History of Welfare & Medicine in Society
Medicine, illness and welfare occupy a central place in all our lives. The MA in the History of Welfare and Medicine in Society is designed to enable you to understand the place of medicine and welfare in society and history (c1750-1980) and engage with critical debates through various media including film, literature, and art, amongst others.
The programme explores the main trends within welfare and medical history from social history, gender history, post-colonial history to individual experiences of poverty, and of illness throughout history. You will explore how medicine and welfare regimes and policies overlapped with culturally constructed conceptions of femininity and masculinity, and race and ethnicity.
The MA has a reputation for excellence taught by lecturers with international profiles.
Modules are taught through seminars. You will develop expertise in presenting, analytical thinking, effective communication, and writing with clarity and precision.
The dissertation, at the core of the MA, allows you to engage your own research-based interests.
Medicine, illness and welfare occupies a central place in all our lives. The MA is designed to enable students who want to understand the place of medicine and welfare in society and history (c1750-1980) and to engage with some critical debates. Students will have the opportunity to explore themes through various media including film, literature, and art, amongst others.
How did culture and society respond to disease, health campaigns, new medical theories and innovations? Is there a relationship between medicine, welfare, ethnicity and identity?
How is medical and lay knowledge of sickness and therapeutics formed?
Can an understanding of these questions help in the development of current public health policy?
The MA provides a comprehensive understanding of historical methodologies and their potential application to current debates about disease and welfare.
The practical skills – project-management, writing with clarity and precision, and communication skills – garnered are essential for a range of careers including teaching, all forms of media, politics and academia.
The modules are taught through seminars and you will develop expertise in presenting, analytical thinking, effective communication, and writing with clarity and precision.
Delving into the Archives: Critical Theories, Power and Practice
Pop culture in Modern Ireland
The Body in Modern Warfare
Pills, Patents and Policies
French Colonial Identities
Alcohol, Drugs and Society
Modern Irish Historiography
Madness and Civilisation
One World, One Health
Sexaulity and the State
The MA in Medicine and Welfare is a 90-credit programme.
• A primary degree in an appropriate field such as a Bachelor of Arts, or in a cognate discipline such as medicine and nursing. You must supply details of any third level institutions you have attended and professional qualifications you have attained.
• Excellent academic grades 2H1 or an equivalent of a UCD GPA 3.2 NFQ Level 8. Transcripts will be required
• You will be asked to complete a supporting statement outlining your reasons and motivation for wishing to undertake the course
• Two academic references from referees who are in a position to assess your intellectual ability, maturity and motivation.
• Candidates whose first language is not English are normally expected to have achieved an overall 6.5 in IELTS or equivalent with no individual band lower than 6.
• Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD’s International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes.
Please see the following link for further information: https://www.ucd.ie/alc/programmes/pathways/int%20pmp/
The following entry routes are available:
MA History of Welfare & Medicine in Society FT (Z240)
MA History of Welfare & Medicine in Society PT (Z241)
* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised
Z240: 1 year full-time
Z241: 2 years part-time.
MODE OF DELIVERY: Face-to-Face
MA History of Welfare & Medicine in Society (Z240) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7315
nonEU fee per year - € 19900
MA History of Welfare & Medicine in Society (Z241) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 4390
nonEU fee per year - € 9950
***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.
Students can apply for a prestigious, internationally recognised Wellcome Trust Masters Scholarship. Please contact the MA Director Dr Catherine Cox for further information.
Next Intake: 202/2025 September
Post Course Info
Careers & Employability
You will be equipped to excel in numerous careers that value critical thinking, writing and time- and project-management skills. Many of our alumni work in senior positions across a diverse range of industries including education, the media, NGOs and the Arts. Whilst some continue on to PhD research. Some graduates proceed to PhD studies at Irish, British, and European institutions.