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MSc/PgDip/PgCertHealth History

Why this course?

The MSc in Health History explores the last two-and-a-half centuries to seek the origins and impacts of our modern health experiences and expectations, together with the reasons they've changed so rapidly. It examines a variety of issues such as the:

  • development of psychiatry since its birth in the 19th century
  • rise of regulation for drugs and medicines
  • impact of warfare on medical technologies
  • challenges faced by those seeking to transform the health of British children
  • changes and continuities in health and healtcare in Britain since 1800
  • effects of work and workplaces on individual and environmental health
  • intersection of rece, ethnicity and health in America
  • concepts of and treatments for mental health in modern societies
  • intersection of gender, sexuality and health since  1800

The degree is suitable for those from humanities, social science and health science backgrounds as well as those who have worked in the health professions.

The MSc Health History is organised around the expertise of staff in the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) Glasgow. The CSHHH is a research collaboration between historians of medicine and of health and healthcare at Glasgow Caledonian and Strathclyde universities.

You’ll study

Modules can be built into a Masters degree. This can form the basis for future doctoral research funded by the:

  • Wellcome Trust
  • Arts & Humanities Research Council
  • Economic & Social Research Council

Compulsory class

  • Sources, Skills & Methods for Historians

Optional classes

Choose four from:

  • Health & Healthcare in the Long 19th Century
  • Pharmaceuticals, Ethics & Health, 1800 to 1980
  • Governing Highs & Health: History & the Control of Drugs, c1800 to c1945
  • Work & Occupational Health in the 20th Century: Comparative Perspectives
  • Food & Health in the West during the 20th Century
  • The Politics of Health in 20th-century Britain
  • Medicine & Warfare, 1800 to 2000
  • Race, Ethnicity and Health in 20th-century America
  • Gender, Health and Modern Medicine Since 1800

Dissertation

MSc students also write a dissertation of 10,000 words. You’ll research a topic of your choice, under the supervision of a member of the programme staff. You’ll be able to use the extensive archive holdings relating to the history of medicine and of health and healthcare available in Glasgow and elsewhere in Central Scotland.

Seminars

The CSHHH Glasgow seminar series is designed to showcase the latest research from across the subject area at the centre. All students on the MSc are expected to attend these sessions.

Teaching staff

Teaching and research training is provided by staff of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH) Glasgow. Key staff include:

  • Dr Patricia Barton, Lecturer in History, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Janet Greenlees, Senior Lecturer in Health History, Glasgow Caledonian University and Deputy Director of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare
  • Dr Laura Kelly, Lecturer in the History of Health and Medicine and Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Medical Humanities, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Vicky Long, Lecturer in Health History at Glasgow Caledonian University and Deputy Director of the CSHHH
  • Dr Stephen Mawdsley, Wellcome Trust Universtiy Award Lecturer, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor Arthur McIvor, Professor in Social History, University of Strathclyde and Director of the Scottish Oral History Centre
  • Professor Jim Mills, Co-Director of CSHHH and Professor of Modern History, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Emma Newlands, Lecturer in History, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Elsa Richardson, Lecturer in the History of Medicine, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Lucas Richert, Lecturer in History, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor Matthew Smith, Co-Director of CSHHH and Professor of Health History, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor Oonagh Walsh, Professor of Gender Studies, Glasgow Caledonian University

Course content

Compulsory class

Sources, Skills & Methods for Historians

You'll be introduced to methodological and practical issues in historical research. 

Optional classes

Four to be chosen

Pharmaceuticals, Ethics and Health: 1800-1980

This class analyses core debates in the History of Pharmaceutical Science and the History of the Pharmaceutical Industry.

It uses a series of cases studies including: the establishment of pharmacology as a medical science, standardisation and the quality of medications, the globalisation of the medicinal market, pharmaceutical legislation, drug scandals and the politics of pharmaceutics.

Through analysis of the historiography and primary materials, students will engage with the ethical debates which have accompanied the rise of the pharmaceutical industry as a global giant.

Health & Healthcare in the Long 19th Century
With a geographical focus on Britain and North America and thereby a consciously comparative approach, this class examines issues like the often vexed relationship between medicine, the public, and the state in an era which saw the constant redrawing of such boundaries in both nations.
The Politics of Health in 20th-century Britain

This class analyses how healthcare policy and practice in Britain was formulated and contested amongst healthcare professionals, patients, pressure groups and the state over the course of the 20th century.

It explores the ideological motivations underpinning health interventions and health activism against the backdrop of war, politics, changing economic fortunes and shifting social and cultural values.

Governing Highs & Health: History & the Control of Drugs, c.1800-1945

This class examines key moments in the development of modern systems of regulating drugs.

With a focus on western countries since 1800, it explores the political, social and economic contexts of decisions to control and restrict the consumption of both psychoactive and pharmaceutical products.

The objective is to place state enquiries, legislative projects and international agencies in historical context.

Work and Occupational Health in the 20th Century: Comparative Perspectives

The history of occupational health is a vibrant field of investigation on both sides of the Atlantic.

This class critically examines the impact of work on health, covering the 19th century roots of the problem to the end of the 20th century.

The main focus is on the British experience. However, this is compared and contrasted with the situation in mainland Europe and North America.

Medicine and Warfare, 1800-2000

This class analyses the role of medicine in the emergence of ‘modern’ forms of warfare, particularly the vital contribution that medicine made to manpower economy, discipline and morale.

It explores the ways that different countries have responded to the medical issues posed by modern warfare, the key objective being to place these military-medical developments within wider social, cultural and political contexts.

Food and Health in the West during the 20th Century

The aim of this class is for students to explore how dietary influences on health have been perceived in the West during the 20th century.

Nutrition has been and continues to be one of the most controversial areas of health and medicine and one of the goals of this module is to examine why this has been the case.

Race, Ethnicity and Health in 20th-century America

This class explores the complex intersection of race, ethnicity, and health in 20th-century America. You'll tackle the ideologies of race and ethnicity, as well as the social construction of disease, illness, and the body. By using case studies, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the social determinants of disease, the effects of racism, and how racial groups have negotiated existing institutions (hospitals, public health, government, and medicine). By engaging with a range of primary and secondary sources, you'll develop your research skills, public speaking skills, and knowledge of American health history through the lens of race and ethnicity.

Gender, Health and Modern Medicine Since 1800

This class explores the complex interactions between medicine, gender, health and illness in the 19th and 20th centuries. You'll explore the key role that gender has played in the emergence of modern healthcare and medicine in a variety of settings, such as Britain, Ireland and the United States. You'll also examine a diverse range of topics to assess how men and women, and concepts of femininity and masculinity were defined by the medical profession and how responses to men and women’s health issues became increasingly gendered over time.

As well as developing your critical thinking skills through engagement with the secondary literature on these themes, you'll have the opportunity to get to grips with a variety of primary sources such as women’s magazines, advertisements, films, medical journals and oral histories.

MSc

If you progress to MSc level, you'll also write a 10,000 word dissertation.

Dissertation

You’ll research a topic of your choice, under the supervision of a member of the programme staff. You’ll be able to use the extensive archive holdings relating to the history of medicine and of health and healthcare available in Glasgow and elsewhere in Central Scotland.

Assessment

A full account of assessment will be provided in each module handbook. The pass mark is 50% in all classes.

Entry requirements

  • first or upper second-class Honours degree in History or a related discipline, equivalent
  • supporting academic references
  • you may also be asked to attend an interview

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

2017/18
  • MSc: £6,500
  • PgDip: £4,200
  • PgCert: £2,100

Rest of UK

2017/18
  • MSc: £6,500
  • PgDip: £4,200
  • PgCert: £2,100

International

2017/18
  • MSc: £13,500
  • PgDip: £9,000
  • PgCert: £4,500

How can I fund my course?

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £3,000 for entry onto a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Students on this course are eligible to apply for the Research Preparation Master's Award scholarship.

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students starting in 2017 may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England can apply for Postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Wales can apply for support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland can apply for support from Student Finance NI. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

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Health History

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Health History

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Health History

Qualification: PG Certificate, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Health History

Qualification: PG Certificate, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Health History

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Health History

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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