theory and analysis

- enable you to understand and use concepts, approaches and methods of the history of science, medicine, environment and technology in different academic contexts and develop an understanding of the differing and contested aspects between, and within, the relevant disciplines

- develop your capacities to think critically about past events and experiences

- encourage you to relate the academic study of the history of science, medicine, environment and technology to questions of public debate and concern

- promote a curriculum supported by scholarship, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of intellectual enquiry and debate

- assist you to develop cognitive and transferable skills relevant to your vocational and personal development.

Study support

Postgraduate resources
The resources for historical research at Kent are led by the University’s Templeman Library: a designated European Documentation Centre which holds specialised collections on slavery and antislavery, and on medical science. The Library has a substantial collection of secondary materials to back-up an excellent collection of primary sources including the British Cartoon Archive, newspapers, a large audio-visual library, and a complete set of British Second World War Ministry of Information propaganda pamphlets.

The School has a dedicated Centre for the Study of Propaganda and War, which has a distinctive archive of written, audio and visual propaganda materials, particularly in film, video and DVD. Locally, you have access to: the Canterbury Cathedral Library and Archive (a major collection for the study of medieval and early modern religious and social history); the Centre for Kentish Studies at Maidstone; and the National Maritime Collection at Greenwich. Kent is also within easy reach of the country’s premier research collections in London and the national libraries in Paris and Brussels.

Dynamic publishing culture
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Contemporary History; English Historical Review; British Journal for the History of Science; Technology and Culture; and War and Society.

Global Skills Award
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/gsa.html). The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability

Research areas

Medieval and early modern history
Covering c400–c1500, incorporating such themes as Anglo-Saxon England, early-modern France, palaeography, British and European politics and society, religion and papacy.

Modern history
Covering c1500–present, incorporating such themes as modern British, European and American history, British military history, and 20th-century conflict and propaganda.

History of science, technology and medicine
Incorporating such themes as colonial science and medicine, Nazi medicine, eugenics, science and technology in 19th-century Britain.


As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, postgraduate qualifications are becoming more attractive to employers seeking individuals who have finely tuned skills and abilities, which our programmes encourage you to hone. As a result of the valuable transferable skills developed during your course of study, career prospects for history graduates are wide ranging. Our graduates go on to a variety of careers, from research within the government to teaching, politics to records management and journalism, to working within museums and galleries – to name but a few.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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

Entry Requirements

Minimum 2.1 or equivalent in history or a relevant subject (eg, politics, international relations, archaeology). In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies.

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