The MA in Medical History and Humanities is an exciting interdisciplinary course jointly run by the Departments of History and English. It is also open to people with backgrounds in other humanities disciplines, as well as those with social science, science and public health backgrounds with an interest in the medical humanities.
The course is shaped by cutting-edge international research spanning the fields of medical history, literature, sociology, philosophy, health sciences and policy. Students and staff from varying disciplines, periods and geographical regions work collaboratively, giving you a distinctive interdisciplinary and international experience.
You'll explore historical, literary, social and cultural perspectives on illness and health, general wellbeing, issues of public health and the history of medicine. You'll examine the links between history, the humanities and policy to gain advanced skills in analysis and critical reflection.
The course draws on expertise from:
The scope of the course was ambitious and brought to light a wide range of interesting avenues for research and explanation from bioethics to health advertising, triumphalist narratives and conceptions of the body. It was a fantastic introduction to the hopes and possibilities of the course.MA Medical History and Humanities student, 2016
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, the Department of English had the highest proportion of world-leading (4*) research of all UK English departments, while in the Times Higher Education's ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, the Department of History was second overall for research performance.
This course crosses the boundaries of several disciplines, allowing you to look at current and past studies in a different light.
The Centre for Global Health Histories is the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories. This is in recognition of its assistance to the organisation in implementing its work and achieving its goals.
The course consists of:
Instead of one option module, you can elect to study two skills training modules (10 credits each).
In the Autumn Term, you'll complete the core module and one option module.
The research training module runs over the Autumn and Spring Terms.
In the Spring Term, you'll complete two further option modules, or one option module and two skills training modules.
Modules are offered from both the Department of History and the Department of English. You can choose from a range of topics in medical history, the humanities and beyond. Recent modules offered include:
You may choose to complete two skills modules (instead of an option module) which will provide you with invaluable skills training across a range of fields.
Part-time students normally take the skills modules during their first year, but they can arrange to take these in the second year if required.
Examples of skills modules include:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
During the Summer Term and the summer vacation, you will write a research dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a topic of your choice.
You will be under the supervision of a member of staff in either the Department of History or the Department of English, who will provide you with specialist advice and guidance. Our range of expertise and wealth of source material means we can provide supervision on a wide range of topics, both chronologically and geographically. Recent dissertation topics have included:
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
|Full-time (1 year)||£8,040||£18,240|
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
There is no obligation to purchase books or other texts - all core texts and resources will be available in our library or online.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.
Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.
If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.
There is one Wellcome Trust studentship available for our MA in Medical Humanities and History course starting in Autumn 2020.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.
Most of your modules will consist of weekly two-hour seminars. The Research Training module will be taught through three-hour workshops. You will normally work in small groups of fewer than 20 students.
You will be based in the Department of History in Vanbrugh College on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place in Vanbrugh College.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You will be primarily assessed by essays and your dissertation. You will have the chance to submit assignments for formative assessment. These assessments do not affect your final mark but will give you an opportunity to receive written feedback on your work and 1:1 personal guidance from your tutors. You will also have opportunities to present your work in different formats and develop your public speaking and presentation skills.
You will complete this course with the academic, personal, and professional skills needed to pursue further academic research, or expand your career horizons towards health policy analysis, consultancy, or project work in the governmental and non-governmental sectors. You will also have the opportunity to engage in the vibrant research environment of the Centre for Global Health Histories and take advantage of its unique global network, resources, and events.
This course provides unique insights into health and medical policy, meaning you'll have the opportunity to better understand the links between health and social and economic development, as well as cross-cultural policy-making, via certain option modules.
Graduates may pursue careers in diverse areas such as:
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||7.0, minimum 6.5 in each component|
|PTE Academic||67, minimum 61 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||185, minimum 176 in each component|
|TOEFL||96, minimum 23 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Distinction in all components|
|Duolingo||Minimum overall score of 120|
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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