Making Room for Medicine:Medical Spaces, Environment & Health - HIST6103

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This course examines the changing nature of medical spaces from 1750. From eighteenth century London specialist hospitals for conditions such as fistula, to rural rehabilitation centres in the 1940s, this course explores the role of the medical profession, the state, religion and patients in the creation and maintenance of health. Medical spaces changed significantly in this period, moving from private to public, from long term rest cures to outpatient care, and from religious institutions to secular ones. The expansion of civic buildings in the nineteenth century, and the establishment of the NHS in 1948 are two important examples that demonstrate how medical spaces were interwoven in the wider medical, political, economic and socio-cultural sphere.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 60
Private study hours: 540
Total study hours: 600

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Primary Source Review 3000 words 8%
Historiographical Commentary 1500 words 7%
Essay 4500 words 15%
Presentation 20 minutes 10%
Examination 1 2 hours 30%
Examination 2 2 hours 30%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

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:

Learning outcomes

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

1 Understand and critically assess the changing nature of medical spaces from 1750-1950.
2 Drawing on a range of primary sources, critically evaluate the role of religion, the state, the medical profession and patients in shaping medical spaces in Britain since 1750.
3 Critically assess the extent to which public attitudes towards hospitals changed throughout this period.
4 Critically analyse medical spaces through a series of individual case studies.
5 Situate the history of medical spaces in the broader contexts of Britain, and where possible, Europe and North America.
6 Critically evaluate the influence of medical spaces and environments on health.
7 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of role of the hospital through sources including plans and maps and acquire detailed knowledge of the history of medical spaces in this period.

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

1 Write informed research essays, historiographical review and commentary on documents.
2 Work critically with primary materials, ephemera, images, advertisements, newspapers, pamphlets, autobiographies, diaries, and contemporary film and video resources, accurately deploying established techniques of analysis and enquiry.
3 Demonstrate the ability to navigate, identify, absorb and react to a substantial amount of material related to the subject in various formats.
4 Demonstrate the ability to manage their own learning, enhancing skills which enable the design and completion of a research essay in which primary and secondary materials are assessed against current academic debates in the field


  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.
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