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Unit information: Death, Doctors and Disease (Level H Lecture Response Unit) in 2016/17

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Unit name Death, Doctors and Disease (Level H Lecture Response Unit)
Unit code HIST30025
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Victoria Bates
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This Lecture Response Unit will examine the history of medicine and health in modern Britain. It will consider issues such as the history of infectious disease, from TB to AIDS, and the emergence of chronic 'diseases of modern life'. This unit will also examine particular sub-fields of the medical profession, such as psychiatry, and will examine medicine in different contexts, such as war and empire. It will pay attention both to the history of medicine 'from above', including the emergence of the NHS, and to recent efforts to write histories 'from below' that examine patients' experiences and narrative of illness. Overall, in this unit we will study a range of aspects of medicine and health to re-evaluate narratives of 'progress' and to question whether medical advances have been inherently beneficial for mankind.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have developed:

  1. a broad understanding of the development of health and medicine in modern Britain;
  2. the ability to analyse and generalise about how and why the medical treatment, as well as the relationship between medical practitioners and the public, have changed over time;
  3. the ability to select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general issues and arguments;
  4. the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically, and form an individual viewpoint.

Teaching Information

1 x 2-hour interactive lecture per week.

Assessment Information

One summative coursework essay of 3000 words (50%) and one unseen examination of two hours (50%). Both elements will assess ILOs 1-4.

Reading and References

Burnham, John, What is Medical History? (Cambridge, 2005).

Cooter, Roger, and John V. Pickstone (eds.), Medicine in the Twentieth Century (Amsterdam, 2000).

Hardy, Anne, Health and Medicine in Britain Since 1860 (London, 2001).

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

Pickstone, John V., Ways of Knowing: A New History of Science, Technology and Medicine (Manchester, 2000).

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