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History of Science, Technology and Medicine MSc (including Medical Humanities and Science Communication routes) - 2014 entry | The University of Manchester
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History of Science, Technology and Medicine MSc (including Medical Humanities and Science Communication routes)

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Course description

This flexible programme combines approaches from several disciplines, allowing students to specialise along one of three interconnected pathways. The core History pathway focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century science, technology and medicine, their social and cultural backgrounds, and their implications for the present and future. The Medical Humanities pathway combines historical understanding of medicine and healthcare with approaches from literary studies, the social sciences and the visual arts. The Science Communication pathway focuses on recent history and current practices in communication between scientific and medical experts and wider audiences, covering both science media and science policy studies. Learning involves a mixture of lectures, discussion sessions, private study and site visits. The programme is equally suitable for science graduates seeking related careers outside research science (including science communication and policy work), and for humanities graduates keen to explore the changing nature of some of the crucial sites of expertise and authority in modern-day life.

Aims

The programme is designed to provide both a conversion route for students new to the history of science, technology and medicine (HSTM), science communication or the medical humanities, and a course of advanced study for students with prior experience in any of these areas. The core course, required for all students, provides a broad survey of HSTM and its relationship with wider society, and/or an introduction to medical humanities work across a range of disciplines, plus skills training in organising a research enquiry, writing for both academic and general audiences, and giving spoken presentations. Optional courses in the second semester provide a more detailed understanding of specialised areas including the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century science and technology, interactions between medicine, science and the arts, and the theory and practice of science communication. The course concludes with a dissertation project or portfolio, in which the student performs independent new research under the guidance of a specialist supervisor.

Special features

Students register for a common programme, but may specialise into one of our named awards according to the choice of Semester 2 taught options and dissertation topics. There are three award pathways:

Additional course information

See the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) website.

Teaching and learning

Teaching includes a mixture of lectures and small-group seminar discussions built around readings and other materials. We emphasise the use both of primary sources, and of current research in the field. Most students will also visit local museums and other sites of interest to work on objects or archives. All students meet regularly with a mentor from the Centre¿s PhD community, a designated personal tutor from among the staff, and, from Semester 2, a dissertation supervisor.  Progression is developed through the Faculty of Life Sciences¿ online-delivery Electronic Graduate Training Programme. 

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is mostly based on traditional essay-format coursework submission. The HSTM and Science Communication pathways include one examination based on a precirculated paper. All MSc students undertake a research dissertation (or optionally, for Medical Humanities students, a portfolio of creative work) counting for 60 of the 180 credits.

Course content for year 1

Students register for a common programme, but may specialise into one of our named awards according to the choice of Semester 2 taught options and dissertation topics.

There are three award pathways:

Scholarships and bursaries

Several sources of funding are available. For current possibilities, please see the MSc Funding page on the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine website. Please note that funding application deadlines are usually earlier than the application deadline for the programme overall.

What our students say

'The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) is renowned for the quality of its teaching, as well as the research that takes place there, so I didn't hesitate to accept their offer of study. Manchester also has the largest student population in the country, and as a result is a popular recruiting ground for graduate employers. Thus, I thought it would further increase my chances of obtaining a graduate job by studying here.'

Jonathan Livingston

Read Jonathan's full profile:

Students Say ... Jonathan Livingston

Facilities

All MSc students have use of a shared office in the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, including networked computer terminals and storage space, and use of the dedicated subject library housed in the PhD office next door. The Centre is located within a few minutes¿ walk of the University of Manchester Library, the largest non-deposit library in the UK. 

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office. Email: disability@manchester.ac.uk