The University of Edinburgh
Insight into the social and cultural factors that shape medicine and healthcare is vital to improve access to and the quality of healthcare in the future. The intercalated year in the Anthropology and Sociology of Medicine is designed to give aspiring medical practitioners a critical scholarly understanding of the social dimensions of modern medicine. Study subjects include the social meanings of healthcare, health and illness; the role and limits of biomedical science and technology; and what healthcare can deliver for individuals and societies in resource-rich and resource-poor settings.
Students will develop a theoretical and practical appreciation of the different concepts and approaches used within anthropology and sociology. The programme sets a particular focus on how medical practitioners can contribute to pressing debates about the role, aims and organisation of contemporary biomedical research, healthcare practice and policy-making. To achieve this goal, the programme offers students the opportunity to develop a dissertation project based in their own interest, questions and perspectives.
The programme will provide students with a well-rounded academic grounding in anthropology and sociology as distinctive scholarly disciplines with their own approaches, histories and traditions. This includes questions such as: what counts as ‘good’ healthcare in different settings; how culturally specific understandings of health and healing might influence infection control; how medical innovation is shifting understandings of disease and illness; how the role of medical professionals is changing with the rise of digital technologies.
Students will develop valuable transferable skills in critical thinking, written and verbal presentation, and project management. They will be exposed to a range of different types of social science research, case studies, and data, and will learn to make effective use of different forms of evidence in their personal, professional, and community life. The programme aims to enhance students’ ability to proactively adapt to different social and cultural contexts, while maintaining their personal and intellectual autonomy.
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Applications close in January of each year. Please see our website for further information: