Hi everyone my name is sarah gibbon i'm the convener of the biosocial medical anthropology program i'm joe calabrese and i'm a tutor of the msc medical anthropology and we're both here today to talk a little bit about our programmes and tell you about the differences between the two as well.
So first of all i'm going to tell you a little bit about the msc and biosocial medical anthropology so this program is a unique program of study set up nearly three and a half years ago it's the first standalone program of its kind in the uk it combines social and biological training to examine biosocial aspects of.
Health and disease and really responds to a growing need for more cross-disciplinary research knowledge and skills to address a range of urgent and contemporary global health care and public health care challenges so from the coverage uh pandemic to the health effects of climate change or pollution linked to the so-called.
Anthropocene era the uh the or the global increase in chronic disease it's evident that we require a more fully developed biosocial approach that can better understand address and intervene on these global health care issues and this is perhaps particularly important considering how inequality is.
Become embodied and shape health impacts we're also particularly concerned on this program in engaging with and reflecting upon new fields of biosocial science whether that's epigenetics neuroscience or microbiome research where the entanglements between biology and social experiences and exposures are becoming increasingly relevant.
So in a nutshell those are some of the key areas and aimed at the program i should add that this is this is a program of study that's taught by colleagues within medical anthropology biological anthropology and human ecology who bring unique and different disciplinary approaches in covering both the core themes in term one and the more.
Methodologically orientated training components in term two and uh the the msc medical anthropology provides a broad overview of medical anthropology uh critically examining and integrating interpretive critical and clinical approaches um we have a long history of engaging.
With clinical practice uh with several staff members having clinical training and practice experience for example i was also trained as a clinical psychologist and roland littlewood as a psychiatrist and we also have a specific strength in the study of psychological anthropology self-experience mental health.
And diverse approaches to therapy from healing rituals to modern hospital-based care to mindfulness practices and psychotherapy i should say we don't expect applicants to have any background in anthropology in fact we usually aim to recruit a diverse interdisciplinary cohort each year that includes clinicians as well as.
Anthropologists and other social scientists leading to interesting discussions across disciplines we're just going to say a few words now about the differences in the two programs so the msc in biosocial media anthropology is very much an interdisciplinary program of study.
It's taught as i mentioned by colleagues from across diverse sections of the department to provide you with cross-disciplinary skills that enable you to engage with and understand different kinds of health-related data and research so in term one this means being introduced to different approaches that.
Not include not only relevant traditions within medical anthropology such as biocultural anthropology syndemics or local biologies but also relevant approaches in biological anthropology such as evolutionary medicine political and also human ecology and also multi-species perspectives so in term two the training we provide.
In ethnographic research methods are combined with training in survey methods and mix methods which students learn to use and apply a number of areas of assessment including dissertation projects there are many possibilities for students to develop and extend their mixed methods research this might mean.
Combining secondary analysis of pre-existing data with ethnographic research or creating and developing a survey that might be undertaken alongside in-depth semi-structured interviews or life histories the students who complete the masters program have an important skill set that means they're able to move into many.
Diverse fields whether that's further doctoral research or applied healthcare and research where the ability to engage with and use qualitative and quantitative approaches is increasingly necessary and important and i would say compared to the msc biosocial medical anthropology.
The msc medical anthropology is perhaps more focused on clinical practice and narratives than on clinical science and biology so the interpretive approach in medical anthropology aims to understand the insider's point of view of local cultural knowledge and forms of.
Practice whether in small-scale tribal societies or in modern teaching hospitals this encompasses local experiences of illness cultural explanations of illness healing narratives and the connections between local health concepts and broader cultural values and.
Understandings of the person we balance this interpretive approach with critical medical anthropology approaches which focus on political and economic structures and inequalities as they affect health and well-being and with always an appreciation of the clinical realities of the human as a.
Biological and psychological organism we blend critical debate on theories with an appreciation of the real world issues arising from applied work and graduates of our program have gone on to develop exciting careers in academia clinical services social services government and non-governmental.