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MA History of Welfare and Medicine in Society

Wednesday, 2 February, 2022

The MA in the History of Welfare and Medicine programme in the School of History is a research-led postgraduate programme which seeks to introduce students to a range of issues, controversies, debates, and specialist topics in the history of health, medicine and welfare. The programme provides a range of specialist modules, taught by experts in the field; and sources and methods modules with training in both practical and intellectual issues. The dissertation, at the core of the MA, allows students to carry out an extended piece of original historical research and writing. Modules are taught through seminars.

Students join a vibrant research community and participate in a wide range of activities, including a seminar series and regular workshops, are organised by UCD Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland. Read research blogs by former students (opens in a new window)Annika Liger, (opens in a new window)Simone Doyle and (opens in a new window)Natalie Baldwin.

The programme is taught by lecturers with expertise in Irish, British and Global Health history. 

Please contact Associate Professor Catherine Cox for more details (Catherine.cox@ucd.ie)

The MA in Medicine and Welfare is a 90-credit programme covering British, Irish and Global history. Students take 40 credits of taught modules, including two core modules and two options. They also follow their own research interests in their choice of topic for their dissertations. The dissertation is allocated 30 credits and is a substantial piece of original research.
Core modules include: Delving into the Archives: Critical Theories, Power and Practice (10 credits), and Disseminating History (10 credits).

Students can select from a range of options including: One Health, One World (10 credits); ‘Dangerous and Deviant’: Medicine and the Marginalised (10 credits); Global History of Refugees (10 credits); Medicine, Culture and Society  (10 credits); Madness and Civilization (10 credits); Research Collaborations (10 credits); Sexuality and the State in Irish Drama and Culture (10 credit); Life on the Edge (10 credits). 

Previous dissertation topics include: 

  • history of psychiatry from the 18th to the 20th centuries
  • the history of gender, sexuality and health
  • drugs and medicines: regulation and addiction
  • environment and health 
  • health activism
  • medicine and public history
  • animal and human health
  • empire and medicine
  • medicine and ‘modern’ forms of warfare
  • the relationship between medicine, the public, and the state
  • infectious diseases 
  • the rise of the medical professional 
  • children health and welfare
  • race and medical violence 
  • health, medicine and migration

You will be equipped to excel in numerous careers that value critical thinking, writing and time- and project-management skills. Many of our alumni work in senior positions across a diverse range of industries including education, the media, NGOs and the Arts. Whilst some continue on to PhD research. Some graduates proceed to PhD studies at Irish, British, and European institutions.

'From the end of my 2nd year as an undergraduate I had an idea for a thesis. The moment I discussed it with the MA co-ordinator, I knew the MA in the History of Welfare and Medicine in Society was for me. It was the perfect fit. 
This MA gave me the opportunity to further my research, organization, analytical and public speaking skills. This programme allowed me greater autonomy to research, share and develop the topics I was interested in. I also gained valuable experience working with archival material. The  academic staff are incredibly helpful, supportive and knowledgeable. Because of all this and the great working relationship with lecturers, I was inspired to continue my research. This MA gave me invaluable skills to study further and pursue career options in academia and in related areas. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made.'
Simone Doyle, MA student, 2021

For information on fees and how to apply please follow this link.

What You Will Need for Your Application

Applicants are required to provide the following in their applications:

  • An academic writing sample, eg. an essay (there is no word limit)
  • A most recent transcript
  • Contact details of two academic referees (professors who taught you)
  • Two written academic references outlining your academic history, interest and performance in class.
  • A letter of motivation/personal statement
  • An application fee
  • An English language test score (if English is not your first language). Please follow this link for more information.