MA Medicine in Society

This is a new MA programme to start in September 2017, subject to approval.

The MA offers a package of optional modules in medical humanities and social sciences: philosophy, history, sociology of medicine, and medical and health-related law, and a core module on interdisciplinary approaches to medicine and healthcare in society.

Why this Masters? Health is a core value of modern societies, and engaging with medicine and healthcare is an important way of engaging with our world in order to understand it, and to act in it. While scientific and technological advances seem to extend the bounds of medical possibility, medical practice occurs in settings that are deeply social, economic and cultural too, with important legal and organisational constraints.  It is increasingly obvious that medical challenges that we are faced with today, such as ageing, obesity, microbial resistance, digital and big data approaches to health care, and many others, demand a multi-faceted approach, that is able to consider these challenges in their complexity. This MA offers courses in history, philosophy, sociology of medicine, as well as in law and ethics. It aims to enable students to be better practitioners of medicine and healthcare – in whatever capacity, be it as doctors, or in policy, governance, communication or public engagement and education around medicine – by developing their abilities to contextualise medical challenges, and to understand and analyse their complexity from different perspectives.

Distinctive features of the Masters are:

  • An interdisciplinary core module with examples of multi-perspectival analysis of topical medical issues team-taught by specialists in their field and ample opportunities for student-led interdisciplinary teams.
  • Optional courses in philosophy, sociology, history, law and ethics as these relate to medicine and health care.
  • Skills development in interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral research and practice.
  • Individual tutoring to identify research projects with the right balance of interdisciplinarity depending on students’ interests and career paths.
  • Access to the Medical Humanities Sheffield network of multi-disciplinary researchers and practitioners across the University, Teaching Hospitals, Children’s Hospital and Primary Care.

The programme is suited to those who are interested in analysing questions from different perspectives, and making connections between different disciplines.  The course provides training in discipline specific research, and in interdisciplinary research of complex issues and problems.  It aims to develop students’ ability to think critically about medicine as a social, cultural, legal and scientific practice, and to analyse complexity.  In doing so, the course will enhance students’ capacity to engage with  current research,  to make connections between research traditions, to conduct multi-disciplinary enquiries of their own, and to consider real world applications of their enquiries.

Contact Annamaria Carusi if you would like more information.