Medical Humanities

Understanding the human side of medicine


Medicine is often thought of as solely aligned with the sciences. Medical humanities, however, examines how human elements such as gender, sexuality, race and class bear on understanding the human body from a medical perspective. This research investigates the power dynamics and effects of institutional care on individuals, community and state.

We bring this humanities perspective to medicine, applying historical, literary, critical and cultural theory and philosophy to healthcare. Medical histories, meanings and practices are challenged, and meaningful links are made between the humanities and medical research.

Related areas

Classics and Ancient History

This covers the study of Latin and Ancient Greek, as well as the literature, history, art and archaeology of these ancient civilisations, and their contributions to the modern world.

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English and Literary Studies

Studying English and Literary Studies enriches your understanding of major literary, cinematic and theatrical traditions across the globe.

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European Languages and Studies

We look at the political, social and cultural aspects of contemporary Europe as well as French, German, Italian and Spanish languages and cultures.

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History is the study of the past and its legacies in the present.

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Philosophy involves thinking about some of the big questions we ask in our lifetime.

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School of Allied Health

Our research aims to improve the expertise of our future health professionals.

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Related courses

PhD opportunities

We invite students to devise their own topic of study under the supervision of an academic with expertise in the area. For more information on PhD opportunities in the area of the Medical Humanities, contact us on the details below.

Interested in collaborating with us?

The correlation between humanities and medicine is important and requires specialised research and expertise. If you have an issue or idea that requires research in this field, our Medical Humanities research team can help. Contact us using the details below.


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Our multidisciplinary team is part of the UWA Medical Humanities Network. This network includes the whole University and fosters international links which allow researchers and educators to share ideas, information and opportunities. Many collaborative partnerships have been made through this network.


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Contact Professor Alison Bartlett, English and Cultural Studies