Module Identifier WHM1730  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Steven Thompson  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Owen G Roberts  
Mutually Exclusive HCM1730  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   Introduction + 6 x 2 hour seminars and individual tutorials (10 - 15 minutes)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 2 x 3,500 word essays  100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of relevant themes and approaches in the history of medicine.

Understand and evaluate new trends in the history of medicine.

Understand the use of appropriate evidence in formulating historical arguments regarding medicine and society.

Demonstrate through written work an ability to integrate methodological themes into their own research.

Brief description

The module is designed to allow students to explore a key theme in modern social history - namely health and medicine - in a Welsh context. The module will begin by analysing the consequences of economic and demographic change for health during the nineteenth century. Responses to these challenges, both in terms of scientific ideas and institutional strategies, will be studied. An examination of mental health, including social attitudes towards madness and the evolution of institutional care, will be followed by a broader assessment of the development of hospital services in Wales. The module will conclude by analysing the health consequences of the Great Depression on Welsh communities, and the emergence of distinctive systems of medical organisation, which, according to some historians, contributed to the founding ideologies of the post-war National Health Service.


The module is designed to enable students to explore a key theme in modern social history - namely health and medicine - in a Welsh context. Recent years has seen the emergence of new research in the field, which applies contemporary historical approaches to the history of medicine to the case of Wales, and explores the influence of the distinctive social, economic and geographical features of Wales on health and the development of medical services. This module will enable students to understand this field of study in depth.


Introductory seminar
1. Industrialisation, Urbanisation and the Public Health Crisis of the 1830s
2. Collectivism and Sanitary Reform
3. Madness and Society
4. Hospitals and Other Institutions
5. Communal Conscience: Health and Medicine in the Interwar Depression
6. Wales and the birth of the NHS
Individual tutorials for pre-essay preparation and feedback (2hrs)

Module Skills

Problem solving By understanding how historians of medicine employ a variety of different methodological approaches towards understanding problems within their field.  
Research skills By learning how to identify appropriate secondary sources and applying that material to their work.  
Communication Through seminar discussion and essay writing. Latter only is formally assessed.  
Improving own Learning and Performance By guided reflection during seminars and feedback sessions following submission of written work.  
Team work Through seminar work.  
Information Technology Through data retrieval exercises for research purposes and word-processing for essay writing purposes.  
Application of Number Through discussion of applicability of statistical data to understanding aspects of the history of medicine.  
Personal Development and Career planning Through furthering understanding of the discipline of history of medicine and the opportunities for research that it offers.  
Subject Specific Skills By enhancing methodological understanding of the history of medicine and an awareness of key texts and approaches.  


This module is at CQFW Level 7