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About the Course

The MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society offers a uniquely interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research, combining world class faculty with outstanding institutional resources.

In addition to history, sociology and social anthropology, the course includes ethics and philosophy, thus offering an unparalleled educational experience. No other programme can match Cambridge’s breadth and concentration of expertise in this exciting and rapidly expanding subject area.

The course is a collaborative initiative between the departments of History and Philosophy of Science Social Anthropology and Sociology.

It is a full-time, 9 month course that is designed to provide you with combined advanced skills in the social and historical analysis of health and medicine.

The course will offer a high-level interdisciplinary approach to theory and methodology, build confidence in conceptual and empirical analysis, and ensure familiarity with key scholarly literatures.

Research training is a core component of the course, which will enable students to design individual projects, collect and analyse data, and develop substantial arguments based on original research.


The main aims of the course are to:

  • Give you the opportunity to carry out focussed research in Health, Medicine and Society (HMS) under close supervision
  • Allow you to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to your research interests
  • Enable you to acquire a critical and well informed understanding of the current thinking in the history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology of health and medicine
  • Help you, if you intend to go on to doctoral work, to acquire research skills and to prepare a well-planned and focussed PhD proposal.

It achieves this by:

  • Giving you the experience and guidance necessary for you to be able to formulate a realistic research proposal, and to prepare written work based on such a proposal to a strict timetable
  • Introducing you to relevant research methods across your choice of the four disciplines
  • Expecting you to present your own work and discuss the issues that arise from it with an audience of your peers and senior members of the department
  • Providing lectures, supervisions and research seminars in a range of technical/specialist subjects central to research in the different areas of history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology of health and medicine, which may form the base of some of your essays or dissertation.
For more detailed information about the course, entry requirements and applications view the course page on the Graduate Admissions website.

The Open Day for students interested in coming to Cambridge to study on a postgraduate course will be on Friday 2 November 2018.

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