Clarke, Brendan

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

At UCL, the academic mission is paramount. Our ambition is to achieve the highest standards in our teaching and research.

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Staff books include:

Cain 2007 Regular Contact with Anyone Interest spacerAthena Swan Bronze Award


HPSC2020 Philosophy of Medicine

The page provides information about this module.

The module tutor is Dr Brendan Clarke.

Course description

This module provides students with an overview of the exciting field of philosophy of medicine. Based on case-studies drawn from contemporary medical practice, the module will engage with six conceptual issues of major importance to medicine. In brief, these are the question of discovery (of diseases and treatments), with causation, with modelling, with complexity, with classification, and with evidence-based medicine. The teaching will be a mixture of lectures, giving topic overviews, critical reading of philosophical and medical sources, and seminar activities, intended to allow students to autonomously develop their analytical skills. This module has no pre-requisites.


The course takes place during term 1. See the UCL common timetable for details.


This course will be assessed by one essay (50%) and one unseen exam (50%).

No prerequisites

The course is designed to complement other STS courses, e.g., HPSC2003 (Topics in Philosophy of Science) and HPSC3028 (Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Medicine). Students outside STS are very welcome. Please feel free to contact me (b.clarke [at] to discuss.

Course materials

The 2011-12 course syllabus is available here [404kb .pdf].

Page last modified on 21 sep 12 17:21 by Brendan Clarke

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