Humanities, Philosophy and Law
The intercalated BSc in Medical Sciences with Humanities, Philosophy and Law is a unique course that integrates approaches from medical science, ethics, law, philosophy, history and the arts. This BSc provides an intellectually stimulating and inventive learning opportunity for students who care about core values of medicine in the changing landscape of healthcare provision. The cultural contexts of medical science will be a key theme throughout the course.
The programme starts with a two-week induction and then is structured around three modules: ‘the body’, ‘the mind’ and ‘death and dying’, followed by a project module for which you can choose a topic for focused, supervised study.
The course is led by experienced experts in the field who have all been recognised for their excellent teaching. You will also have the opportunity to engage with renowned scientists and artists working at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary medicine and its contexts.
The London location of Imperial College offers a wealth of opportunities for field trips to museums, galleries, courts and archives. The programme emphasises creative, interactive, small-group teaching, and experiential and playful learning. You will master transferable skills in critical analysis and research, and develop narrative and visual competencies. The programme will also enhance your capacity for creative problem-solving, resilience and reflection, helping to develop strategies to preserve work–life balance as you prepare to enter a demanding profession.
Most teaching takes place at the South Kensington Campus, although some classes may take place at other campuses within London. Field trips are likely to include museums, galleries and archives across London and perhaps further afield, as well as a visit to the Coroner's Court.
Students must be registered on a General Medical Council-recognised MBBS degree (or equivalent) and have successfully completed the first two years of that programme. No break in studies is permitted between the programme at the other institution and the beginning of the programme for the BSc degree.
Imperial College London Medicine candidates who have successfully completed their third year are required to undertake a BSc, of which Medical Sciences with Humanities, Philosophy & Law is one option.
Applicants from universities other than Imperial College will apply through a process which requires an academic transcript, one academic reference and a personal statement. Intercalating students need to demonstrate that they are likely to receive a 2:1 or 1st by supplying an academic transcript from their home institution.
- Recognise, discuss, analyse and critique key concepts in the fields of medical ethics and law, medical humanities, history of medicine and medical philosophy.
- Recognise and reflect on how integrating approaches from the fields of medical ethics and law, medical humanities, history of medicine and medical philosophy can complement and enrich understanding and analysis of key issues in medicine relating to the mind, the body and death. Situate present-day medical ideas, practices and institutions within a broader historical, cultural, legal and social context.
- Develop an understanding of the ways in which creativity and creative practice can inform approaches to complex conceptual and practical problems in medicine.
- Analyse ways in which contemporary agendas, interests and cultural contexts shape the telling of medical histories and, conversely, ways in which historical and social narratives may be used to serve contemporary agendas.
- Cultivate values of professionalism including ethics, teamwork, narrative attentiveness, cultural competence, accountability, diligence and communication.
With the exception of BSc Management and BSc Biomedical Engineering, all of Imperial College's intercalated BSc courses are split into Parts A, B and C. Parts A and B run from September until February and comprise teaching on the BSc course topic. Part C, which runs from March until May, gives students the opportunity to undertake a project.
The BSc project for Humanities, Philosophy and Law is a ten-week research project, which gives students a valuable opportunity to learn about research. The project is assessed via an oral presentation of the project (25% of Part C marks) and a project write-up (75% of Part C marks). Students will agree a project topic with their supervisor, and may choose whether to focus on medicine and history, the arts, philosophy, ethics, or law.
Student project exploring 'the gift of life metaphor' for organ donations. (Sculpture: Janaki Desai)
Field trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Thinking about representing anatomy in a sculpture workshop.
Enhancing understanding of the body in an optional life drawing class.
Getting creative in a craft workshop.
Field trip to the Coroner's Court.
Seminar in Hyde Park.
Using photography to highligh uneven wealth distribution and how it affects access to healthcare. (Image: Shoaib Rizvi)
Student project exploring 'boundaries' in relation to the landscape of the body. (Image: Jess Campbell)
Visual poetry workshop.