Welcome to Medical Humanities


Medical Humanities is a long standing and integral part of the curriculum at the University of Aberdeen.

It aims to give students an alternative perspective on medicine,healthcare, illness, or disability. This is achieved by studies in an extensive range of Humanities subjects including anthropology, economics, history, sociology, educational studies, divinity, art and music. It also offers languages, including introductory level French, German, Gaelic and Spanish, to prepare students for working in regions where these languages are spoken.

Part of the purpose of Medical Humanities is to make students more rounded individuals by taking them out of the scientific medical curriculum and exposing them to aspects of their chosen career which they may not have previously considered. They are encouraged to consider the nature of knowledge-making; to reflect on the processes of teaching and learning; to understand the experiences of medicine, health, sickness and disability from different perspectives including that of the patient, practitioner or family member.

Students are encouraged to work on their own initiative and Alternative Project options are available where students come to us with their ideas. Portfolios of artwork, Online Design, photographic and museum exhibits have been produced in recent years. Many courses contribute to the strong artistic heritage underpinning Medical Humanities.

Medical Humanities at the University of Aberdeen is continually evolving to meet the demands of an ever changing world and the expectations of students. New courses are added each year to reflect this and to broaden the range of options available.

Many students find this a very rewarding part of the course and all students gain additional skills and attributes as a result. Some comments from students;

‘Enjoyed the different mind set required for this course.’

‘It was really interesting and completely different to anything I have ever done before.’

‘I am so glad I chose this course because it has opened my eyes to so much that is not normally covered in Medicine. I feel I have come away with a much deeper understanding of doctor-patient interactions, as well as patient perspectives of illness; I believe this to be most beneficial in the practise of Medicine.’

‘I found the course extremely enjoyable and feel it gave me an opportunity to enhance transferable skills’

‘I liked the freedom of the course. It was great to be able to choose a topic that interested you and follow down a path of your choice, with guidance from the tutor.’

‘Research, I found the whole process very enjoyable, as I actually feel like I learned a lot from my own research.’

Introduction to Medical Humanities Part 1

Introduction to Medical Humanities Part 2

Introduction to Medical Humanities Part 3