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Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine

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Created in 1986 and funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Manchester Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine is one of Britain's largest research groups in the subject. Unit staff collaborate with historians, social scientists, clinicians and scientists across the University of Manchester, neighbouring universities, and medical institutions throughout Britain. The Unit acts as the principal focus for historians of medicine throughout the North of England. It is well connected with similar groups in Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Granada, and with the major centres in the USA.

Our research themes

We focus on the intellectual, social, cultural and political history of medicine, from around 1800 to the most recent biomedical sciences and technologies. We have particular strengths in British medicine (including local history), but also work on Germany, the United States and the developing world, especially Southern Africa.

The Unit has a large group of postdoctoral fellows and doctoral students working on a wide range of topics, forming a lively research community which has a developed a pioneering programme of outreach activities. Manchester has excellent library, archival and museum resources for history of medicine (and science and technology), including magnificent holdings in the John Rylands University Library's Deansgate building, and several premier collections for labour and social history. Many of our seminars are of specific interest to historians of medicine, and the Unit sponsors a variety of conferences and other events.

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Teaching in the history of medicine

We provide options for Master's-level history of medicine study as either a direct-entry stand-alone taught course, or by medical students as an intercalated MSc. Both routes combine a preliminary broad grounding with detailed specialist study, and incorporate extensive research training and dissertation research. We have an excellent track record in securing Wellcome Trust studentships. The Unit is also is closely involved with project work in the Medical School and we supervise a wide range of student selected components (SSC) in the history of medicine.

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We welcome staff and postgraduates from other universities who wish to work on the history of medicine in Manchester. For more information, see the research facilities for visitors section of the main CHSTM site.

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