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Medical Humanities MSc



This programme explores the links between the humanities and medicine from a humanities point of view. Among the questions it considers are: What can the humanities contribute to healthcare? How do they differ from the sciences? And what can they tell us about illness?


Key benefits

  • Unrivalled central London location, giving immediate access to important medico-historical and cultural resources, including libraries, galleries, archives and museums, e.g. The Wellcome Collection and Library, the Hunterian Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the British Library etc.

  • World class expertise in a breadth of subject areas, including: History of Psychiatry, Literature & Medicine, Philosophy of Medicine and Mental Disorder, Medical Portraiture, Nursing and Film, Bioethics.

  • Taught at the Wellcome-funded Centre for the Humanities & Health, which supports the research activities of internationally renowned scholars in the field; has a vibrant and active post-graduate and post-doctoral community; and hosts a lively programme of seminars, conferences and events.

  • Close links between the School of Arts & Humanities and one of the largest Schools of Biomedicine in Europe.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake No set number.

Course leaders Dr Jon Day, Programme Convenor,

Course contact for further information General Enquiries: Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2569 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of English


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

An undergraduate clinical qualification, eg in Medicine or Nursing, or at least a 2:1 bachelors degree (or overseas equivalent) in a humanities or a science discipline. Other relevant degree-level qualifications will be considered.


Application procedure

Please contact Professor Jon Day by email in the first instance to express interest in this MSc.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants should use their personal statement to explain why they think they are suitable for the course.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


The Medical Humanities constitute a growing field of scholarship productive of powerful, innovative analyses of health care issues today. The chief educational aims of this course are to explore the foundations of the field and teach analytical and critical skills that enable students to address questions such as:
Does studying the humanities make us more humane? How are the humanities different from the sciences? What new angles do they offer on old ethical dilemmas? What is health? What is illness? What kind of evidence about illness does literature provide? What is narrative and how embedded are narrative ways of thought in health care practice?

Students who take this course will come away from it with a strong sense of how a variety of humanities disciplines conceive of health and illness and of the contributions these can make to health care. The disciplines involved include Philosophy, Literature, Film, Psychiatry, Art History and Nursing.

Course purpose

The MSc in Medical Humanities incorporates the previous King's MA Literature and Medicine programmes. The course allows students to choose a broader range of modules within their degree, interact with a wider range of students, and gain a firm footing in the medical humanities by following common core modules. Students will come from a wide variety of academic and health backgrounds: biosciences such as medicine, nursing, psychology; from health law and social work and humanities trainings in philosophy, film and/or literary studies. They will develop further skills in visual, bioethical, literary, historical and philosophical analyses of health care.

Course format and assessment

Seminar-based teaching; dissertation workshops; assessment by coursework.

Extra information

MSc Medical Humanities
Centre for the Humanities and Health

Career prospects

The programme will appeal to medical and health professionals; students of health policy; those who wish to pursue further academic study in medicine and/or the humanities or those hoping to study on a Medical Humanities PhD programme and considering careers in journalism or bioethics.


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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,000 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,550 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,500 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£8,775 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


Next steps

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Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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