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MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine

MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Different course options

Full time | The University of Manchester | 1 year | 25-SEP-23

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Science / Technology: History Medicine: History Technology

Course type


Course Summary

Course description

  • Our taught MSc in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (HSTM) focuses on key topics from the 19th century to the present, and gives students a critical perspective on global challenges such as:
  • The history of climate change
  • Questions about trust and expertise
  • The relationship between information technology and society
  • Science, race and empire
  • The politics of public health and access to medical care
  • The degree focuses on humanities skills, but can be taken successfully by students from any disciplinary background.
  • Our flexible curriculum provides breadth and choice across the history of science, technology and medicine, allowing you to tailor your studies to suit your interests.
  • The new placement option allows you to gain transferable skills for employment by working with museums, charities, policy organisations and heritage bodies.
  • You will become and integrated member of a research community with dedicated facilities and a vibrant seminar programme.
  • You will learn from and work with world-leading staff, whose expertise encompasses political, social, and cultural approaches to the history of science, technology and medicine, from both national and global perspectives.


This course aims to:

  • explore how science, technology and medicine have become integral to the ways in which we order, imagine and experience modern societies
  • provide opportunities to study significant historical and contemporary topics in depth, by working with experts across a number of fields and specialisms
  • prepare you for further academic study or employment by supporting the development of writing and presentation skills, and providing opportunities to gain professional experience outside universities
  • enable you to produce a major piece of original research and writing in the form of a dissertation.

Teaching and learning

Teaching includes a mixture of lectures and small-group seminar discussions built around readings and other materials. We emphasise the use both of primary sources, and of current research in the field.

Most students will also visit local museums and other sites of interest to work on objects or archives.

All students meet regularly with a mentor from the Centre's PhD community, a designated personal tutor from among the staff, and, from Semester 2, a dissertation supervisor.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is mostly based on traditional essay-format coursework submission.

All MSc students undertake a research dissertation accounting for 60 of the 180 credits.

Career opportunities

Many of our MSc students go on to PhD research, whether in the history of science, technology and medicine itself, in other fields of history, or in a range of allied subjects including historical geography, science and technology studies, and museum studies.

Other MSc graduates have gone on to a diverse range of careers involving a significant element of specialist expertise on the role of science or medicine in society. These include museums, science centres and the heritage sector; libraries and archives; the civil service; media production; journalism; specialist public relations; and technical authorship and editing.


This assessed unit has two main roles: to provide guidance and experience in writing and oral presentation (supplementing the more basic coverage provided on zerocredit skills units), and to introduce students to a variety of approaches to research. The unit is required on both the MSc History of Science, Technology and Medicine (including Medical Humanities pathway) and MSc Science Communication programmes, and the case coverage will be drawn from across the disciplinary approaches covered by these programmes, with an emphasis on the shared themes of expertise and communication in science and medicine.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

We require an Upper Second-class honours degree or overseas equivalent in an appropriate discipline, which may include humanities or science subjects. You should provide transcripts or study plans indicating performance on the most relevant course content. Applicants may also be accepted based on evidence of alternative study, research or professional experience that meets the University's central requirements. This course is also available for intercalating medical students, both from the University of Manchester and other UK universities, upon completion of their third year. For St Andrews students, this includes the three-year course plus the following one or two years spent in Manchester. Intercalating medical students need to have passed all assessments at first attempt (if they are third year) or have no fails in third year if they are fourth year.