If you work in medicine or allied fields and want to learn more about how illness and wellness are considered in difference cultures, anthropology is an ideal route to greater understanding.
Medical anthropology is the study of cultural beliefs and practices associated with the origin, recognition and management of health and illness in different social and cultural groups.
Brunel was the first university in Europe to establish a master's degree in medical anthropology and since then has continued to develop the course to reflect the changing world in which we live.
The Medical Anthropology MSc will equip you with a broad, general understanding of anthropology and how it might be applied to medical and health-related problems.
You will develop a deeper understanding of how people’s ideas about the world, as well as the structural constraints within which they find themselves, have an impact on their understanding and experience of health, sickness and disease.
You’ll achieve this through close study of key texts in medical anthropology, the original fieldwork experiences of your lecturers, and through designing and undertaking your own research project.
The course will address questions such as:
- How does poverty contribute to the profiles of diseases such as diabetes and tuberculosis?
- Why are some diseases, such as leprosy or AIDS/HIV, feared and stigmatized?
- Why do some biomedical interventions seeking to control infectious and non-infectious diseases work, and others fail?
- What might stop some patients seeking conventional treatments for cancers and other conditions – even when they are offered for free – despite the apparent efficacy of the medicines available?
Students take the opportunity of fieldwork to travel to a wide variety of locations across the world that have included India, Mexico, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, China, Nepal, Peru, Morocco, and New Zealand as well as in the UK and the rest of Europe.
In additional, Brunel offers an exclusive scholarship to help fund a student’s medical anthropology fieldwork in memory of pioneering Brunel Medical Anthropologist, Professor Cecil Helman (1944-2009).