Health humanities seeks novel ways of understanding health and illness in society, and how methods from the humanities and social studies may be brought to bear on biomedicine, clinical practice, and the politics of healthcare. Experiences and portrayals of health and illness in literature, film and contemporary culture are also studied.
Modes and duration
Part-time students should aim to devote 15 hours per week in term time. Flexible students can choose their own pace. Much of this learning can be done at your own convenience, but each module will usually also have a weekly two hour live seminar discussion. The mode of delivery of seminar discussions will be depend on government social distancing guidelines, and may be either face-to-face or online.
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
The programme enables students to approach issues relating to health and illness from both a historical and contemporary perspective and from a variety of a disciplines, including anthropology, history, philosophy, sociology, science and technology studies, global health, literature and film studies. Students will also learn to work in an interdisciplinary manner.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), elective modules of 15 or 30 credits each (up to a total of 60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits), two core modules (60 credits) and two electives (60 credits) is also offered.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Health Humanities. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Health Humanities.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
Please click here for the current list of compulsory and optional modules for this programme.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars. Assessment is through essays and a dissertation. There is no unseen examination.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding.
Applicants for this programme may be eligible for a number of funding opportunities including UCL graduate scholarships.
Home and some EU students on a Master's programme can apply for a government postgraduate loan.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
This MA provides an exceptional foundation for those hoping to undertake PhD research and pursue an academic career, ranging from interdisciplinary work in the health humanities to a broad spectrum of more specialised disciplines, such as medicine, the philosophy of medicine, history of medicine, medical sociology or medical anthropology, among others. It is also a suitable preparation for a range of careers including science and medical journalism, bioethics, healthcare policy, NGOs and museum and heritage.
The programme gives students opportunities to work in an interdisciplinary manner, and to engage in debate and develop their presentation skills. Students will gain experience of writing essays and training in conducting original research and applying the appropriate methodology. There are many additional activities available, both within the UCL Health Humanities Centre and the Institute of Advanced Studies, and the wider UCL community, to help students develop employability skills.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Health Humanities MA is based in UCL's Health Humanities Centre which draws together world-leading researchers from different disciplines including medicine and health in history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and cultural and film studies.
Leading clinicians at UCL's acclaimed Medical School and Division of Psychiatry, who are engaged in humanities and social science research, are also actively involved with the centre.
UCL Health Humanities Centre forms part of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, which showcases and fosters multidisciplinary research within the humanities and the social sciences, with an active programme of events and visiting international scholars.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students who wish to gain a training and qualification in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches in the health humanities as a foundation for higher research and professional work, and for graduates from other fields or careers wishing to supplement their existing knowledge and experience.
- All applicants
- 31 May 2021
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we access your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Health Humanities at graduate level
- why you want to study Health Humanities at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. Applicants who have a portfolio are strongly recommended to submit it when they apply.
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