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MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Medicine, Science and Modernity

Unit code HSTM60162
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Faculty of Life Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

Topics include:

  • The rise of hospital medicine
  • Professionalisation and expertise
  • Public health
  • Natural History to ‘Biology’
  • Evolution
  • Experimental medicine and its critics
  • Bacteriology and immunology
  • Mendelism and the rise of genetics
  • Vitamins and biochemistry
  • Sera, vaccines and antibiotics

Pre/co-requisites

HSTM60511 (except by special arrangement)

Aims

To give students:

  • a thorough knowledge of key issues in the history of medicine from 1800 to the mid-twentieth century;
  • an understanding of the main historiographical approaches to these issues;
  • a grounding in relevant methods and techniques to support dissertation research.

Learning outcomes

Students successfully completing this module will have developed: a familiarity with the major developments in medicine since 1800; experience of presenting oral arguments in seminar discussions; the ability to identify and research a topic of their own choosing; to find and assess critically primary and secondary sources; to write, with full scholarly apparatus, an essay on the basis of their individual research.

Syllabus

Topics include: The rise of hospital medicine; Professionalisation and expertise; Public health; Natural History to ‘Biology’; Evolution; Experimental medicine and its critics; Bacteriology and immunology; Mendelism and the rise of genetics; Vitamins and biochemistry; Sera, vaccines and antibiotics.

Teaching and learning methods

Contact time is devoted to small-group discussion based on assigned readings. Students will regularly be asked to introduce the themes and arguments of readings to the rest of the class, and respond to comments. Some classes will also feature short video screenings.

Readings and other support materials are delivered via Blackboard, which is also used for essay upload. Students are encouraged to raise questions about the course in class or via email, and the group email list is used to continue general discussion on course themes.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analysis is an essential assessment criterion for written work. In addition, students will be required to provide analyses in oral form of assigned texts in seminar discussion.
Innovation/creativity
Assessment criteria for written essays includes originality of argument and creative sourcing and use of research material.
Project management
Students are required to identify and research a topic of their own choosing; to find and assess critically primary and secondary sources; to write, with full scholarly apparatus, an essay on the basis of their individual research.
Oral communication
Seminar format requires on-going student oral input by commenting on themes raised in assigned texts and responding to peer and tutor oral contributions. Students will also be asked to introduce the themes and arguments of readings to the rest of the class.
Problem solving
Students are required to set defined research problem for essays and develop strategies for addressing them.
Research
Students are required to identify and research a topic of their own choosing; to find and assess critically primary and secondary sources; to write, with full scholarly apparatus, an essay on the basis of their individual research.
Written communication
Assessment is based on two 3000 word written assignment. Assessment criteria emphasize clarity in organization, argument, and style.

Assessment methods

Assessment tasks:

Essay 1 - 3000 words in length - 50% weighting within the unit

Essay 2 - 3000 words in length - 50% weighting within the unit

Feedback methods

The seminar discussion format of the course gives all students regular opportunities to discuss their ideas with teaching staff. Staff are also available to discuss essay proposals and general course performance by appointment, on a one-to-one basis. All coursework is double-marked, and essay scripts are returned to the students with both sets of markers’ comments.

Recommended reading

Readings will come from scholarly journals, secondary sources, academic books, and primary sources.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Pratik Chakrabarti Unit coordinator

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