Programme specification - MA Medical History
This programme specification relates to the academic year 2011/2.
|Awarding institution||University of Exeter|
|School(s)/Teaching institution||College of Humanities|
|Programme accredited/validated by||Not applicable|
|Programme title||MA Medical History|
|UCAS code (if relevant)||C779|
|NQF level of final award(s)||M:Masters|
|QAA subject benchmarking group||History|
|Date of production/revision||2005-06-15|
Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules, credits and awards
The programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time) and is university-based throughout that period. The programme comprises 180 credits in total: four taught modules including two optional modules at 30 credits each, two taught core modules of 15 credits each and a supervised dissertation at 90 credits. Teaching takes place over two terms (October to May), followed by completion of the dissertation over the summer (June to September). Each taught module lasts one term and consists of either a weekly or, for fifteen credit modules, a fortnightly two hour seminar, underpinned by reading and essay assignments. The syllabus consists of four taught modules (two core and two optional modules) and a dissertation module:
HISM169 Theory & Practice of History I (15 Credits)
HISM170 Theory & Practice of History II (15 Credits)
HISM403 Dissertation in History (90 Credits)
Two from the following:
SOCM005/6: History and Philosophy of Biology
HISM477: Sexual Discoveries
HISM205: Health and Medicine in Modern Britain
Or selection from other MA modules
Details of all College modules are at: http://intranet.exeter.ac.uk/humanities/yourprogramme/postgraduatetaught/modules/
Educational aims of the programme
- To offer an excellent education in medicine, occupation and health in historical perspective.
- To offer a multi-disciplinary study of the role of modern medicine in the workplace in an international context, integrating the history of medicine and medical practice with contemporary issues in occupational health.
- To produce graduates who will be useful, productive and questioning members of society; who have an advanced conception of the main themes of the discipline and who understand the methods which historians use to study the past; and who can conduct advanced analysis of past societies.
- To produce graduates who are highly competent in subject-specific, core academic, and personal and key skills.
- To combine an advanced training for postgraduate research in history with the development of the particular historical interests of the students.
Programme outcomes & teaching, learning and assessment methods
Subject specific skills:
On successfully completing the programme, a graduate should be able to:
1 Show detailed knowledge of the development of modern medicine, together with an awareness of critical historiographical issues within medical history.
2 Show a detailed critical understanding of how medical knowledge and practice have been shaped by political, socio-economic, and cultural factors.
3 Identify different occupational diseases, and have a detailed knowledge of the epidemiology of industrial illness and the techniques of medical treatment.
4 Offer sophisticated discussion of the development and distinctive features of occupational health legislation in Britain.
5 Evaluate and analyse the distinction between work-based and environmental illness.
6 Show a keen understanding of the development of history as a discipline and of its relationship to other disciplines.
7 Show a critical appreciation of the evolving nature of historical understanding, of the limits to historical knowledge, and of the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to historical research and writing.
8 Compare and contrast in detail different approaches and their source materials, eliciting the value and limitations of each.
9 Define a suitable topic for advanced research and pursue it to completion.
10 Make sophisticated use of different types of historical source, evaluate different and complex types of historical source, and use primary sources in a professional manner.
11 Present work in the format expected of historians, including footnoting and bibliographical references.
12 Show an appreciation of how quantitative data can be used in historical research.
13 Analyse particular aspects of medicine, occupation and health in historical perspective through detailed study of the complex subjects covered in the directed options.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies
1-5 are developed through the two core modules.
6-12 are developed through essay and seminar work on all modules, and particularly in the compulsory dissertation.
13 is developed through the directed options.
1-5 are assessed formally through two essays on original sources and informally via seminar work.
6-12 form part of the criteria of assessment for all modules, but particularly that of the compulsory dissertation.
13 is assessed in the essay work and seminar presentations on the optional modules.
Core academic skills:
1 Approach documents critically through their archival context.
2 Solve palaeographical problems of some complexity.
3 Work independently with primary sources at an advanced level.
4 Gather and deploy evidence for an independent and advanced research project.
5 Comprehend complex terminology and discourses.
6 Analyse and synthesise widely different and problematic types of historical material and evidence.
7 Identify and understand the nature of complex original sources.
8 Have a critical understanding of key historical concepts and debates.
9 Research for themselves and present independent accounts and interpretations of different and complex historical issues.
10 Make effective use of libraries and the world-wide web to find information.
11Reference sources accurately in written work to a professional standard.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies
1-4 are developed primarily through the Theory & Practice of History II module.
5, 10 and 11 are developed in all modules.
6-9 are developed in the optional modules, as well as the core module Theory & Practice of History I, and through seminars and assignments.
These skills are assessed through assessed assignments and the Dissertation.
Personal and key skills:
1 Think independently at an advanced level.
2 Construct and defend a sustained argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials.
3 Work as an individual on challenging material.
4 Work as part of a team in a constructive and responsive way.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies
1 is a requirement of all modules, and especially the Dissertation. 2 and 3 are core requirements of all modules, and especially the Dissertation. 4 is developed through seminar work on the taught modules.
1 is assessed in all modules by essay work, and by the Dissertation. 2 and 3 are assessed on all modules through the essays that go to make up the portfolio on which the coursework is assessed, and in the Dissertation. 4 is reflected in seminar work and presentations.
Support for students and students' learning
The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses. Students may also make use of the West Country Studies Library and the library of the Devon and Exeter Institution, both located in the city centre. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions. In recent years the Library's holdings of material relating to medicine, occupation and health in historical perspective have been significantly augmented. For dissertation work, in particular, students are encouraged to use libraries and archives outside Exeter, for which letters of introduction are written as necessary.
2 Centre for Medical History
The Centre is an interdisciplinary research initiative which brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines to promote the study of medicine in a social and historical perspective. It promotes interdisciplinary work, and organises conferences and symposia on a regular basis.
Information Technology (IT) Services provide a wide range of services throughout the University including open access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Additionally, some Colleges have their own dedicated facilities. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham campus, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.
4 The College
The College Taught Handbook offers considerable information on academic and pastoral matters. An online version is available at:
(b) Programme Directors
Responsibility for the management of the programme of study rests with the programme director. Students meet the programme director at the beginning of the academic year to discuss their choice of optional modules and to help them to construct their programme of study. The programme director has regular office hours, and students are encouraged to consult him/her during these times.
(c) Personal Tutor
Students are assigned a personal tutor by the department when they arrive, and are encouraged to remain in contact with them throughout the year(s) of their programme.
(d) Student Self-Appraisal
In the inter-term break in the taught part of the programme (mid/late January), each student has a self-appraisal meeting with his/her personal tutor. This gives students a chance to discuss their experiences and work, in a 15-minute interview based on a pre-submitted self-appraisal form. At the end of the interview, tutor and student agree on an 'action plan' to guide the student's work for the rest of the academic year.
(e) Student-Staff Liaison Committee
The College of Humanities' SSLC, which meets termly, represents the interests of all postgraduates in the School, including those taking this MA programme, who are eligible for election to it. It comprises student and staff representatives and is chaired by a student member elected by the SSLC. The SSLC exists to:
- Enable students and staff jointly to participate in the composition, management and review of College provision with a view to improving the quality of teaching and learning
- Facilitate greater communication between students and staff within the College
- Identify and address areas of concern and contentment to students and staff
- Ensure a student contribution at all levels of decision-making concerning unreserved business within the College, and its dissemination
- To disseminate examples of good practice
- Aid the College in its pursuit of excellence
The University's policy on SSLCs is at: http://admin.exeter.ac.uk/academic/tls/tqa/Part%209/9Eliaison.pdf
The University provides a wide range of student support services including:
- Student Counselling Service - Student Health Centres
- Study Skills Service - Nursery (Streatham campus)
- Student Advice Centre (Guild of Students) - Chaplaincy
- International Office - English and Foreign Language Centres
The University Careers Advisory Service provides expert advice to all students to enable them to plan their futures, through guidance interviews, psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation
Students are normally required to have a 2.1 or better in History or a cognate discipline at first degree level, although exceptions are made in the case of students who are well-qualified in other respects, and such students would typically be interviewed before an offer was made.
Regulations of assessment and academic standards
Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures. The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the external examiners appointed for each programme. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code for external examiners and include access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. Attendance at the Board of Examiners and the provision of an annual report are both required. Clear procedures are also in place for the monitoring of these annual reports at both College and University level. See the University's TQA Manual for details of these processes.
Indicators of quality and standards
The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data in their regular review of the quality of provision. The annual produced Performance Indicator Dataset details admission, progression, completion and first career destination data, including comparisons over a five-year timespan.
In a Departmental Engagement visit in March 2003, the QAA expressed its full confidence in the teaching provision in History.
Methods for evaluating and improving quality standards
At the College level, evaluation and enhancement of quality come through a number of routes.
1. Student Feedback
Every module is subjected to a full student questionnaire in every academic year that it is delivered. The results of the questionnaire are processed anonymously, and both qualitative and quantitative data are made available. These are then given to the tutor as part of the Annual Module Review process, and discussed by the appropriate Student-Staff Liaison Committee.
2. Staff Feedback
Staff are expected to respond reflectively to the results of the questionnaires for their modules, as part of the Annual Module Review process. In addition, the annual peer review of teaching - by which every teaching member of staff is reviewed annually by a colleague - also offers an opportunity for staff to reflect on, and where necessary plan improvements of, their teaching.
Policy on teaching and learning is made in consultation with students and SSLCs as appropriate, in the College, through the forum of the College SSLC and Board of Studies.
The University has procedures in place for the regular review of its educational provision, including the annual review of both modules and programmes which draw on feedback from such sources as external examiners' reports, student evaluation, student achievement and progression data. In addition, subject areas are reviewed every three years through a subject and programme quality review scheme that includes external input. These procedures are recorded in code of practice contained in the TQA Manual.