Taught course

History of Science Technology and Medicine

The University of Manchester · Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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Entry requirements

We require an Upper Second-class honours degree or overseas equivalent in an appropriate discipline, which may include humanities or science subjects. You should provide transcripts or study plans indicating performance on the most relevant course content.

Applicants may also be accepted based on evidence of alternative study, research or professional experience that meets the University's central requirements.

This course is also available for intercalating medical students, both from the University of Manchester and other UK universities, upon completion of their third year. For St Andrews students, this includes the three-year course plus the following one or two years spent in Manchester. Intercalating medical students need to have passed all assessments at first attempt (if they are third year) or have no fails in third year if they are fourth year.

Months of entry


Course content

Our MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine taught master's course focuses on a broad range of mostly nineteenth and twentieth century case studies, from the local to the global.

We will explore key debates such as:

  • Why does Britain have a National Health Service?
  • Can better science education cure economic problems?
  • How did epidemic disease affect the colonial ambitions of the European powers?
  • Why do we end up depending on unreliable technologies?

Your studies will pay particular attention to the roles of sites, institutions, and schools of thought and practice, and to the changing ways in which scientists and medics have communicated with non-specialist audiences.

You will learn through lectures, seminars and tutorials and gain experience of historical essay-writing, before researching and writing an extensive dissertation on a specialised topic, supervised by experienced researchers.

This MSc focuses on humanities skills, but may be taken successfully by students from any disciplinary background. It works both as an advanced study course for students with undergraduate experience in the history of science, technology and medicine, and as a conversion route for students from other backgrounds, often in the sciences, but also including general history, social policy, and other fields.

The History of Science, Technology and Medicine pathway is appropriate if you have wide-ranging interests across the field, or are interested in the histories of the physical sciences or the life sciences in particular.

If you wish to focus on biomedicine or healthcare, you may prefer the Medical Humanities pathway. If you are particularly interested in contemporary science communication or policy, you should consider the MSc Science Communication course.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
+44 (0)161 275 5220