MA Medicine in Society
Health is a core value of modern societies. National health service are a key political and economic concern of all governments, funding biomedical research is a major part of all research and innovation strategy, and people spend ever greater amounts of time, money and energy in pursuing good health. Medical science and practice occur in settings that are deeply social, economic and cultural too, with important legal and organisational constraints. At the same time, medical challenges that we are faced with today, such as ageing, obesity, microbial resistance, cardio-pulmonary disorders, mental health issues, and many others, are multi-faceted complex challenges.
The approach to medicine and healthcare in the future has to increase its capacity to deal with their complexity. Students graduating from the Medicine in Society MA will be uniquely qualified in their capacity to deal with complex issues from multiple perspectives, and to combine perspectives in interdisciplinary research. The MA offers courses in history, philosophy, sociology, politics and ethics of medicine. It is unique in providing targeted interdisciplinary skills training in the core module: both in learning what interdisciplinarity is and how to do it effectively. These are skills that students will be able to take with them wherever next they choose to go.
The MA develops students’ abilities to contextualise medical challenges, and to understand and analyse the complexity of medicine and health from different perspectives. It aims therefore to enable students to be better practitioners and analysts of medicine and healthcare – in whatever capacity, as researchers, doctors, or in policy, governance, communication or public engagement and education around medicine.
In this MA students will have the opportunity to draw on medical science, alongside narrative medicine, medical sociology and anthropology, and medical science and technology studies; to think about global health and public health issues, and to contextualise the important ethical issues that are always associated with medicine. Teaching in the core course also encourages students to engage with literature, image, film, art and performance.
Students will acquire the highly transferable skills of looking at problems from different perspectives, in analysing and combining different opinions and viewpoints, and in communicating complex issues, which are useful for medicine and healthcare, and almost all areas of modern life.
Image Credit: Bill McConkey, Wellcome Image Collection
|Unique features of the course||
In the core module, a range of medical topics or challenges will be tackled in a case study approach, combining different perspectives brought in by faculty from different departments and disciplines. There is a combination of group learning and individual work. Students will engage with scholarly texts, as well as with other media as these are relevant to specific issues, such as art, film, photography, music, social media, etc. They will also be encouraged to use different media in researching and communicating topics, in group presentations; while critical reading and writing skills are developed through individual essays.
Most of the optional modules use a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials.
Students will begin to prepare for their dissertation from the outset; they will have the opportunity to discuss their topic with supervisors in individual tutorials, with a view to how their career progression. Dissertations develop students’ ability to develop and communicate research ideas in a sustained and coherent way.
One year for MA full time, two years for MA part time. One year for PG Diploma and PG Certificate.
|How to Apply||
To apply for this course, please follow the instrunctions on the following webpage:
Fees for this course can be viewed here:
UK/EU - Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarships -
Normally 2.1 or higher in a Bachelors Honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject area. This may include philosophy, history, sociology, politics, law, human geography, or other subjects in the humanities, such as visual studies, or languages and cultures.
Students with a background in other subject areas, such as biomedical engineering, or health in connection with urban planning, or many other subject areas that are related to health and medicine may also be eligible. Students with a non-traditional educational background, and mature students wishing to return to academic study are also welcome to apply and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis: for example, we may ask for a writing sample.
Intercalating Medical Students
The MA is a springboard into careers in the Civil Service, Medical and Health related Think Tanks, Publishing, Media and Communications, Museums, Medical and Health related Management and the broad cultural sector.
For medical students / researcher intercalating into the MA: this MA is complementary to medical studies and aims to broaden and deepen the understanding of medical research and practice, and to open out other opportunities along the whole trajectory of a medical career.
For all students: the MA will equip you to pursue an academic research career in one of the disciplines of the MA or the broad interdisciplinary area of Medical Humanities/Social Sciences. Students wishing to follow this route will be advised on how to focus their studies.
The MA programme works closely with the University Careers Service which provides high quality information, advice and guidance on all aspects of career devopment including; making individual career choices and researching career options, as well as finding jobs, study and networking opportunities, and making successful applications.
Course Director: Dr Annamaria Carusi
Admin Lead: Mrs Vicky Cottam