Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code HLAC700
Coordinator Dr G Petridou
Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 40

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information



Researching Health, Cultures and Societies aims to provide foundational knowledge of, and stimulate intellectual curiosity in, the field of medical and health humanities. It aims to situate the emergence and global divergences of medical and health humanities, as well as key current debates and controversies (around, for example, the environment, global health, medical ethics, personalised medicine), in their historical, philosophical and theoretical contexts, and to take the opportunity to address thereby the decolonising agenda as it applies to medical and health humanities. It will also introduce students to the interdisciplinary mode of enquiry central to this field by modelling interdisciplinarity in the learning experience, examining some theoretical underpinnings for this approach and testing key definitions. Laying the groundwork for the MA as a whole, the module will draw together texts, staff expertise, concepts and methodological approaches from Anthropology, Classical S tudies, English Literature, Geography, History, Medicine, Philosophy, Public Health, to provoke thinking in relation to specific issues within the three domains announced in the module (and MA) title: Health (focussing on constructions of (mental) health, pain, disability, and bodily enhancement from antiquity to the present); Cultures (comparatively exploring cultures of health care through history and across contemporary global communities); Societies (investigating the politics of healthcare and the roles of activism and intervention in environmental and human healthcare).

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of environmental, historical, literary, medical and philosophical texts

(LO2) Demonstrate an advanced knowledge and systematic understanding of the field of medical and health humanities

(LO3) Critically appreciate the past and present relationship of medicine/health and the humanities

(LO4) Demonstrate critical awareness of current and new debates, concepts and theories within the field of medical and health humanities, including knowledge of work outside the academy

(LO5) Integrate public-facing and professional/collaborative learning (and where possible co-production) with research-informed critical inquiry

(LO6) Practically apply a comprehensive understanding of techniques for accessing electronic and bibliographic sources

(LO7) Use scholarly referencing and bibliographic conventions appropriate for advanced scholarship

(LO8) Critically evaluate different research methodologies and select appropriate research methodologies

(LO9) Negotiate complex issues both systematically and creatively in order to generate new and independent research

(S1) Critically evaluate current debates and new insights within the field of medical and health humanities, from a range of disciplines and perspectives, including those from outside the academy

(S2) Analyse diverse forms of discourse and negotiate complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner

(S3) Present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments.

(S4) Autonomously design and self-direct a research-infomed project that brings together historical and contemporary approaches

(S5) Apply a variety of theoretical and practical approaches to health, cultural and social issues

(S6) Retrieve information, assemble bibliographic data, and critically evaluate, sift and organize material independently

(S7) Use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard

(S8) Select and use electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing

(S9) Demonstrate organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching on this module is undertaken through 2 hour seminars or 4-hour workshops which will take place weekly. The emphasis will be on participatory learning in small and whole group critical reflection and discussion of salient issues arising from designated reading material and/or collaborative close reading/analysis of academic, ‘professional’ or creative texts (e.g. medical case reports, images of the body in art/medicine).

The majority of all students’ learning time on this module is in self-directed study and independent research. This will include reading widely in the fields relevant to this subject area, researching appropriate resources in this field of study, acquainting themselves with relevant theoretical and methodological approaches to health and medicine, and developing individual research ideas. The module will be supported by a dedicated (non-credit-bearing) module wiki bank within the VLE where students will be encouraged to explore iss ues and learning arising from sessions and connections between them. Further support will be provided in a bank of online resources (continuously built from items added by tutors which have relevance to individual sessions), to extend and deepen learning and interdisciplinary thinking. The supportive material will help the module perform its function of generating interest across the medical and health humanities and catalysing ideas for assessed work (the capstone project in particular).

Attendance at seminars will be recorded in line with HLC policy on attendance.



The module syllabus will cover the origins and current positioning of medical and health humanities, together with a representative range of themes, concepts and methodological approaches within the broad field of medical and health humanities, by incorporating a variety of environmental, historical, literary, medical and philosophical texts (classical to contemporary), together with recent research evidence and examples of practices.

Library resources will be available through the module reading lists and the VLE.

Students are expected to read the specified primary and secondary texts for each seminar, and to undertake further independent study as appropriate, both in preparation for seminars and for the assessment.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   24


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 374


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Digital presentation (blog, podcast, wiki, video-project). Focusing on a specific area of medical/health humanities debate (medical ethics, global health, activism), students present on the topic, in  12 minutes    30       
Plan or draft. Scoping of topic area for summative assessments with option to provide abstract, introduction or other sample.  750-1000 words         
Piece of extended writing (practice report; article for academic journal or magazine journalism; philosophical dialogue). Students use a mode of assessment sympathetic to the topic area for purpose   4500-5000 words    70       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.