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MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine at The University of Manchester
MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine (including Medical Humanities award route)
Understand how the sciences, technology and healthcare have grown and interacted to shape the modern world.

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

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
MSc
Duration
1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)
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.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

You should apply for this course via our online application form . See the Application and selection section for details of the supporting documents that we require with your form.

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.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Learn at the research centre that pioneered the integrated historical study of science, technology and medicine.
  • Benefit from opportunities to work with staff and fellow students specialising in science communication, museum studies, and science and healthcare policy.
  • Study in a research-led teaching culture, with particular strengths in 20th century and contemporary history.
  • Open up flexible career options, from PhD preparation to jobs in science writing and public engagement.

Open days

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine usually offers open day events in November and February or March of each year. For details, see the open days page on the CHSTM 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 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500
    International students (per annum): £18,000
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750
    International students (per annum): £9,000

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 course.

Contact details

Academic department
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 5220
Email
Website
http://www.chstm.manchester.ac.uk/
Academic department overview
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

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.

English language

For applicants whose first language is not English, we require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 [or TOEFL (paper) 577, TOEFL (computer) 233, TOEFL (internet) 90]. The University of Manchester's TOEFL code is 0757.

If you are to attend a pre-sessional English course at our University Language Centre prior to the start of your Master's degree, a UKVI Approved Secure English Language Test is required for the purpose of your Tier 4 visa application.

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

You should apply for this course via our online application form . See the Application and selection section for details of the supporting documents that we require with your form.

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.

Advice to applicants

  We require the following documents before we can consider your application.

  • Official transcript of your studies to date. As far as possible, this should include details of grades achieved for individual modules or courses. If the transcript is generated in a language other than English, you should also include a translation.
  • Two academic references on letter headed paper. These can be scanned and uploaded when you apply, or emailed separately by the referees to pgtaught.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk . We do not request references on your 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 of one to two pages, explaining your background and interest in the course.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) outlining your career and/or study history.
  • 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).

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

Our MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine taught master's course focuses on a broad range of mostly 19th and 20th 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.

Aims

This course 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;
  • provide opportunities to study particular topics of historical and contemporary significance in depth, and to support the development of analytical skills in understanding the changing form and function of science, technology and medicine in society;
  • 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;
  • provide a comprehensive introduction to research methods in the history of science, technology and medicine, including work with libraries, archives, databases, and oral history;
  • enable students to produce a major piece of original research and writing in the form of a dissertation.

Special features

Extensive support

Receive dedicated research support from the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine , the longest-established centre for the integrated study of the field.

Extra opportunities

Take up optional classes and volunteering opportunities shared with the parallel MSc Science Communication course at Manchester, including science policy, science media, museums and public events activities.

Explore Manchester's history

Manchester is the classic 'shock city' of the Industrial Revolution. You can relive the development of industrial society through field trips and visits.

Convenient study options

Benefit from flexible options for full or part-time study.

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. 

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is mostly based on traditional essay-format coursework submission.

All MSc students undertake a research dissertation (or optionally, for Medical Humanities students, a portfolio of creative work) accounting 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:

  • Shaping the sciences
  • Making modern technology
  • Medicine, science and modernity

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

  • Shaping the sciences
  • Making modern technology
  • Medicine, science and modernity

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 HSTM HSTM60511 30 Mandatory
Communicating ideas in STM HSTM60571 15 Mandatory
Dissertation in HSTM, Science Communication studies or Medical Humanities HSTM60632 60 Mandatory
Historiography of STM HSTM60651 15 Mandatory
Medicine, Science and Modernity HSTM60162 30 Optional
Shaping the Sciences HSTM60262 30 Optional
Making Modern Technology HSTM60272 30 Optional

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.

Resources for student research projects within the University include the object collections of the Manchester Museum , also nearby on campus, and the John Rylands Library special collections facility in the city centre.

CHSTM also has a close working relationship with other institutions offering research facilities to students, notably the Museum of Science and Industry .

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.