Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

Birkbeck's Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Medical Humanities is designed to help medical practitioners explore and understand their complex, everyday clinical experiences with diverse patients and cultures. Medical humanities is a rich interdisciplinary field of study in which medicine and its practices are examined through the lenses of the humanities disciplines, including art, cultural and critical studies, film, history, law, literature and philosophy.

This practice-based programme utilises the insights and skills of the humanities disciplines to support the development of the professional capabilities, values and behaviours defined by the GMC and NMC and core to clinical practice. Its focus on the integration of medicine and humanities will help you develop a deeper understanding of your clinical practice, locate ways of enhancing patient care and explore strategies for your own self-care. You will acquire new skills in verbal and written communication, research and critical analysis that will expand your existing professional skill-set.

To contextualise Western medicine and the cultural specificity of medicine in Britain, you will undertake a placement within another speciality or medical tradition at the end of your first year. The insights you gain in this placement will allow you to develop a reflexive understanding of your own speciality and the settings in which you deliver healthcare.

This programme is relevant for practitioners across all stages of medical and healthcare careers: in medicine, from foundation years, through speciality training, to consultant level; in nursing, from early career through to specialist and consultant levels. Its intensive delivery makes it possible for full-time clinicians and healthcare professionals, from the UK and overseas, to combine study with clinical commitments.

The programme is ideal if you are interested in studying applied medical humanities at postgraduate level for personal or professional reasons, but you don't want to commit to a full MA.

TEACHING

Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

CAREERS AND EMPLOYABILITY

Graduates go in to careers in healthcare, medicine, education and management. Possible professions include healthcare service manager, general practice or hospital doctor, or health promotion specialist. This degree may also be useful in becoming a higher education lecturer, management consultant, or science writer.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
2 years
Part Time
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip European Fees

Qualifications required:

  • Domestic entry requirements: You must have graduated from a UK medical school or hold an equivalent second-class honours degree from an overseas medical school. Applicants from other healthcare or professional backgrounds relevant to medicine and medical regulation may be admitted to the programme. Such applicants must hold relevant professional qualifications and/or a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above).
  • International entry requirements: You must have graduated from a UK medical school or hold an equivalent second-class honours degree from an overseas medical school. Applicants from other healthcare or professional backgrounds relevant to medicine and medical regulation may be admitted to the programme. Such applicants must hold relevant professional qualifications and/or a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above). If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.