Skip to main content
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Intercalated Global Medical Humanities

What is the course about?

What is illness? How does Western medicine define disease and wellness? Are these definitions universal? What happens when different cultural understandings of life, health, wellbeing and death come into conflict with one another? How are medicine and healthcare shaped by different social, historical, and cultural contexts? Medical Humanities examines these questions critically, and illuminates the assumptions, cultural norms, and political judgements inherent within medicine and healthcare.

Housed within the Department of Comparative Literature and Culture, our iBSc will give you a global perspective on key debates in medicine and healthcare (e.g., COVID-19, transplants, disasters, mental health, disability) across a range of cultural contexts. Our Medical Humanities programme explores global literary and cultural objects (including fiction and non-fiction, film, visual art) and urges us to rethink our understanding of care, health, risk and vulnerability. You will be challenged to reflect on the complex relationship between medicine and healthcare and social inequalities, human rights, environmental and humanitarian crises, and questions of ethics.

Our programme will provide you with a critical introduction to key issues in the medical humanities, raising questions that can help you shape your medical practice. You will get the chance to explore modules on themes such as Madness Past and Present, Film and Disability, World Literature and Ethics, and Language and Communication. Weekly seminars will encourage discussion and in-depth reflection, helping you to develop a self-reflexive medical practice. You will also have the opportunity to pursue independent research on a topic of your choice, guided by a supervisor. Overall, the programme will give you a rigorous and comprehensive introduction to Medical Humanities while giving you the opportunity to pursue your specialized interests in a stimulating and supporting academic environment.

Our programme is unique because:

-It offers a truly global perspective (including the Caribbean; South Asia, East Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe).
-It covers not just literature, but other forms of culture (film, the visual arts, social media, popular culture)
-It provides an insight into several overlapping fields in the humanities (literary and cultural studies, environmental humanities; postcolonial studies; disability studies; communication studies).

Programme Specifications:

The iBSc in Global Medical Humanities is a 1-year, full time academic programme open to medical and dental students from QMUL and elsewhere. There is one pathway on the programme, and the students complete a range of medical humanities courses at level 6, across the two semesters. 

In Semester A, the students take: 

Global Medical Humanities: The Human in Medicine (15 credits) 

In Semester B, the students take: 

Global Medical Humanities Research Project (30-credit) 


In addition, students take 5 courses (120 credits total) from the following: 

-Language and Health Communication (15-credits)

-Cinema and Disability (15 credits) 

-Madness, Past and Present (15-credits) 

-Medicine and Ethics in Global Literature (15 credits) 

-Maternal Bodies: Metaphor and Materiality (15 credits)

One module of choice from current level 6 Faculty offering.


For further information please contact:

Dr Shital Pravinchandra


Back to top