HS3SHH-Health, Healthcare and Healing in the Middle Ages

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Ruth Salter
Email: r.j.salter@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module takes a longue durée approach to medieval medical history in order to consider a variety subjects relating to the understanding, practice and experience of healthcare in the Middle Ages. Among to topics to be explored in the seminars are: classical influences; the connection between physical and spiritual health; transmission of medical knowledge and the growth of European medical schools/universities; medical practitioners; monastic medicine and miracle cures; women’s health; childhood and old age; charity and the development of hospitals; madness and mental health; leprosy in the Middle Ages; and, the Black Death. Students will engage with a wide range of written sources (in translation) as well as material/visual resources.  Through studying the primary materials this module challenges negative attitudes regarding the ‘backwards’ nature of medieval medicine and highlights the complex and considered approaches taken to healthcare and healing in the Middle Ages. 


Aims:

Specials aim to provide 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems. 


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to: 




  • undertake detailed textual analysis and comment on the primary materials

  • achieve a detailed command of varying historical interpretations of the primary materials and subject as a whole

  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions

  • recognise and interpret a wide range of different primary mat erials


Additional outcomes:

This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources. 


Outline content:

This module focuses on medieval medical and healthcare history. It addresses this theme through consideration of how health and the body were understood, the range of medical practices that were undertaken, and a look at key healthcare case studies.  The module will begin by establishing the key foundations required to understand medieval medicine before moving on to focus on particular aspects of healthcare.  Topics to be covered within the module are: classical influences; the con nection between physical and spiritual health; transmission of medical knowledge and the growth of European medical schools/universities; medical practitioners; monastic medicine and miracle cures; women’s health; childhood and old age; charity and the development of hospitals; madness and mental health; leprosy in the Middle Ages; and, the Black Death. Through the module we will use a variety of primary materials to look into medieval medicine and, through doing so, will challenge negativ e views of medieval healthcare and healing. 


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The teaching for this module involves weekly two-hour discussion seminars. 



Students will gain ‘hands-on’ experience of the historian’s task through the detailed evaluations of key texts, and the light they shed on the issues and problems being investigated. 



Students will be required to prepare for seminars through reading from both the primary sources and the secondary literature. 



Students are expe cted to carry out self-directed revision in the summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary. 


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20 20 2
Project Supervision 1 1
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 40 40
    Wider reading (directed) 40 40
    Advance preparation for classes 20 20
    Preparation for presentations 5 5
    Revision and preparation 36
    Essay preparation 35 35
    Reflection 20 20
       
Total hours by term 181 181 38
       
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 40
Written assignment including essay 60

Summative assessment- Examinations:

A two-hour paper involving detailed commentary on extracts from the sources studied.


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write two essays (each constituting 30% of the overall mark for the module) to be submitted electronically, the first by 12 noon on the Monday of Week 1 in the spring term, the second by 12 noon on the Wednesday of Week 11 in the spring term. Each essay shall not exceed 3,000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography. Essays which exceed the word limit by more than 5% will incur a penalty of five marks. Candidates will be rewarded for making appropriate use of the prescribed texts. 


Formative assessment methods:

Formative work, for instance seminar presentations, book reviews, posters, practice source commentaries, will be required for this Special Subject over the two terms. 


Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 40% overall. 


Reassessment arrangements:

Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) ONLY in August. These will be capped at a maximum mark of 40%. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the third Friday of August.


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: Purchase of textbooks is not compulsory, but students should consider setting aside £25-£30 to cover the purchase of useful books. 

2) Specialist equipment or materials: None

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: None

4) Printing and binding: None

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: None

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: None


Last updated: 15 July 2021

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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