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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Medicine and Society in Modern Britain (PGHC11347)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn recent decades, the history of medicine has emerged as a rich and mature sub-discipline within history. Drawing upon the social, cultural, and sociological approaches taken by many of these scholars, this course will explore the factors that shaped medical thought and practice, and the evolving relationship between doctors and patients after c.1750.
Course description The course aims to introduce students to the history of medicine, using methods drawn predominantly from social and cultural history. Students are expected to acquire a firm understanding of the social, clinical and political forces that have shaped medical thought and practice in modern Britain. They will be encouraged to examine a range of historical interactions between doctors and patients, and to relate them to broader processes of social change. Course themes include 'Caveat Emptor: The Georgian Medical Marketplace', 'Extending the Medical Gaze: The Rise of the Hospital and Disappearance of the Sick Man', and 'The Anatomical Tradition: From Burking to Plastination'. Students will also be introduced to a range of primary sources in the history of medicine, including the archival holdings of the Lothian Health Services Archive (University of Edinburgh's Centre for Research Collections), Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Medicine and Society in Modern Britain (Online) (PGHC11587)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning the history of medicine in modern Britain, the social, clinical and political forces that have shaped medical thought and practice, and the evolving relationship between doctors and patients after c.1750
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship and primary source materials concerning the history of medicine in modern Britain
  3. Develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  4. Demonstrate an originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
W.F. Bynum et al. (eds), The Western Medical Tradition, 1800-2000 (2006)

Roger Cooter and John Pickstone (eds), Companion to Medicine in the Twentieth Century (2003)

Mark Jackson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (2011)

M.S.R. Jenner and P. Wallis (eds), Medicine and the Market in England and its Colonies (2007)

N.D. Jewson, 'The Disappearance of the Sick-Man from Medical Cosmology, 1770-1870', International Journal of Epidemiology, 38:3 (2009), 622-33

Christopher Lawrence, Medicine in the Making of Modern Britain, 1700-1920 (1994)

Roy Porter, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity from Antiquity to the Present (1997)

Ruth Richardson, Death, Dissection and the Destitute (2001)

Edward Shorter, Bedside Manners: The Troubled History of Doctors and Patients (1985)

Steve Sturdy, 'Looking for Trouble: Medical Science and Clinical Practice in the Historiography of Modern Medicine', Social History of Medicine, 24:3 (2011), 739-757

Keir Waddington, An Introduction to the Social History of Medicine: Europe since 1500 (2011)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMedicine Society Modern Britain
Course organiserDr Gayle Davis
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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