Taught course

Applied Medical Humanities

Birkbeck, University of London · English, Theatre and Creative Writing

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Entry requirements

You must have graduated from a UK medical school or hold an equivalent second-class honours degree from an overseas medical school.

Applicants from other healthcare or professional backgrounds relevant to medicine and medical regulation may be admitted to the programme. Such applicants must hold relevant professional qualifications and/or a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above).

Months of entry


Course content

Birkbeck's MA Applied Medical Humanities is designed to help medical practitioners explore and understand their complex, everyday clinical experiences with diverse patients and cultures. Medical humanities is a rich interdisciplinary field of study in which medicine and its practices are examined through the lenses of the humanities disciplines, including art, cultural and critical studies, film, history, law, literature and philosophy.

This practice-based programme utilises the insights and skills of the humanities disciplines to support the development of the professional capabilities, values and behaviours defined by the GMC and NMC and core to clinical practice. Its focus on the integration of medicine and humanities will help you develop a deeper understanding of your clinical practice, locate ways of enhancing patient care and explore strategies for your own self-care. You will acquire new skills in verbal and written communication, research and critical analysis that will expand your existing professional skill-set.

To contextualise Western medicine and the cultural specificity of medicine in Britain, you will undertake a placement within another speciality or medical tradition at the end of your first year. The insights you gain in this placement will allow you to develop a reflexive understanding of your own speciality and the settings in which you deliver healthcare.

This programme is relevant for practitioners across all stages of medical and healthcare careers: in medicine, from foundation years, through speciality training, to consultant level; in nursing, from early career through to specialist and consultant levels. Its intensive delivery makes it possible for full-time clinicians and healthcare professionals, from the UK and overseas, to combine study with clinical commitments.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGCert
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44(0) 20 3907 0700