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Research Methodologies in the History of Medicine

Module Description

This module aims to introduce students to the nature of history and to historical methods that determines how historians approach their subject; understand historical bias and interpretation; examine the importance of historiography, and the act of writing history; and the specific sources and resources that are available to medical historians.


Professor Robert Arnott, University of Birmingham [UK]

Sub-dean of Medicine and Director of the Centre for the History of Medicine

Lisa Grant, a Postgraduate Student in the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick has for the last two years acted as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant in this Centre and lectured to my Intercalating BMedSc (History of Medicine) degree programme in historical methodology and historiography. The students, all medical students, are taking a year out of their clinical studies to take a degree in the history of medicine. Miss Grant is, in my opinion, an excellent teacher. She teaches with a contagious enthusiasm and is clearly liked by her students. I have had excellent feed-back from them to the effect of both her competence as an historian and her breadth of knowledge. I would strongly recommend her to any university who chose to employ her as a member of the academic staff.


Gregory Luke Spencer

Medical Student, Birmingham University, United Kingdom

During my intercalated degree course in the history of medicine I received a couple of lectures from Lisa Grant. She explained to us the reasoning and practical application of the system that she employed in writing her PhD thesis. The system included the recording of numerous references and how to effectively write essays. Her lectures proved extremely valuable, since personally I had not had much practice at writing essays, and using her system proved extremely effective. The lecture was very helpful, and the way in which it was delivered made it easily understandable.

During the second lecture we also openly discussed certain types of primary sources we had collected relating to a chosen subject. We interactively discussed their good and bad points which was also very useful. The lecture ran very smoothly and if at any point I did not understand I was able to comfortably ask questions and clear-up any misunderstanding.