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History of Science, Technology and Medicine MSc

Explore the history of science, technology and medicine (HSTM) through case studies. Interested students from any discipline are welcome on this course. Includes the Medical Humanities award route.

History of Science, Technology and Medicine (including Medical Humanities award route)

Year of entry: 2017

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Overview

Why is this course for me?

  • You want to gain extensive research experience and professional skills in the field of histories of science, technology and medicine.
  • You are considering moving on to doctoral and research degree programmes.
  • The Medical Humanities award routes may be taken by medical students as an intercalated MSc, or as a stand-alone MSc by other students.
Degree awarded
MSc
Duration
1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)
Entry requirements

Normally requires an Upper Second-class honours degree in the United Kingdom, or the overseas equivalent , in an appropriate discipline, which may include humanities or science subjects. Applicants should provide transcripts or study plans indicating performance on the most relevant course content. An applicant may also be exceptionally accepted based on evidence of alternative study, research or professional experience, provided this meets the University¿s central requirements.

 

Full entry requirements

Contact email
Contact telephone
+44 (0)161 306 5439
How to apply

Apply online

Please note we require the following documents before we can consider your application:

Transcript of your studies to date, translated into English

Two academic references on letter headed paper. These can be scanned and uploaded when you apply or emailed to pgtaught.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on an applicant's behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referees know how to provide your reference to us.

Degree certificate (if you have already graduated)

Personal statement or statement of purpose

Curriculum vitae (CV)

If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

Please indicate in the text of your application whether you are applying for the core History of Science, Technology and Medicine pathway or the Medical Humanities pathway.

“The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine is renowned for the quality of its teaching, as well as the research that takes place there, so I didn't hesitate to accept their offer of study.”

Jonathan Livingstone / History of Science, Technology and Medicine MSc

Course options

Full-timePart-timeFull-time distance learningPart-time distance learning
MScYYNN

Course description

This programme explores the histories of science, technology and medicine (HSTM) through a wide range of case studies, from the emergence of professional scientific disciplines such as physics and biology, to the growth of `Big Science' in the Cold war era, to the complex history of the National Health Service. We focus on the integrated understanding of HSTM through consideration of sites, institutions, and schools of thought and practice, and pay particular attention to how scientists and medics have communicated with non-specialist audiences.

The taught course consists of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Reflecting CHSTM¿s established research strengths, studies focus on nineteenth- and twentieth-century cases. Students will gain experience in historical essay-writing before researching and writing an extensive dissertation on a specialised topic, supervised by experienced researchers.

This MSc is appropriate for students from any disciplinary background. It works both as an advanced study course for students with undergraduate experience in HSTM, 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 HSTM pathway is the most appropriate for students who 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 parallel Science Communication MSc programme.

Open days

An open day is usually scheduled in November and/or February: details are announced on the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine website. At other times of the year, CHSTM staff are happy to meet potential students individually: please contact us for an appointment.

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2017, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,000
    International students (per annum): £17,000
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,500
    International students (per annum): £8,500

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment. Please note we can only accept part time applications from international students if they do not require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Scholarships/sponsorships

Several sources of funding are available. For current possibilities, please see the MSc Funding page on the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine website. Please note that funding application deadlines are usually significantly earlier than the application deadline for the programme overall.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

Normally requires an Upper Second-class honours degree in the United Kingdom, or the overseas equivalent , in an appropriate discipline, which may include humanities or science subjects. Applicants should provide transcripts or study plans indicating performance on the most relevant course content. An applicant may also be exceptionally accepted based on evidence of alternative study, research or professional experience, provided this meets the University¿s central requirements.

 

English language

For applicants whose first language is not English, we require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall and 6.5 in each component, or TOEFL 90 (internet based) with a minimum of 22 in each component.

If you are to attend a pre-sessional English course at our University Language Centre prior to the start of your course, a UKVI Approved Secure English Language Test  may be required for the purpose of your Tier 4 visa application. For details, please see requirements from our University Language Centre .

English language test validity

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For more details see entry requirements from your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

Please note we require the following documents before we can consider your application:

Transcript of your studies to date, translated into English

Two academic references on letter headed paper. These can be scanned and uploaded when you apply or emailed to pgtaught.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on an applicant's behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referees know how to provide your reference to us.

Degree certificate (if you have already graduated)

Personal statement or statement of purpose

Curriculum vitae (CV)

If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

Please indicate in the text of your application whether you are applying for the core History of Science, Technology and Medicine pathway or the Medical Humanities pathway.

Interview requirements

Applicants may be interviewed as part of the selection process. We may ask to see a sample of written work, in a relevant area, as a basis for interview discussion. Interviews will be held face to face if possible. Otherwise, and normally for applicants based outside the UK, we will interview by Skype.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

This programme explores the histories of science, technology and medicine (HSTM) through a wide range of case studies, from the emergence of professional scientific disciplines such as physics and biology, to the growth of `Big Science' in the Cold war era, to the complex history of the National Health Service. We focus on the integrated understanding of HSTM through consideration of sites, institutions, and schools of thought and practice, and pay particular attention to how scientists and medics have communicated with non-specialist audiences.

The taught course consists of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Reflecting CHSTM¿s established research strengths, studies focus on nineteenth- and twentieth-century cases. Students will gain experience in historical essay-writing before researching and writing an extensive dissertation on a specialised topic, supervised by experienced researchers.

This MSc is appropriate for students from any disciplinary background. It works both as an advanced study course for students with undergraduate experience in HSTM, 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 HSTM pathway is the most appropriate for students who 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 parallel Science Communication MSc programme.

Aims

To explore the histories of theories, practices, authority claims, institutions and people, spaces and places, and communication in science, technology and medicine, across their social, cultural and political contexts.

To provide an opportunity and open access to study particular topics of historical and contemporary significance in depth encourage and support the development of analytical skills in understanding the changing form and function of science, technology and medicine in society.

To encourage and support the development of transferable writing and presentational skills of the highest standard, and thereby prepare students for further academic study or employment.

To provide a comprehensive introduction to research methods in the history of science, technology and medicine, including work with libraries, archives, databases, and oral history.

To enable students to produce a major piece of original research and writing in the form of a dissertation.

Special features

Students register for a common programme, but may specialise into one of our named awards according to the choice of Semester 2 taught options and dissertation topics. There are two award pathways:

Additional course information

Teaching and learning

Teaching includes a mixture of lectures and small-group seminar discussions built around readings and other materials. We emphasise the use both of primary sources, and of current research in the field. Most students will also visit local museums and other sites of interest to work on objects or archives. All students meet regularly with a mentor from the Centre's PhD community, a designated personal tutor from among the staff, and, from Semester 2, a dissertation supervisor.  Progression is developed through the Faculty's online-delivery Electronic Graduate Training Programme. 

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is mostly based on traditional essay-format coursework submission. The HSTM pathway includes one examination based on a precirculated paper. All MSc students undertake a research dissertation (or optionally, for Medical Humanities students, a portfolio of creative work) counting for 60 of the 180 credits.

Course unit details

You are required to complete 180 credits in the following course units to be awarded this MSc:

Semester 1 course units (credits)

  • Major themes in HSTM  (30 credits)
  • Theory and practice in HSTM and Medical Humanities (15)
  • Research and communication skills (15)

Semester 2: two  optional course units  (30 credits each) from the below list, or one from the below plus 30 credits of course units from an affiliated programme:

plus:

  • Dissertation in the history of science, technology and/or medicine (60)

Course structure (part-time)

Part-time students study alongside full-timers, taking half the same content each semester over two years.

You are required to complete 180 credits in the following course units to be awarded this MSc:

Semester 1:  Major themes in HSTM  (30 credits).

Semester 2: one optional course unit (30 credits each) from

Semester 3:

  • Theory and practice in HSTM and Medical Humanities (15)
  • Research and communication skills (15)

Semester 4: one further  optional course unit  (30) from CHSTM as seen above, or 30 credits of course units from an approved affiliated programme.

Plus:

  • Dissertation in HSTM (60 credits) across second year and during the summer

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Major Themes in HSTMHSTM6051130Mandatory
Communicating ideas in STMHSTM6057115Mandatory
Dissertation in HSTM, Science Communication studies or Medical HumanitiesHSTM6063260Mandatory
Historiography of STMHSTM6065115Mandatory
Medicine, Science and ModernityHSTM6016230Optional
Shaping the SciencesHSTM6026230Optional
Making Modern TechnologyHSTM6027230Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

Several sources of funding are available. For current possibilities, please see the MSc Funding page on the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine website. Please note that funding application deadlines are usually earlier than the application deadline for the programme overall.

What our students say

'The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) is renowned for the quality of its teaching, as well as the research that takes place there, so I didn't hesitate to accept their offer of study. Manchester also has the largest student population in the country, and as a result is a popular recruiting ground for graduate employers. Thus, I thought it would further increase my chances of obtaining a graduate job by studying here.'

Jonathan Livingston

Facilities

All MSc students have use of a shared office in the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, including networked computer terminals and storage space, and use of the dedicated subject library housed in the PhD office nearby. The Centre is located within a few minutes' walk of the University of Manchester Library, the largest non-deposit library in the UK. 

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Many of our students go on to PhD research in related areas, or to careers in fields including museums, libraries and archives; teaching; technical authorship and editing; science policy work; research administration; journalism and the media.