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MEDICAL HUMANITIES: BODIES, CULTURES AND IDEAS (MA)

Birkbeck, University of London

  • October, 2020 Start Date

  • 2 years Duration

  • Part Time Study Mode

  • £4175.00 Course Fee

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Course Description

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. 

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...

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Course Content

You complete two compulsory modules and either two subject-specific option modules and a 60-credit dissertation, or four option modules.

The compulsory modules introduce you to important themes and schools of thought that have shaped the medical humanities and discuss their representation in literature, art, ethics and history. Both also prepare you for dissertation writing and progression to MPhil/PhD research. 

COMPULSORY MODULES

  • Critical Entanglements in the Medical Humanities
  • Methods: Medicine, Culture, Text

INDICATIVE OPTION MODULES

  • A Confusion of Tongues: Illness, Language, Writing
  • Death in Victorian Culture
  • Desire, Decadence and Degeneration: Sexual Health in Modern Britain
  • Exhibiting the Body
  • Freud in the world: psychoanalysis, literary writing and the legacies of history
  • Language Matters
  • Madness and its Meanings
  • Me, Myself and I: Identity and the Self in Europe, c. 1500-c.1750
  • Medical Experimentation from Frankenstein to Nuremberg 1800 to 1950
  • Mind, medicine and madness in the ancient world
  • Practitioners and Patients in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe
  • Renaissance Florence: Society, Religion and Culture
  • The Senses in Medieval Europe c1100 to 1500
  • Theorising Gender
  • Victorian Emotions
  • Writing Biopolitics

MA MEDICAL HUMANITIES: BODIES, CULTURES AND IDEAS DISSERTATION

  • Dissertation in Medical Humanities

You complete two compulsory modules and either two subject-specific option modules and a 60-credit dissertation, or four option modules. The compulsory modules introduce you to important themes and schools of thought that have shaped the medical humanities and discuss their representation in literature, art, ethics and history. Both also prepare you for dissertation writing and...

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Available Dates

Location Start Date Price  

Classroom

Birkbeck, University of London

Full Time, 1 year

October, 2020

£8350.00

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Classroom

Birkbeck, University of London

Part Time, 2 years

October, 2020

£4175.00

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Entry Requirements

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification.

We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

On your application form, please list all your relevant qualifications and experience, including those you expect to achieve.

Apply now to secure your place and allow enough time for the application and enrolment process. You do not need to have completed your current qualification to start your application.

COURSE SPECIFIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

A second-class honours degree in an arts, humanities or social sciences subject.

INTERNATIONAL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement for international students is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university or an equivalent international qualification.

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. Some courses may require higher scores, particularly in the following subject areas:

  • arts management
  • cultural studies
  • development studies
  • film and media
  • geography
  • history
  • law
  • organizational psychology
  • psychology.

Please carefully check the Course-Specific Entry Requirements on your chosen programme for details of higher English language entry requirements.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

  • Courses of more than six months' duration.
  • Courses of less than six months' duration.
  • Pre-sessional English language courses.

International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification. We will review every postgraduate application to Birkbeck on its individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support...

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Assessment Methods

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.

Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

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...

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