Progress at last! History of Medicine - 19th and 20th Centuries

Ref: C2226592

Explore the epidemics and public health problems between 1800 and 1930 and the extent to which progress was/wasn't made in responding to them. Consider the impact of the First World War on developments in surgery and the improvements made in medicine in wartime. Discover the changes that occurred in the understanding of disease and the emergence of a modern profession. Assess the increased involvement of women in medicine and the changing role of the hospital. There will also be some consideration of changes in colonial and imperial medicine. The course will look at developments relevant to medicine, surgery and public health in Europe as well as Britain. Please note this is a course focused on the social history of medicine, surgery and public health and it is aimed at beginners- it will therefore seek to provide an introductory overview of the subject and the social impact- not a detailed scientific or medical explanation of the areas covered.

Additional information about this course

Half term 30/10/2019

Course aim

To discover the social impact of the changes and breakthroughs between 1800 and 1930 which enabled progress in medicine, surgery, and public health in Britain and Europe.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe the problems in Public Health and the attempts made to address these between 1830 and 1930.
  • Explain the role of the First World War in improving surgical treatment.
  • Explain how access to healthcare changed between 1880 and 1930.
  • Assess the positive and negative aspects of war on the development of medicine.
  • Describe the ways in which European medicine was adapted to different colonial and imperial locations

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Progress at last! History of Medicine - 19th and 20th Centuries


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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