Skip to main content
Start Dates
Degree type


Course length

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time



Program code


Ready to Apply?

Course details

The MA in Medical Humanities (Online) in an interdisciplinary distance learning MA led by Durham's Institute for Medical Humanities (IMH), and the Department of English Studies. The MA is suitable for students whose undergraduate training is in Anthropology, English, Geography, Law, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, Sociology, or other related disciplines in humanities and social sciences. The MA is also suitable for students from backgrounds in health and social care seeking to bring humanities and social sciences perspectives to bear in their professional practice.

The main aims of the course are to provide a rigorous introduction to the variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to health which make up the critical medical humanities and to equip you to undertake further research into health and human experience in a variety of contexts. The programme offers outstanding interdisciplinary training to equip you with the skills you need for your future career. It is taught by specialists who are members of the IMH, primarily from the Departments of Anthropology, English, Geography, Law, Modern Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, and Sociology.

You will become part of the vibrant research communities both within departments and the IMH. In particular, students become members of the Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers (PGECR) network in Medical Humanities, which organises regular seminars, conferences and social events.

All students on the MA in Medical Humanities (Online) take two core modules. Concepts and Frameworks in the Critical Medical Humanities, and Reimagining Health Research (30 credits each). You will also write a dissertation (60 credits), supervised by one of Durham's specialists, which allows you to focus on a specialist topic of your choice in the Medical Humanities. You will also take optional modules from participating Departments to bring your course total to 180 credits (MA). All elements of the MA have embedded within them a range of interdisciplinary content and skills.

Course Structure

Our two core modules, Critical Concepts and Frameworks in Medical Humanities, and Reimagining Health Research, develop advanced skills in interpreting and using a range of different kinds of data, from textual and material sources to data gathered through a range of qualitative methods.

Optional modules may include:

  • Illness and Narrative Practices
  • Contemporary Issues in Medical Law
  • Neurodiversity and the Humanities


The MA in Medical Humanities (Online) is delivered wholly online through a range of lectures, workshops and scaffolded learning assignments. You will have one-to-one meetings with course convenors and expert supervision in your Critical Medical Humanities dissertation.

Entry requirements

At least one of the following:

  • A 2:1 undergraduate degree
  • Active enrolment on an intercalated UG/PG medical degree programme
  • At least five years work in a professional environment with relevance to health and/or medicine, with at least two years in some form of leadership role
  • Successful completion of the associated PG Certificate programme

A 500-word personal statement which should include the following:

  • An outline of your interest in an interdisciplinary MA in Medical Humanities
  • What skills and knowledge you would bring to the course
  • What skills and knowledge you would hope to acquire
  • An indication of your planned area of research

Two professional and/or academic references from people who are familiar with your work, commenting on your suitability for the programme.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £11,300 per year
EU students £23,900 per year
Island students £11,300 per year
International students £23,900 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £6,300 per year
EU students £13,200 per year
Island students £6,300 per year
International students £13,200 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

English Studies

Our graduates are highly valued by employers. They progress into a diverse range of careers and sectors, including arts and theatre management, broadcasting, publishing and journalism, business, accounting, marketing and advertising, teaching, higher education, law, third sector and government positions.

For further information on career options please visit our web pages.

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

There is an array of career options possible that include professions in national, international and local government agencies, sustainability management, policy research, corporate responsibility and sustainability, environmental journalism and writing, environmental tourism, environmentally-oriented NGOs and charities and conservation work. The MA in Environmental Humanities also offers enhanced suitability for business graduate programmes in sustainability.

An optional module in Durham University Business School on strategic leadership offers opportunities for those wishing to develop their organizational leadership skills.

Employers often value Masters graduates in arts and humanities for their understanding and ability to communicate, flexibility, as well as their analytical and synthetic competence.

Department information

English Studies

Study literary forms ranging from creative writing to romantic and Victorian literature. The Department of English Studies is one of the largest and most respected English departments in the UK. It provides an inclusive environment that values curiosity, intellectual rigour, imagination and individual response.

For more information see our department webpages.


  • World Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2022
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide and in The Guardian University Guide 2023
  • Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023


For a current list of staff, please see the English Studies web pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 90% of our research activity was judged to be 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in (REF 2021)


The Department is housed in a Grade II listed building, Hallgarth House and in Elvet Riverside. Both buildings are close to the University’s Bill Bryson Library and the special collections in the Palace Green Library. The Department has strong links with the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Institute for Medical Humanities, the Centre for Poetry and Poetics, which oversees the archive of the distinguished Northumbrian modernist poet, Basil Bunting, and the Institute of Advanced Study.

Durham students run their own English Society, which provides many opportunities for theatre visits, especially to the Royal Shakespeare Company season in Newcastle every year. There is also a strong tradition of student drama and music within the Department and the University as a whole.

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

This programme is led from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, bringing in modules from that Faculty but also building on modules from other Faculties that will serve the wider suite of programmes. We are proud that our Faculty of Arts & Humanities is recognised as a world leading Faculty, and our work is intended to enrich, shape and transform lives. We nurture thoughtful, critical and engaged citizens for a rapidly changing and complex world.

For more information on our Faculty and the Departments within it, see our webpages: Faculty of Arts and Humanities - Durham University


Arts & Humanities subjects ranked 33rd in the World top 50 in the Times Higher Education Rankings by Subject 2023

  • English Department – 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2023 and Guardian University Guide 2023
  • History Department – 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2023
  • Philosophy Department – 8th in the Complete University Guide 2023
  • Geography Department - 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2023
  • Anthropology Department – 4th in the Complete University Guide 2023


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Find out more

Similar courses

Medical Humanities - MA

Program Code: Q3KG07
Start: September 2023
Medical Humanities

Medical Humanities (Online) - PCert

Program Code: Q3KF14
Start: September 2023
Medical Humanities (Online)

Medical Humanities (Online) - PGDip

Program Code: Q3KF12
Start: September 2023
Medical Humanities (Online)