An Introduction to Medical and Health Humanities ENGLIT4136

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce students to the fields of medical and health humanities, focusing on the development of relevant research and practical skills and understanding how arts and humanities methodologies can be used to address significant contemporary health-related challenges, such as the health impacts of climate change, health inequalities, and mental health. The course will be comprised of a mix of skills-based and challenge-led seminars led by specialists from across the School of Critical Studies, designed to prepare students for independent research in the field.


10 x 2 hour seminars as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Actively enrolled in an MBChB programme and normally have successfully completed the first 3 years.


Actively enrolled in a BDS programme and normally have successfully completed the first 3 or 4 years


Successful completion of Junior Honours English Literature, Junior Honours Theology and Religious Studies, or Junior Honours English Language and Linguistics, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Learning Journal of 5 x 400-words [each weighted at 10%] (50%)

Research Proposal of 2000 words (50%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Introduce students to key debates and theoretical framings relevant to the fields of medical and health humanities.

■ Equip students with practical skills for undertaking medical and health humanities research utilising a range of different types of primary materials and research methods.

■ Train students to identify and analyse how the arts and humanities are deploying different methodologies to engage with major health challenges in the contemporary world.

■ Prepare students to undertake independent research projects in medical and health humanities.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Critically reflect on a wide range of theoretical positions and debates relevant to medical and health humanities research.

■ Identify and evaluate the methodologies utilized by arts and humanities researchers to engage with major health challenges in the contemporary world.

■ Develop and articulate their own medical and health humanities related research questions and research methodologies.

■ Communicate responses to the material studied on the course both orally and in written form through coherent and sustained argument.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.