Health Humanities MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

The MPhil/PhD programme in Health Humanities offers students the opportunity to study with world-leading academics in the health humanities, researching issues related to health and illness from the humanities and social sciences in the vibrant research community of the UCL Health Humanities Centre, with the unparalleled research resources of Bloomsbury.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£5,860
£2,930
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£26,200
£13,100
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard and usually Master's degree with Merit in a relevant field. In the first instance, candidates should establish a dialogue with a potential supervisor before making a formal application. Admission is normally dependent on the submission of a detailed research project proposal.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The UCL Health Humanities Centre conducts world-leading interdisciplinary research on health and illness from the arts, humanities and social and historical disciplines. It benefits from UCL’s strengths in biomedicine. We offer individual research supervision from prominent researchers and a commitment to individual attention for all students. Close to the British Library and the Wellcome Library, UCL Health Humanities Centre offers unique opportunities for graduate students.

Who this course is for

This MPhil/PhD is for applicants with a strong interest in conducting multi-disciplinary research, who may have completed post-graduate training or study and want to develop an advanced critical analysis in a specific research area. The programme is for applicants with a background or interest in humanities, social sciences, and health. It is suitable for both recent Masters graduates as well as early or mid-career professionals.

What this course will give you

You will study within UCL’s Health Humanities Centre. This draws together world-leading researchers on bioethics, medical humanities, history of medicine, psychology and psychiatry, philosophy, anthropology, literature, cultural and film studies, global health, science and technology studies. In addition, it has the involvement of leading clinicians in the acclaimed UCL Medical School and Division of Psychiatry, engaged in humanities and social science research.

You will also benefit from UCL’s 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.

The foundation of your career

As part of the degree, students are given training designed especially to help enhance their employability. The Health Humanities Centre runs regular health humanities research seminars, and the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry runs regular research training seminars. There is also a wide variety of courses available to students via the Skills Development programme, including languages, academic writing for non-native English speakers, sessions on professional and career development, getting published and research and analysis methods. Career development is also supported by UCL Careers.

Employability

A PhD in Health Humanities provides the basis for academic careers in the health and medical humanities, as well as in a broad spectrum of more specialised disciplines, including bioethics, the philosophy of medicine, history of medicine, medical sociology or medical anthropology. It is also suitable preparation for careers in science and medical journalism, bioethics, healthcare policy, NGOs, museum and heritage, among others.

Networking

The Health Humanities Centre forms a hub which draws together researchers engaged in work related to health and wellbeing throughout UCL. The centre organises a regular Health Humanities Seminar, and regular events on the History of the Psychological Disciplines. In addition, the centre organises workshops and conferences throughout the year. Students are strongly encouraged to attend and give papers at conferences, establish contacts with academics and also peers working in their field, as well as to organise their own events.

Teaching and learning

To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

Research areas and structure

  • Interdisciplinary health humanities
  • History of medicine and the psychological disciplines
  • Empirical bioethics
  • Public health ethics
  • Philosophy of medicine

In the first instance, candidates should establish a dialogue with a potential supervisor before making a formal application. The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration. 

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis.

In the first year, you will be required to take part in a mandatory Skills Seminar Programme. You are expected to agree with your supervisor the basic structure of your research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. You will produce and submit a detailed outline of your proposed research to your supervisor for their comments and feedback and be given the opportunity to present your research to UCL academic staff and fellow PhD students.


In the second year, you will be expected to upgrade from MPhil to a PhD. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the Faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is usually three years for full-time and five years for part-time. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration. 

Accessibility

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.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £5,860 £2,930
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200 £13,100

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Additional costs may include expenses such as books, stationery, printing or photocopying, and conference registration fees.

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library (hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions).

The wealth of departmental seminars / colloquiums / symposiums and student organised work in progress sessions give ample opportunities to present research, receive feedback and participate in discussion.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For more details about departmental funding available to postgraduate research students in the department, please refer to our Funding, Scholarships and Prizes (Research) webpage.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

All applicants must identify and contact potential supervisors before making their application. For more information see our 'Need to Know' page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Year of entry: 2022-2023

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.