Medical Humanities Summer School 2021

Are you a medical student who is interested in how humanities subjects can help develop your skills? Are you a humanities student who wants to make connections with other disciplines in humanities and sciences? Are you a school student who wants to broaden your disciplinary thinking?

Medical Humanities

Oxford’s top academics will introduce you to the interface between clinical medicine and narrative, philosophy, law, ethics, gender studies, hierarchies, history (including history of the emotions), art history, theatre (body language; spatial dynamics), theology, management, observation (visual and linguistic), compassion, boundaries (to name but a few) … Come and learn how to think in an integrated way.

Where and when?

Online on Zoom; Monday 12 to Friday 16 July 2021. Lectures will take place in the afternoons only. There will be no morning sessions.

Who is eligible?

Undergraduates, medical students at all stages, and year 12 and year 13 school students

How many participants will there be?

The course is limited to 16 participants

How much does it cost?


Is there financial support?

There are eight bursaries available for those in demonstrable need (tell us on your application form). The bursary support is generously provided by the Van Houten Fund, TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities) and Green Templeton College.

If you are a UK school student and come under one of the following categories, you are eligible for a bursary

  • Students who have been or are currently in care, and young carers
  • Students who have been or are currently in receipt of Free School Meals or Pupil Premium
  • Students with ACORN and POLAR flags (your teachers will know if this applies to you so ask them)

University students will need to show demonstrable need.

If you would like to apply for a bursary, please include a statement with your application, explaining your criteria.

Who will teach me?

Oxford’s top professors, from the faculties of Medicine, English, History, Philosophy, Business Studies, Theology, Anthropology, Sociology, and Classics, as well as eminent visiting lecturers.

What are the deadlines?

Applications close on Monday 26 April 2021

Decisions will be notified by Wednesday 26 May 2021

Successful applicants will be required to pay their full fee by Monday 14 June 2021

How do I apply?

The application form for the Medical Humanities Summer School 2021 is available here.

You will be asked to submit:

  • a 1-page CV, listing your education to date;
  • a personal statement telling us why you’d like to do this course.

You will also need to ask an academic referee to submit a letter in support by the application deadline of Monday 26 April 2021. Applicants should contact their academic referee (school teacher or university tutor) and ask them to email a confidential reference by the deadline of Monday 26 April 2021. The reference should comment on your academic ability and your suitability for the summer school. The reference should be emailed to: Please make sure you do this in good time as your application will be incomplete without a reference.

Course details

This interdisciplinary course is taught thematically. Modules are devoted to specific topics on the connection between the art and the science of medicine: e.g. observation; illness narratives; language and communication; medical ethics; gender. The Medical Humanities Summer School 2021 Draft Programme can be viewed here.

Teaching is a mixture of lecture-discussion and interactive workshops.

Participants are required to do preparatory reading or viewing from poems, short stories, films, and articles from journals in relevant disciplines.

Summer school participants 2019 had this to say:

‘expanded my mind and challenged my thoughts’; ‘a must for any future academic or medic’; ‘thought-provoking’; ‘eye-opening’; ‘intellectually challenging and full of discussion’; ‘excitingly diverse perspectives’

Please contact with any questions.

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