Deformed, Deranged and Deviant - HIST8170

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


From medical marvels in the nineteenth century to questions surrounding quality of life in the late twentieth century, the course explores the continuities and changes in the relationship between medical science and difference. The course will investigate the ways that medicine has understood, categorised and treated those whose body or behaviour was considered different. It will also examine the body and mind as contested sites; spaces occupied by those considered different; the establishment of normality versus deviance; the changing conceptions of difference in this historical period and the shifting theories and methodologies of medical practice in relation to it.


Contact hours

Private Study: 276
Contact Hours: 24
Total: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay (4,000 words) 40%
Group Project 40%
Seminar Analysis 20%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework: Essay (4,000 words) – 100%

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a deeper understanding of science, medicine and the body;
2 Appreciate the dynamics of the relationship between medical practitioners, scientists and difference;
3 Navigate through a rich and complex historiography, and current controversies, of the changing nature of the definitions of difference over time;
4 Utilize a wide range of primary materials including medical and scientific journals, contemporary accounts, illustrations, depictions and memoirs;
5 Engage with concepts pertinent to the remit of the Masters programme, especially constructions of the changing nature of difference; the body and mind as contested spaces; modes and methods of scientific measurement and standardisation of the body; treatment regimes.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Synthesize different types of historical information effectively with in-depth utilization of primary and secondary material;
2 Demonstrate self-directed learning, critical expression, fluent prose and a sophisticated understanding of the subject. Students will be able to reflect on their experience and identity future directions for research via independent study and teacher feedback;
3 Engage in class discussions and group work on complex historical issues and present using a variety of methods, which will emphasize communication skills and encourage team-building.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.