University of Bristol

Grounded in the disciplines of English literature and philosophy, this course demonstrates how the humanities can be used to illuminate the practice of medicine and medical research. We aim to inspire the next generation of doctors, dentists and vets to be emotionally and cognitively intelligent, culturally aware and philosophically inquiring.

You will learn some of the key skills of literary and philosophical analysis and use these to broaden your understanding of the suffering individual, their medical care and carers, and the historical and epistemological basis on which that care is delivered.

Studying the humanities involves a considerable amount of self-directed learning and independent reading. Compared with medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, you can expect to participate more actively during seminars and spend more time preparing for them in advance. To ease the transition between these two learning styles, we provide a wealth of support for our intercalating students including:

  • access to the Oakhill Study Group, run by practising and academic medical staff, to support your study and place the experiences of this year in the context of your past and future medical career;
  • introductory seminars in English and philosophy;
  • initial reading to prepare you before you start the course.

You will study units in Philosophy and History of Medicine, Critical Issues, Literature and Medicine, and Death, Dying and Disease. You will also write a supervised, semi-independent dissertation which explores a particular aspect of the medical humanities course and demonstrates advanced research and writing skills.

Entry requirements

You can study a BA after two or more years of study on your professional programme. Please refer to the admissions statement on our intercalation website for full guidance on how your application will be assessed.

Closing date

The closing date for applications will be advised on the University of Bristol Intercalated degrees website.