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Medical Humanities: Bodies, Cultures and Ideas MA

Birkbeck, University of London

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    Main Site

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    OCT

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

Scientific and technological advances are constantly pushing the bounds of medical possibility. But what role is played by the humanities? How is the practice of medicine represented in art, literature, film and other media, and how do those representations, in turn, determine how we understand and experience our own bodies and the realities of sickness and health?

Taught across our School of Arts and our School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy, Birkbeck's interdisciplinary MA Medical Humanities explores human health through the lenses of culture and history, covering topics including infectious disease, diet and exercise, mental health and wellbeing, and disability.

The course draws together students and staff working across different disciplines, different historical periods and different geographical regions, to offer an interdisciplinary approach to the fascinating, complex relationship between medicine and the humanities. The interdisciplinary option modules are taught collectively by staff from across English, law, modern languages, philosophy, history, psychosocial studies, gender and sexuality, film and media studies and the history of art.

You will consider the development of clinical practices and institutions, the formation of medical expertise and authority, and the role of medical ethics and law. You will also learn about the history of the medical humanities as an academic field and the debates that have shaped its identity and role. The course is aimed at arts, humanities and social science graduates, and you will develop your analytical, research and writing skills.

TEACHING

Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

ASSESSMENT

Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 15,720per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Birkbeck, University of London

  • Campus address

    Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, United Kingdom, WC1E 7HX, England

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