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MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Year of entry: 2020

Overview

Degree awarded
MSc
Duration
1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)
Entry requirements

We require an Upper Second-class honours degree or overseas equivalent in an appropriate discipline, which may include humanities or science subjects. You should provide transcripts or study plans indicating performance on the most relevant course content.

Applicants may also be accepted based on evidence of alternative study, research or professional experience that meets the University's central requirements.

This course is also available for intercalating medical students, both from the University of Manchester and other UK universities, upon completion of their third year. For St Andrews students, this includes the three-year course plus the following one or two years spent in Manchester. Intercalating medical students need to have passed all assessments at first attempt (if they are third year) or have no fails in third year if they are fourth year.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

You should apply for this course via our online application form . See the Application and selection section for details of the supporting documents that we require with your form.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Study at the UK's leading centre for the integrated historical study of science, technology and medicine.
  • Work with world renowned experts in the history of science, technology and medicine, environmental humanities, bioethics and science communication.  
  • Have the option to take a placement that allows you to gain transferable skills by working with a range of external organisations.  
  • Open up flexible career options, from PhD preparation to jobs in science writing, public engagement, museums and heritage.
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MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine at The University of Manchester

Open days

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine usually offers open day events in November and February or March of each year. For details, see the open days page on the CHSTM website.

At other times of the year, CHSTM staff are happy to meet potential students individually or talk via email and phone.

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,750
    International students (per annum): £21,500
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,875
    International students (per annum): £10,750

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

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 significantly earlier than the application deadline for the course.

Alumni Bursary

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an Alumni Bursary of £1000 towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are recent University of Manchester graduates and who are commencing one of our postgraduate taught Master's programmes in 2020. The bursary is available to students or alumni who:

  • graduated in 2019 or are graduating in 2020
  • hold a First or Upper Second class honours degree
  • have home or overseas fee status
  • are applying for full or part time study
  • are self-funded and not in receipt of any other funding support

The bursary will be applied as a fee reduction automatically for those students and alumni who meet the Alumni Bursary criteria so there is no application process.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Email
Website
http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/
School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an Upper Second-class honours degree or overseas equivalent in an appropriate discipline, which may include humanities or science subjects. You should provide transcripts or study plans indicating performance on the most relevant course content.

Applicants may also be accepted based on evidence of alternative study, research or professional experience that meets the University's central requirements.

This course is also available for intercalating medical students, both from the University of Manchester and other UK universities, upon completion of their third year. For St Andrews students, this includes the three-year course plus the following one or two years spent in Manchester. Intercalating medical students need to have passed all assessments at first attempt (if they are third year) or have no fails in third year if they are fourth year.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system.

We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS : 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with 20 in writing)

See further information about requirements for your country .

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University Pre-sessional English language course . If you wish to be considered for a pre-sessional course, please contact the Admissions Team pgtaught.medicine@manchester.ac.uk .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For more details see entry requirements from your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

You should apply for this course via our online application form . See the Application and selection section for details of the supporting documents that we require with your form.

Advice to applicants

We require the following documents before we can consider your application.

  • Official transcript of your studies to date. As far as possible, this should include details of grades achieved for individual modules or courses. If the transcript is generated in a language other than English, you should also include a translation.
  • One academic reference on letter headed paper. These can be scanned and uploaded when you apply, or emailed separately by the referees to pgtaught.medicine@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on your behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referees know how to provide your reference to us.
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated).
  • Personal statement of one to two pages, explaining your background and interest in the course.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) outlining your career and/or study history.
  • If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

Interview requirements

Applicants may be interviewed as part of the selection process. We may ask to see a sample of written work, in a relevant area, as a basis for interview discussion. Interviews will be held face to face if possible. Otherwise, and normally for applicants based outside the UK, we will interview by Skype.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

CAS Information

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course, the Admissions Team will contact you at the appropriate time.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Our taught MSc in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (HSTM) focuses on key topics from the 19th century to the present, and gives students a critical perspective on global challenges such as:

  • The history of climate change
  • Questions about trust and expertise
  • The relationship between information technology and society
  • Science, race and empire
  • The politics of public health and access to medical care

The degree focuses on humanities skills, but can be taken successfully by students from any disciplinary background.

Our flexible curriculum provides breadth and choice across the history of science, technology and medicine, allowing you to tailor your studies to suit your interests. 

The new placement option allows you to gain transferable skills for employment by working with museums, charities, policy organisations and heritage bodies.

You will become and integrated member of a research community with dedicated facilities and a vibrant seminar programme.

You will learn from and work with world-leading staff, whose expertise encompasses political, social, and cultural approaches to the history of science, technology and medicine, from both national and global perspectives. 

Aims

This course aims to:

  • explore how science, technology and medicine have become integral to the ways in which we order, imagine and experience modern societies
  • provide opportunities to study significant historical and contemporary topics in depth, by working with experts across a number of fields and specialisms
  • prepare you for further academic study or employment by supporting the development of writing and presentation skills, and providing opportunities to gain professional experience outside universities
  • enable you to produce a major piece of original research and writing in the form of a dissertation.

Special features

Placement option 

The new placement unit option enables you to gain direct professional experience and enhance your CV by working with an organisation from the heritage, charitable or policymaking sectors. This allows you to gain practical experience that can be invaluable both in your studies and when applying for jobs after graduating.

Explore Manchester's history

Manchester is the classic 'shock city' of the Industrial Revolution and its environmental and social outcomes, and a global city whose identity is closely tied up with scientific discovery. You'll be able to relive the development of industrial society through visits to local museums and sites of historic interest.

Research support

We have 15 members of staff with expertise across the history of science, technology and medicine. All of our staff offer dissertation supervision in a range of specialist areas.

Opportunities for further study and experience

Take up optional classes and volunteering opportunities shared with the parallel MSc Science Communication course at Manchester, including science policy, science media, museums and public events activities.

Convenient study options

Benefit from flexible options for full or part-time study.

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. 

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is mostly based on traditional essay-format coursework submission.

All MSc students undertake a research dissertation accounting for 60 of the 180 credits.

Course unit details

You are required to complete 180 credits in the following course units to be awarded this MSc:

Semester 1 course units (credits)

  • Major themes in the history of science, technology and medicine (30 credits)
  • Historiography of science, technology and medicine (15)
  • Communicating ideas in science, technology and medicine (15)

Semester 2: optional course units (accounting for 60 credits) from the below list, or students can choose to incorporate a maximum of 30 credits of course units from an affiliated programme:

  • Placement in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (30 credits)
  • Decolonising History of Science, Technology and Medicine (15 credits)
  • Madness and Society (15 credits)
  • Making Life: Biological Sciences since 1800 (15 credits)
  • Technology, identity and society (15 credits)
  • Nature and Artifice: Environmental Sciences since 1800 (15 credits)
  • Politics of Public Health (15 credits)
  • Risk: Science, Society and Culture (15 credits)
  • The Nuclear Age (15 credits)

plus:

  • Dissertation in the history of science, technology and/or medicine (60)

Course structure (part-time)

Part-time students study alongside full-timers, taking half the same content each semester over two years.

You are required to complete 180 credits in the following course units to be awarded this MSc:

Semester 1: Major themes in the history of science, technology and medicine (30 credits).

Semester 2: 30 credits of optional course units from 

  • Placement in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (30 credits)
  • Decolonising History of Science (15 credits)
  • Madness and Society (15 credits)
  • Making Life: Biological Sciences since 1800 (15 credits)
  • Technology, identity and society (15 credits)
  • Nature and Artifice: Environmental Sciences since 1800 (15 credits)
  • Politics of Public Health (15 credits)
  • Risk: Science, Society and Culture (15 credits)
  • The Nuclear Age (15 credits)

Semester 3:

  • Historiography of science, technology and medicine (15)
  • Communicating ideas in science, technology and medicine (15)

Semester 4: 30 credits of optional course units from

  •   Placement in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (30 credits)
  • Decolonising History of Science (15 credits)
  • Madness and Society (15 credits)
  • Making Life: Biological Sciences since 1800 (15 credits)
  • Technology, identity and society (15 credits)
  • Nature and Artifice Environmental Sciences since 1800 (15 credits)
  • Politics of Public Health (15 credits)
  • Risk: Science, Society and Culture (15 credits)
  • The Nuclear Age (15 credits)

Plus:

  • Dissertation in HSTM (60 credits) across second year and during the summer

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Major Themes in HSTM HSTM60511 30 Mandatory
Communicating ideas in STM HSTM60571 15 Mandatory
Dissertation in HSTM, Science Communication studies or Medical Humanities HSTM60632 60 Mandatory
Historiography of STM HSTM60651 15 Mandatory
Decolonizing History of Science HSTM60652 15 Optional
The Nuclear Age: Global Nuclear Threats from Hiroshima to Today HSTM60662 15 Optional
Risk: Science, Society and Culture HSTM60672 15 Optional
Technology, identity and society HSTM60682 15 Optional
Madness and Society in the Modern Age HSTM60692 15 Optional
Making Life: Biological Sciences since 1800 HSTM60702 15 Optional
Nature and Artifice: Environmental Sciences since 1800 HSTM60712 15 Optional
The Politics of Public Health HSTM60722 15 Optional
Placement in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine HSTM60732 30 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units

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 nearby.

The Centre is located within a few minutes' walk of the University of Manchester Library , the largest non-deposit library in the UK.

Resources for student research projects within the University include the object collections of the Manchester Museum , also nearby on campus, and the John Rylands Library special collections facility in the city centre.

CHSTM also has a close working relationship with other institutions offering research facilities to students, notably the Museum of Science and Industry .

Disability support

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

Careers

Career opportunities

Many of our MSc students go on to PhD research, whether in the history of science, technology and medicine itself, in other fields of history, or in a range of allied subjects including historical geography, science and technology studies, and museum studies.

Other MSc graduates have gone on to a diverse range of careers involving a significant element of specialist expertise on the role of science or medicine in society. These include museums, science centres and the heritage sector; libraries and archives; the civil service; media production; journalism; specialist public relations; and technical authorship and editing.

The MSc is also a valued qualification for general graduate recruitment, owing to its combination of scientific and medical context with a humanities-style focus on writing skills.