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Health, Cultures and Societies

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What you'll need

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  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

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  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Arts

A Master of Arts (MA) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

The MA in Health, Cultures and Societies provides an exciting opportunity to explore issues around health, illness, wellbeing, and medicine. The MA provides advanced training in associated methods within a critical practice-oriented framework distinctive to the University and the city of Liverpool.


Matters of health are simultaneously matters of society and culture. This cross-disciplinary MA focuses on Environmental Humanities, Arts and Mental Health and Critical Medical Humanities. The programme is closely linked to the Centre for Health, Medical and Environmental Humanities.

If you enrol for the programme you will benefit from research-connected teaching in a wide range of disciplines, including Archaeology, Anthropology, Classics, English, Geography, History, Law, Literature, Music, Medicine, Psychology, Public Health, and Sociology.  The MA in Health, Cultures and Societies prepares you for innovative research within, between and beyond these disciplines.

As a graduate of this MA programme you will have the opportunity to enhance your future employment opportunities by engaging closely with the Centre’s external partners in the Liverpool and Merseyside region through collaborative research, student placements and internships.

The programme aims at offering a flexible and responsive curriculum, which integrates teaching and research. The MA is dedicated to developing confident, well-rounded, and intellectually open students. Its core modules ensure digital fluency, and its outward-facing, international scope helps to develops confident global citizens and future research leaders.

Who is this course for?

This MA is designed for graduates in arts and humanities, medicine or social sciences, who wish to expand their knowledge in the field of medical and health humanities. The programme is also suitable for intercalating medical students with an interest in this area.

What you'll learn

This is the right course for you if you are interested in:

  • Advancing your knowledge and understanding of the field of medical and health humanities
  • Cultivating an appreciation of the disciplines, subject areas and knowledge domains within and beyond the field of medical and health humanities
  • Developing an up-to-date, critical awareness of theoretical approaches, methodologies and debates and practices at the forefront of current research
  • Learning to think independently, critically and creatively with complex material and developing an interdisciplinary outlook
  • Advancing skills and professional insights which are relevant to employment and further academic (eg doctoral) study
  • Enhancing your understanding of the value of study of medical and health humanities and of its place and significance in the wider (professional, political and socio-cultural) world
  • Becoming a co-producer of knowledge relevant to the medical humanities field through engagement with external partners’ activity, culture and ethos.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

Students take 60 credits of required modules in Semester one.

Students may also consider taking some optional modules in Semester one. As this would result in a credit-heavy semester, optional modules would need to be discussed and agreed with the Programme Leader in advance.

Compulsory modules


Credits: 40 / Semester: semester 1

The core module ‘Researching Health, Cultures and Societies’ provides an introduction to the field of medical and health humanities. Broadly divided into the three components announced in the module title, it combines breadth (mind, body and health in history, philosophy and literature), diversity (global/comparative health cultures) and specificity (ethical, political and environmental practices in past and contemporary societies). This team-taught module builds on a wide range of disciplines and staff expertise in Classics, English, Geography, History, Medicine, Philosophy, and Public Health to provide a rich investigative terrain as well as a foundation in the key concepts, theories, questions and methodologies which will be examined in further depth in each themed module. It also draws on knowledge from outside the academy, in relation to health and environmental activism and medical ethics, for example, to integrate public-facing and professional learning with research-informed critical inquiry.


Credits: 20 / Semester: semester 1

This module is concerned with the critical examination of medical practice and policy-making and how knowledges and practices of health, illness, wellbeing and medicine are constituted, represented and governed at various scales (historical, political, economic, socio-cultural). Focussing especially on biopolitical, necropolitical and biosocial arrangements (the regulation, exploitation and structural violence in respect of the body, covering reproductive care, organ trafficking, treatments of drug and alcohol addiction, war, slavery and
the body in pain), the module interrogates conventional bio scientific approaches and explores new ways of knowing which decentre medical expertise and open up opportunities for critical collaborations between social sciences, humanities, medical and life sciences.

Optional modules

An Introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis (SOCI517)

Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 1

This 5 credit module is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Students are introduced to a critical understanding of discourse, which in turn encourages the analysis of language use in relation to questions of power in society. The module seeks to enable students’ engagement in such analyses, introducing them to appropriate methods and techniques, and providing them the opportunity to put these into practice.


Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 1

This module will provide you with a good understanding of ethical principles underpinning formal ethical review (process) and the complexity of considerations that arise in the field (practice). The module will be delivered through a workshop that will provide the opportunity for student-led discussions on specific ethical issues related to your research. It will be assessed through a short critical review of an ethical issue(s).

Focus Groups (SOCI516)

Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 2

This module will help students design, plan and carry out focus group discussions, and will cover both the theory, ethics and practice of focus group research. Particular attention will be paid to the analysis of verbal and non-verbal interaction.


Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 2

This module on ‘interviewing’ gives participants an understanding of why, when, and how to use interviews in social research. The workshops will include opportunities for participants to understand when it is appropriate to use interviews in social research, to develop their own research questions, to learn how to prepare for and conduct interviews, as well as how to approach the analysis, and writing up of data. This learning on this module is underpinned by sociological theory and aims to provide an enhanced critical understanding of how different forms of interviews can be used to elicit different kinds of data, and how different ontological and epistemological positions in research impact on the data produced. The module is suitable for postgraduate students and research staff from all disciplines who require a period of additional supported study and reflection before they design and conduct their own interview based research project.


Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 1

This 5 credit module will introduce students to observation and help them explore how they may draw on observational methods in their own research


Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 1

How does one integrate photography into a research project, and how can this be in a creative and aesthetically impactful manner? In this module students will be introduced to photography as a visual method in the social sciences, particularly as a way to investigate social phenomenon. This module will also consider how photography works as a form of practice-based research, where creative practice affords us more opportunities to develop new insights into the social world.

Visual Data, Visual Analysis (SOCI518)

Credits: 5 / Semester: semester 1

This module is organised around a review of the critical sociological literature on visual data and visual analysis. Drawing together existing research in this sub-field – which is growing rapidly in significance – the module focuses particularly on academic research that has sought to develop critical approaches to the production and deployment of visual data in specifically urban contexts.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

The MA in Health, Cultures and Societies is the master’s programme counterpart to the research and activity of the Centre for Health, Medical and Environmental Humanities. Spanning three faculties, the Centre supports researchers working at the intersections of the natural and social sciences, arts and humanities.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Why Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at University of Liverpool?

  • Fantastic on-campus facilities such as the Garstang Museum with its outstanding archaeological collections and GIS suite for archaeological drawing
  • Our extensive laboratories used for conservation, lithics, geomagnetism, stable isotope, trace elements, finds processing and sample preparation
  • An enviable library which has been built up since the Ancient World and Archaeology has been studied at Liverpool since the 1880s
  • Opportunities to learn ancient languages such as Greek, Latin, Akkadian, Sumerian, Egyptian and Coptic
  • Archaeological projects based internationally, in Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, Jordan, Turkey, Italy, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa, as well as in the British Isles

What students say...

The programme is really flexible and lets me follow my particular interests. The way the teaching is set up means students interact with academics from a variety of faculties and departments across the humanities and social sciences, so one week I’ll be learning from Classics tutors, and the next, from Philosophy. I love the variety and the opportunity to follow my own interests for the assessed work.

, MA Health, Cultures and Societies

Careers and employability

The programme provides academic training appropriate if you are seeking a career in the Higher Education sector. It also enhances graduate employability by engaging with The Centre for Health, Medical and Environmental Humanities’ external partners in the Liverpool and Merseyside region. The MA’s external health and arts partners provide (where feasible) student placements and opportunities for co-delivery of projects.

Graduates will have enhanced skills suitable to a wide range of employment and professional fields, especially where communication, collaborative endeavour, critical thinking and research are key components of the role. The required modules emphasise public-facing thinking and activity (regionally, nationally and internationally) as well as encouraging co-production. They are designed to enhance digital fluency and foster skills such as organisation, teamwork, time management, personal initiative and responsibility which will be transferrable to future work environments within a global context.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

In addition to a career in Higher Education, the MA forms a background for careers elsewhere in education as well as in:

  • The cultural sector
  • Health care
  • Therapeutic care
  • Politics
  • Third sector industries.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £10,800
Part-time place, per year £5,400
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Part-time place, per year £11,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your tuition fees.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.


  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.


  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

Health, Cultures and Societies Bursary

  • Home and international students

The Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology is pleased to invite applications for one bursary to support one Master’s-level MA in Health, Cultures and Societies. The successful candidate will receive a one-off fee reduction of £5,000.

HLC Scholarships for Postgraduate Study

  • Home and international students

The competition is open to all students who have applied for a relevant HLC programme by 3 July and commence study in the course in the first semester of 2023.

The HLC School comprises the following Departments:

  • Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
  • History
  • Irish Studies
  • Languages, Cultures and Film
  • Politics

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit:

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Women in STEM
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

A 2:1 Bachelor’s degree or equivalent undergraduate degree in a relevant field of study, such as arts and humanities, medicine or social sciences. Intercalating medical students may also apply.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MA, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 6.0
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 19, writing 19, reading 19 and speaking 20
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 105
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 65
PSI Skills for English B2 Pass with Merit in all bands
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above


Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 6.0 6 weeks On campus
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
6.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.0, and no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 6.0, for further details.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

More about life in Liverpool

Discover more about the city and University.

Why study at Liverpool? Victoria Gallery & Museum

Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

Accommodation Postgraduate students walking through the campus.


To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Health, Cultures and Societies MA

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.