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MA Medical History and Humanities

A unique opportunity to study health from diverse perspectives

2018/19 entry

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

Masters fee discount

If you've completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Find out more

The MA in Medical History and Humanities is an exciting interdisciplinary course jointly run by the Departments of History and English.

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 well-being, 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:

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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

Leading research

History at York has been ranked 2nd in the UK for the quality, significance and impact of their research while English are ranked 1st in the UK for their world-leading research (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Interdisciplinary perspectives

This course crosses the boundaries of several disciplines, allowing you to look at current and past studies in a different light.

Links to the World Health Organisation

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.

Course content

The course consists of:

  • one core module (20 credits)
  • three option modules (20 credits each)
  • a research training module (10 credits)
  • 20,000-word dissertation (90 credits)

Instead of one option module, you can elect to study:

  • two skills training modules (10 credits each) or
  • an LFA course (20 credits)

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, or one option module and an LFA course.

Modules

Core modules

Critical Studies in History, Humanities & Wider Interdisciplinarity will introduce you to the key concepts, methods and debates in medical history and humanities. It is taught by a variety of staff members, allowing you to engage with these questions from different disciplinary perspectives.

Research Training will prepare you for your dissertation. It provides you with essential training in graduate-level research skills: selecting research topics, large-scale project management, locating secondary and primary materials, storing and ordering findings and presentation techniques.

Option 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:

Skills modules

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. You can elect to do a Languages For All (LFA) course instead of the two skills modules. Part-time students are able to complete their skills training in either year one or year two. Examples of skills modules include:

  • Technics of Print, 1500-1800
  • Oral History Methods
  • Things in History: Researching Material Culture
  • Mapping the Past
  • Lies, Darn Lies, and Statistics - for Historians
  • Early Modern Paleography

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

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:

  • "The Persevering Surgeon: the Visualisation of Anatomy in the Eighteenth to the Nineteenth Century"
  • "Building the National Health Service: Hospital Planning and Design in Boston, Lincolnshire, 1945 - 1974"
  • "Form Within Form: Remaking the Patient Body in the Testimonies of Jewish Doctors in Auschwitz"
  • "China’s malaria control and eradication and ideas of development: A critical history, 1950 to 1989"

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2018/19

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,580£16,780
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
£3,790
year 1 fee
£8,390
year 1 fee

Additional costs

There is no obligation to purchase books or other texts - all core texts and resources will be available in our library or online.

Fees information

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.

Funding information

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.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

Teaching and assessment

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

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.

Teaching location

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.

Course location

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.

Assessment and feedback

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.

Careers and skills

You will complete this course with the academic, personal, and professional skills needed to pursue further academic research (e.g. a PhD), 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.

Career opportunities

Graduates may pursue careers in diverse areas such as:

  • the arts and visual culture
  • public health
  • medicine
  • social policy development
  • advanced research at PhD level

Transferable skills

  • Analytical thinking
  • Formation of original arguments
  • Effective time management
  • Communication skills
  • Professional presentation skills
  • Project design and management skills
  • Organisation skills
  • Independent research skills, using a range of physical and digital resources and methodologies

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
Degree

We typically ask for a 2:1 degree in History or a related discipline.

If you are an international student please check the minimum requirements for your country or region..

If you are unsure about your eligibility, or want to enquire informally about whether this course would be suitable for you, please contact the course convenors. For technical queries on how to apply, please contact history-admissions@york.ac.uk.

English language

  • IELTS: 7.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component
  • PTE: 67, with no less than 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 185, with no less than 162 in each component
  • TOEFL: 96, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Distinction in all component

Applying

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.

If you have queries about the programme or how to apply, please contact our admissions officer, Sarah Hartley (sch511@york.ac.uk).

Apply for this course

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya
Dr Boriana Alexandrova-Isgate

Learn more

Department of English and Related Literature, Department of History

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